How Common is IPR (Tooth Shaving) with Invisalign?

I have read a lot of Invisalign reviews and stories. I have found that it is fairly common that people mention IPR or the process of shaving down one's tooth or even several teeth in order to make more room. How common and likely is this with Invisalign? I ask because I'm a bit nervous, my orthodontist did not mention any such procedure and it sounds rather unpleasant.

Doctor Answers 5

IPR during Invisalign to create space

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Most crowded cases need space, but what most patients do not realise is that the dental arch is beginning to collapse and hence the crowding. 

I do not use IPR to create space. The reason is that the teeth overlap too much and early IPR can lead to too much tooth removal.

In my practice we expand the dental arch to create space and then if necessary, we do less IPR.

Sometime at the front if black triangles appear we will then do some IPR to reduce these traingles.

I have done some cases with no IPR.

Early anterior IPR is not recommended

Tooth reduction with Invisalign

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When it comes to moving teeth into alignment you have to remember the teeth are in bone. You can only move the teeth within the confines of the bone dimensions available, so the only place to gain space when moving crowed teeth into position is through IPR ( Inter Proximal Reduction - tooth shaving between the teeth) 


Of course every case is different so the amount of tooth reduction varies, but as others have pointed out, most of the time tooth removal is in the range of .15 mm's - and only on teeth determined by computer analysis to require IPR for the case to be a success. 



Paul Newitt, BSc, DMD
Vancouver Dentist


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IPR is often used when trying to get your teeth properly aligned but there is just not enough room to do it.  It sounds more drastic then it is, with the "shaving down" usually only consisting of 10ths of a millimeter.  If your orthdontist did not mention it, then more then likely you don't need it.

Bradley Matthew, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

IPR is common

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Thinning teeth to make room is common with Invisalign, but at the same rate as braces.  It is usually barely noticed and only tenths of millimeters (extremely little).

IPR is Very Common with Invisalign

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Whenever there is crowding, as opposed to too much space, IPR is usually called for. It's annoying, but painless.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York 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.