How The Widths Of Your Teeth Can Affect Your Invisalign Treatment

Posted on: 28 February 2022

Most orthodontic patients are probably a little relieved when they're told that Invisalign is the best possible solution for their particular issue. After all, Invisalign is nowhere near as conspicuous as traditional metallic braces. The thermoplastic aligners aren't totally invisible, but they offer a level of discretion that traditional braces definitely can't match. Invisalign is best suited for mild to moderate problems with the spacing of your teeth. But are your teeth actually ready to be repositioned?

Inadequate Space Between Your Teeth

The configuration of your teeth will be gradually corrected over the course of your Invisalign treatment. But for some patients, this anticipated new position is unrealistic. As your teeth gradually move into the correct configuration, there may be inadequate space between them. This poses a few problems for the future care of your teeth. If your teeth are too close together, you're going to find it difficult to properly brush them (and you can forget about flossing). A small preparatory dental procedure might be needed, and this is known as interproximal reduction.

Removal of Interproximal Dental Enamel

Interproximal reduction expands the potential space between teeth by reducing the widths of the teeth. A sliver of dental enamel is shaved off the interproximal surfaces of each targeted tooth. This allows your teeth to correctly slot together as they're progressively repositioned, while still leaving adequate space between them. This has both aesthetic benefits, as well as ensures that you'll be able to maintain an acceptable level of dental hygiene in the future.

How It's Done

The procedure itself is quick and painless. Some patients may find the physical sensation (vibrations) of the process slightly uncomfortable, but a numbing agent can be applied to your gums if needed. The reduction may be achieved with small abrasive strips or a handheld bur. It doesn't damage the teeth, and the amount of enamel removed will not make the teeth more vulnerable to cavities. After the required amount of enamel has been removed, the interproximal surfaces are contoured to smooth them out.

The results of interproximal reduction are immediate, and even a bit anticlimactic, since you might not be able to spot the difference. But the difference is there and allows your Invisalign to be efficient without inadvertently causing further problems as your teeth move into alignment. There's no need for recovery time, so if you need interproximal reduction, you can then begin your Invisalign treatment straight away.

For more information on Invisalign, contact a company near you.