Attachment Removal

Just thought I’d share some interesting information I found covering the topic of attachment removal.  I had a pretty yucky experience several months back when I had all 14 of my attachments removed for new impressions– It took two people two hours to remove most of the composite material that was on my teeth.  Over the years, I’ve had cavities filled, a gingivectomy at the age of 9, and all of my wisdom teeth pulled with nothing more than just a few shots of novocaine (or whatever it is they use these days). Hell, my dentist was practically straddling me for better leverage.  In other words, I’m experienced when it comes to the dental chair… and I will say this: my attachment removal episode was by far the most uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s just because I hate things vibrating on my teeth.

Just FYI, out of all the stuff I’ve read online, it seems that I’m the only one with such a bad experience.  Don’t let what I say about attachment removal deter you from getting Invisalign.  Chances are high that you’ll have an attachment removal experience that won’t even come close to mine.  I just like to bitch and this is my personal venue.

So, after I was finished up with my first round of refinements, I reluctantly asked my orthodontist if we could remove my attachments to take an impression for a new, bubble-free aligner to tie me over until my upper teeth were complete.  I figured the good would outweigh the bad and she was game!  I was so scared to go into that appointment with memories of the last one still haunting me… I was expecting the worst.  Surprisingly, the same lady removed them and it was the complete opposite of what happened the first time!  It took maybe ten minutes and was hardly uncomfortable at all.  She looked at me like I was an idiot after the third time I said three different variations of, “Wow, that was painless!”

I was to return the following week to pick up my new aligner/retainer.  Immediately following that appointment and all following seven days, I did a bunch of reading and realized why the attachment removal process is so tedious.  A dental bur in the wrong hands can straight up fuck your teeth up for life.

Anyway, here are a few interesting links:

As I mentioned, there was still a ton of gunk remaining on my teeth.  When I went back the following week, I asked a different person to remove what was remaining.  She tried for a while but stopped when I accidentally showed discomfort.  She told me that I’d probably have to get my dentist to finish up the job if I wanted it all off because “they’d have better tools to get close to my gum line.”  My first thought was, “Whew… Thank god, no more grinding.” and then, “WTF.  My dentist??!”

So I went home and a few days later, I made a video

I will say that when I went back last week to have the rest of my upper attachments removed, they did just about the same job as the other previous two, in much less time of course.  I was okay with it though, because my favorite assistant lady also has Invisalign… and has a painfully high number of trays… like 67 or something like that (I call her my favorite because she’s funny and makes slightly tacky and inappropriate commentary which is right up my alley).  She and I both agreed that since I would be getting more attachments within the next month, that it might be pointless to go through the discomfort of getting everything smooth.  I get it.  Even though my teeth feel like they’re constantly covered in disgusting plaque, I’m sorta okay with it as long as they do the awesome polishing she promised would happen in the end.


7 thoughts on “Attachment Removal

  1. I had a pretty similar amount of attachment material left on my teeth (I could catch it with my fingernail and make the same sound). When I mentioned it at my next appointment, they didn’t use the dremel type tool, they used the small ‘hook’ type dental tool and kind of pulled it off. It seemed to work pretty well. While the teeth that had the attachments are still not quite as smooth as the non-attachment teeth, it’s to the point that I can hardly notice. To be honest, I’d rather have that micro-layer of material than risk any enamel being removed. Anyways, I hope everything works out for you and good luck with the new ortho search!

    • Thanks! You’re right about leaving some of the attachment material there. It sucks that I’ve been forced to become so wary of dental professionals. I stupidly assumed that they all knew what they were doing. They also used a hook-looking thing on my teeth as well… and also some sort of pliers to bust off the first large portion of it. Not sure if these things were what you’re talking about.

      The way I see it is that if they’re unable to remove all the attachment material for any reason, just say so like the girl did at my most recent visit. For example, “This stuff is on here pretty good. I can keep going until I get close to the enamel and have Dr. Soandso come finish up if you’d like.” That’s when I’d say, “Nah, that’s cool, just do what you can. I’ll be back next month for more attachments anyway.” Case closed. Now I will know why my teeth feel furry all day every day until then. haha

    • Hey! Thanks Tara! I haven’t just yet, though I’ve scoured the area for seemingly competent professionals and made some notes. I think it’s sad that I view it this way now… I feel so leery of it all. Anyway, today is actually my due date and I’m just waiting for my kid to show up (I might be a little preoccupied for a bit!). I’m also waiting on this second refinement so we’ll see how that goes for a while. I keep touching the hot stove, don’t I? :/

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