Teeth Shaving for Invisalign?

I had a consult and was given my treatment plan. My dentist told me that I would need 0.5mm shaved in between 9 teeth. Is this excessive? Can this be evaluated again at the time of when the procedure is to be done? Has anyone else had to have so many teeth shaved? If so how are your teeth now? She mentioned that I may end up with sensitive teeth or could be prone to tooth decay as the enamel will be removed. I'm nervous about having so many teeth shaved if it will cause me more problems.

Doctor Answers 3

Talk to your dentist about your concerns

Talk to your dentist about your concerns.  Is it .5 mm from each tooth or is it .25 mm from each side (which would add up to a net .5 mm)   Start by listing the goals of your treatment - do you and your dentist share the same goals?  Ask if Invisalign can achieve these options without having to shave teeth.   Your dentist may know the answer or may check with technical support from Align Tech (the makers of Invisalign).  They have orthodontists on staff who are familiar with Invisalign's limitations.  


See an orthodontist

Invisalign is a great product. As an orthodontist, I try to preserve tooth structure whenever possible, but tooth slenderizing is often needed to allow the teeth to move with Invisalign. You may want to consult an orthodontist to see if the amount or location of the slenderizing can be reduced. 0.5mm is the maximum that should be removed in between the teeth. I haven't had any Patients become sensitive or develop cavities 

Patricia Panucci, DDS
Manhattan Beach Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


I have never had to slenderize teeth even close to this much for Invisalign. Something called arch expansion eliminates the need for much enamel removal at all. However, enamel is very thick and this is a technique used in all tooth straightening  techniques and is very helpful when applied conservatively.

Dr. Sue Wendling 

Sue Wendling, DMD
Portland Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.