Invisalign and Interproximal Reduction: Why is it Necessary for Dentists to Remove Enamel Before Invisalign Treatment?

Dentist Blog

Sometimes, before a dental patient can begin their Invisalign treatment, their orthodontist may need to remove a tiny amount of enamel from their teeth. This process is known as interproximal reduction. Although at first , you may understandably be worried about having some of your enamel stripped away, no more than 0.5-1.0mm is ever removed from the space between two teeth.

To put that into perspective, the average thickness of the enamel surface of teeth ranges from 1.5mm to 2.5mm. Therefore, if, for instance, your orthodontist removes 0.5mm of enamel from between two teeth, that only amounts to 0.25mm per tooth. That leaves plenty of remaining enamel. But why do it? Isn't it enough to just wear your Invisalign trays? In many cases, yes, but not all cases are the same.

Interproximal Reduction Eliminates Black Triangles

Sometimes, when teeth do not fit together as they should, or when the interdental papillae; the gum tissue between teeth, has receded, black triangles may form once teeth are properly aligned. Removing a small amount of enamel from two adjacent teeth eliminates this possibility. Black triangles can ruin a smile so the removal of a sliver of enamel is a small price to pay.

Your Teeth may not fit Together Very Well

In some cases, the upper and lower teeth might be shaped in such a way that it isn't possible for them to meet comfortably. The same goes for teeth that are side by side. If one tooth is slightly bigger than its neighbours for example, it may cause problems once Invisalign moves teeth into their ideal positions. If teeth cannot fit together snugly, then removing a sliver of enamel makes it possible for them to sit comfortably side by side.

Go over the Plan with Your Dentist

In modern day dentistry, dentists use a computer program called ClinCheck to create treatment plans for their patients. This program can predict the course and outcome of your treatment. If you are worried about anything in regards to your treatment, ask your orthodontist to take you through the treatment plan using ClinCheck.

Once you get a clearer picture of what and why things are happening, you'll be more at ease when it comes time to start your course of Invisalign.

interproximal reduction may sound scary at first, but, once you see for yourself just how much of an effect it will have on the outcome of your treatment, you'll better understand that it is more beneficial than it is barbaric.   


15 September 2017

Dental Care and Seniors: Helping to Maintain Your Smile

As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.