Invisalign membrane attachments (buttons): How are they designed and placed?

Often, during the invisible membrane treatment, the orthodontist deems it necessary to place Invisalign membrane “buttons”. This is done in order to achieve certain dental movements. With the Invisalign method, it is necessary to place the attachments (also known as buttons) on the patient’s teeth. In this way, the force is transferred from the braces to the surface of the tooth, exerting pressure on it. When more buttons are applied to the patient’s teeth, there is better control of the tooth movement, and the final result is achieved faster. The complexity of each care varies from person to person. This is what essentially determines how many Invisalign membrane buttons will need to be placed on each tooth during every treatment.

How are Invisalign membrane buttons designed?

The most crucial part of the Invisalign membrane buttons is their correct design. With their digital design, the orthodontist has complete control over their creation. Each digital placement that the doctor will make aims at the correct application of the appropriate force the brace will exert on the Invisalign membrane buttons, in order to move each tooth correctly and successfully. The doctor can place as many Invisalign membrane buttons as he deems necessary, in each case. The purpose of this is to exert the force required on the teeth to move them to and from a certain direction. Another reason for applying the buttons is to increase the volume of certain surfaces, in order to move certain teeth. It is quite possible to design the Invisalign membrane buttons in such a way so that they are applied on the inner surface of the teeth. Quite often, the patient wishes to have the buttons placed on the inner surface of the tooth, for aesthetic reasons. This is easy to achieve when designing but reduces the efficiency of the device and the treatment. That is, the inner attachments are less efficient due to the friction of the teeth, as compared to the external attachments that have already been placed.

How are Invisalign membrane buttons placed?

In invisible orthodontics, the process of placing the attachments is completely painless and quite simple, really. Essentially, the doctor, having digitally placed the Invisalign membrane buttons, holds the special membrane, specially made for this purpose, in their hands. He then places the resin in its slots. This resin is applied to all the sites where the buttons will be placed. The orthodontist then prepares the patient’s teeth by etching, in order to properly place the attachments. Having finished preparing the teeth, he then applies the special glue to the teeth and places the braces, which has been filled with resin. He then polymerizes (light-cures) the membrane with the special blue light; at the end he removes any residue with a tool, leaving the buttons in place. The process takes some time to prepare, but is quite simple, fast, and easy.

In the following video, you can see the whole process in detail, to see how the Invisalign membrane buttons are designed and then placed by your orthodontist. You will first see how the right attachments are designed on the computer, using the appropriate software. Then, the video will show how the Invisalign membrane buttons are placed on the brace. Finally, you will see how the attachments are attached to the patient’s teeth.

Dr. Fotis Exarchou is a Diamond Invisalign Provider, and an international speaker on the method of orthodontic treatment with transparent Invisalign membranes, sharing his knowledge and experience with colleagues both at home and abroad. He is available for any question or concern you may have. For more information, please visit our orthodontic practice.

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