Will Filing Teeth for Invisalign Affect Teeth Strength?

I am finishing my Invisalign treatment and my dentist wants to file the bottom of my front upper tooth so it is aligned with the rest. Is this OK to do? Would this affect the strength of the tooth in any way?

Doctor Answers 5

Filing teeth will not affect the teeth at all

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Filing down the teeth will not harm the teeth in anyway.  This is done to ensure long term stability for your teeth, as well as helping the bite.  Your teeth will not be weakened in any way.


Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Filing teeth for Invisalign totally safe and recommended

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We all do that to finish a case up and make it look better. When the teeth were crooked, they wore differently, so now that they are straight, they need to be evened up. They will also bite better this way and are not harmed by the polishing.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Not at all

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What you are referring to is Inter proximal reduction (IPR). This is done routinely for orthodontic readons to align your teeth for long term stability. A very small amount (less than .3 mm) of enamel is filed. It doesn't render your teeth weak or predispose your teeth to any caries etc. I usually give flouride treatment after that.

Bobby Virk, DMD, MSD
Bellevue Orthodontist

Slight finishing or contouring of teeth after Invisalign

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Sometimes, after Invisalign, I will do some contouring of the teeth to idealize aesthetics. This contouring should be very slight. Oftentimes, I will use a Sharpie pen to black out the tiny bit (edge) that I plan to remove. When you look in the mirror you can't see the line, but you can see what the finished result will look like.


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Interproximal reduction (IPR) perfomed during Invisalign treatment consists of removing small amounts of enamel on the sides of your teeth.  It shouldn't compromise the strength of your teeth.

Daniel W. Schiavone, DDS
Rochester Dentist

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.