LAST UPDATED: OCTOBER 25, 2016
Many people seek out Invisalign treatment as an alternative to traditional braces. It’s a popular option because it offers a way to correct misaligned teeth with minimal discomfort. People also don’t have to bear the stigma of traditional braces when using Invisalign. However, there is some concern over the necessity of shaving teeth for the treatment.
This process is called “interproximal reduction,” and may be necessary if your teeth are too crowded. The reason behind this is simple: the alignment process can be hindered due to overcrowding. Rather than removing teeth to make room, it is often easier to shave the enamel on the sides of the teeth to allow room for movement. The process needs more space – and more time – to take place.
Different dentists use different tools. One of the most common is a diamond strip, a thin, flexible piece of metal that fits between teeth and can be used almost like a nail file. The dentist will slide it back and forth to grind away the enamel. This is done after a numbing agent is applied, so there is little to no pain involved in the process.
What are the risks?
In some cases, interproximal reduction carries increased risk of periodontal disease and increased tooth sensitivity. However, this is often only in the most extreme cases, or when an orthodontist shaves too much enamel away. However, if necessary, the process can be corrected using technology similar to fillings or veneers.
Is it really necessary?
Yes and no. Interproximal reduction will not be necessary in all cases. In fact, many patients who undergo treatment in order to close gaps will not need it at all. However, those who have too much crowding, or who suffer from overly large teeth, may need to undergo the process in order to obtain the smile that they want.
Interproximal reduction is just another way to correct crowding. Because it is such a common process, the risk is very low, so there’s no need to worry. The amount of enamel shaved off will vary, to the naked eye, the difference is hardly noticeable.
After the procedure, it’s common for teeth to be a bit sensitive. If combined with correctional procedures, this is likely due to movement of the teeth to the correct position. However, it can also be from completely natural reasons. Unless the pain is sharp or abnormal, there is hardly any reason to worry.
Learn More about Orthodontic Treatments
Gluck Orthodontics is located in Nashville, Tenn., and Dr. Joel Gluck offers professional examinations to determine if you need:
• Clear plastic aligners from Invisalign – for adults and teenagers
• Retainers – worn before or after orthodontic treatment
• Headgear – to repair serious malocclusions
• Braces – worn on the backs or fronts of teeth
Call Gluck Orthodontics today at 615-269-5903 to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable and innovative orthodontist.
2002 Richard Jones Road
Suite A-200, Nashville
Phone: 615 269 5903
Fax: 615 269 5604
Is It Required That Teeth Are Shaved to Correct Crowding with Invisalign?