When you make a sizeable purchase, the last thing you want to hear about is all the additions that are available to make the product even better. When you receive invisible aligners like Invisalign braces, you might be told that you need additions. These additions are not unnecessary bells and whistles, and they're in fact essential for the system to work. So what exactly does your dentist mean when they tell you that you're going to need additions for your transparent retainers?
These additions are not something that attaches to the retainers themselves; they are actually additions to your teeth. The retainers work by exerting a small amount of pressure on your teeth, which, slowly and steadily over many months, moves your teeth into the predetermined level of alignment. But the retainers can only do this when they can adequately grip onto the underlying teeth.
When it's thought that you will need additions, a small amount of additional mass will be attached to your teeth and strategically added across your jaw. This mass is the same type of material that is used for dental bonding, or tooth-coloured fillings. Only a minuscule amount will be needed.
Ridges for the Best Fit
The additions will be applied in the form of ridges and small protrusions from the surface of the tooth, making it possible for the retainers to properly hug your teeth. While they're made from the same material as a tooth-coloured filling, you don't need to worry. Unlike a filling, no drilling is required to attach an addition. This means that the process is painless.
If you're worried about how these additions will look, it's important to remember that they will be invisible. Any uneven surfaces created by the additions will be covered beneath the retainer, and while the retainer is transparent, the addition is the same colour as your teeth and so will not be visible. And because it's covered by the retainer, you will not be able to feel it either.
When your teeth have been straightened and your time with your transparent retainers comes to an end, you don't need to be concerned about the presence of the additions. These will be safely removed once your treatment has concluded.
Sometimes additions can be entirely optional, but when it comes to your transparent retainers, you need them in order for the system to do its job.