Invisalign® Attachments

Invisalign SmartForce™ Attachments

What They Are, How They Work, and What to Expect

Invisalign SmartForce attachments, also known as Invisalign buttons or simply attachments, are tiny, almost invisible bumps placed on your teeth during Invisalign treatment. Attachments are custom-made to fit your teeth and positioned to guide the movement of your teeth. They work like handles, giving your clear aligners something to gently push on to help your orthodontist apply extra, gentle force to areas where your aligners need assistance.

SmartForce attachment features are one of three proprietary innovations that deliver Invisalign’s force-driven treatment system. Innovations such as SmartForce attachments allow experienced Invisalign orthodontists to treat most cases with Invisalign clear aligners that are typically treated with braces. They help orthodontists move teeth effectively and minimize unwanted movements.1

Will I need SmartForce attachments?

Only your orthodontist can say for sure. Generally, your orthodontist will recommend SmartForce attachments if one more teeth need more significant movement.

Are SmartForce attachments put on all my teeth?

The number of SmartForce attachments needed will vary depending on the specifics of your orthodontic malocclusion. You may need attachments on every tooth or just a couple needing additional support. Your orthodontist will be able to determine the best course of action for your individual alignment and bite correction.

Will people notice if I’m wearing SmartForce attachments?

SmartForce attachments are made from a tooth-colored material to be as discrete as possible. Some attachments may be more visible than others, depending on their location. For example, attachments on your front teeth may be easier to see than attachments on your molars.

If you have any concerns about the visibility of your attachments, talk to your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will do their best to place attachments in locations to minimize their visibility and make them less noticeable.

How are SmartForce attachments put on my teeth?

The process of applying SmartForce attachments is straightforward and should only take around 30 minutes to complete. Before applying attachments, your orthodontist or orthodontic assistant will review your ClinCheck® scan and note where the attachments are to be placed. Your teeth will be prepped by cleaning and drying them for the bonding agent that will allow for adhesion of the buttons to your teeth. Your dentist will use a template aligner, an appliance with little spaces where the attachments will go. They load the attachment material (composite resin) into the spaces and then place the template aligner, which now contains the attachment material, over your teeth. Then, the dentist applies gentle pressure to help the attachments properly adhere. Next, they use a special light to cure and harden the attachment material. Finally, they remove the template aligner and any extra bonding agent or composite resin.

Will they hurt?

You may experience some mild discomfort after initially getting your SmartForce attachments. That discomfort should not last long and can be expected to be mild. It's caused by your teeth needing time to adjust to the new pressure the attachments apply. It's completely normal and a sign that the treatment is working. In most cases, discomfort can be managed by over-the-counter pain relievers;2 your orthodontist can provide more information.

Can SmartForce attachments fall off? What do I do if that happens?

Avoid activities that put excessive pressure on teeth while in treatment. Activities like using your teeth as tools can cause SmartForce attachments to loosen or fall off.

Taking good care of your teeth, including regular brushing and flossing, can help preserve the bond and keep SmartForce attachments from coming loose. Also make sure you follow your orthodontist’s instructions regarding removing aligners safely.

If one of your SmartForce attachments does fall off, don't worry - simply contact your orthodontist. They will schedule a time to replace it.

How long will I need to wear SmartForce attachments?

The duration of time that you need to wear SmartForce attachments will also depend on your individual case. SmartForce attachments are bonded to the teeth and are typically kept on during your Invisalign treatment, which can last as little as six months.3 Your orthodontist will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of how long you will need to wear them based on your specific needs and desired outcome.

What happens when it's time to take my aligners off?

Your orthodontist will take off your SmartForce attachments at the end of your treatment. They are gently removed in a painless, non-invasive procedure. Before removal, your orthodontist will do one last check to confirm your teeth have moved into their desired positions.

Your orthodontist may want to take a new scan of your teeth after removing your SmartForce attachments. This will help with fabricating retainers you may need after treatment. Lastly, your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on caring for your teeth and retainers now that SmartForce attachments are removed and you have a healthy and beautiful bite and smile.

Ready to start your Invisalign journey?

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Ready to start your Invisalign journey?

Discover if smile treatment is right for you.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website are for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any dental or medical-related condition and never disregard or delay seeking such advice because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Compared to Invisalign aligners previously made from single-layer (EX30) material.
  2. Seladi-Schulman, Jill. What Are Invisalign Attachments, and How Are They Used? Healthline. ( Accessed 3/7/24.
  3. Based on mild to moderate malocclusion (defined as crowding and spacing up to 6mm, and overjet and overbite up to 6mm and assuming one week wear), treatment times vary depending on Invisalign product type, wear time, case complexity and must be determined by your doctor. Data on file at Align Technology, as of September 9, 2020. Additional Info: Data based on total 1,236,123 primary orders accepted in Jan 2018- June 2020 globally. Product types included Invisalign Express, Go, Lite and Moderate products.