Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, has been popular in the past recent years among orthodontic patients in Singapore. Aesthetics is considered the most significant advantage of Invisalign. This advantage is what draws adult patient into choosing Invisalign as it is a less noticeable way of straightening teeth. However, a common misconception of patients about Invisalign is that it is completely invisible. While Invisalign is virtually discreet, it may still be noticeable because of “attachments”.
Attachments are tiny tooth-coloured “buttons” that are bonded to the teeth using dental composites. They are placed at certain teeth to allow Invisalign to have more control over teeth movement. The dental composite used for attachments is the same material used for fillings, and as such they are tooth-coloured. However, the attachments are raised above the tooth, so they can be quite obvious if it is looked at a closer point.
A research published in the American Journal of Orthodontics has studied the perception of the public in regards to attachments of clear aligners. Using eye-tracking technology, it has been revealed that research participants tend to actually spend more time looking at attachments. Naturally, clear aligners with several attachments are less acceptable, especially if it is on the front teeth. The participants favour those clear aligners with fewer attachments. However, the data from the research suggests that even though aesthetics are important to the participants, it can be reasonably compromised if it has a better treatment outcome.