Is There a Way That Enamel Lost from Interproximal Reduction (IPR) Can Be Regrown?

I had Invisalign for a brief period but wasn't happy with how things were looking but I had already undergone some IPR. My orthodontist who designed my invisalign also had declared bankruptcy and essentially ran away with his patients money. I decided to just stop my treatment rather than pay more to a new doctor, and my case wasn't even that bad (just a mild overbite and jaw shifting to one side a little). I feel really bad that I had the IPR because I think it was unnecessary.

Doctor Answers 7

Enamel does NOT grow back..

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If the spaces bother you you might qualify for a retainer that can close those spaces or you could restart your case with a smaller fee from another orthodontist...

Los Angeles Dentist

IPR and Invisalign

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The IPR shouldn't cause any long term problems. Didn't the orthodontist who delivered the case have the rest of the trays that he could give you or transfer to another dentist? Usually IPR isn't done until the case is ready to deliver. That would be ideal if you could get a hold of the dentist and see if a transfer can be done.

Also even when there is a bankruptcy, the practitioner is still obligated to finish treatment that has begun per his/her state dental license. If they don't finish treatment they should be accomodating to help you find another dentist. There are patient abandonment laws that prevent a practitioner from abandoning a patient who is being treated by him even if he is no longer financially responsible for the treatment anymore. Good Luck.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Re-growing Enamel

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Sorry, but it is not possible to tooth structure to "grow back".

You basically have two good options:

1. continue with orthodontics, either traditional braces or clear aligners


2. Have your teeth restored with either composite or porcelain

It is truly unfortunate that you had this bad experience, but you do 

have good options.

Marcus Whitmore, DDS

Dallas, TX

IPR and enamel loss during Invisalign treatment

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Unfortunately, enamel can't be grown back once removed. If done properly, IPR is no threat to your teeth because it removes only a small fraction of the enamel on the sides of the teeth.  Often MUCH more enanmel is lost from the tops of the teeth just from everyday chewing and function.  However, now that the IPR has been done you should see an orthodontist to finish the treatment -- with either Invisalign or braces -- so that the space created by the IPR is not lost.  If you simply let the teeth drift on their own the space will disappear, and then will be unavailable to use to resolve any remaining crowding of teeth

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist

Enamel does not grow back on teeth

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The reason dentists place fillings is because enamel cannot grow back.  It is likely that IPR was necessary for your case to work, as this is a very common process in orthodontics.  Usually, the amount is so minor that you should not worry.

Be sure to not be quick to judge treatment in the middle of the process.  Often, things get worse before they get better.  If you go back to orthodontics, trust in the dentist or orthodontist and let things happen.  Feel free to ask questions, but be prepared for things to look worse at some point.

Enamel can't be regrown, but it can remineralize.

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Once you have IPR, and enamel is removed, it can not grow back. The existing enamel that you have can remineralize and become stronger with flouride, and thus prevent against future decay.

Gabriela Hricko, DDS
New York Orthodontist

IPR and Invisalign

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Unfortunately, there is no way to regrow enamel that has been removed. I would recommend seeking further treatment with an orthodontist to complete the work started. The big Invisalign cost is behind you and you may be pleasantly surprised at the cost to complete your treatment.

Samie A. Thabet, DMD, MSD
Germantown Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.