Will I make the medical journals? A little Invisalign IPR – Tooth Shaving

My orthodontist seems like a nice guy. He is certainly experienced with Invisalign, is funny, reassuring and seems to know what he is doing. Generally he fills me with confidence. I must confess I wasn’t wild about his lectures to his postgrad students on my teeth being called “A silly thing to try and do with Invisalign” but I took it in fairly good heart. However, when at my latest visit he told me that if what he is trying to do to my teeth with Invisalign works, he will write about it for the medical journals, I really started to get nervous…

Invisalign IPR - Image of a guinea pig
I’m not so keen on being a guinea pig!
Funnily enough, I don’t like the sound of that. Not that I mind being in the medical journals- I have been in hundreds of magazines in my prior career as a model and presumably I wouldn’t be identified, so that isn’t a problem. Rather it is the feeling that I am some kind of orthodontic guinea pig that is scaring me.
Now I should be fair here. My orthodontist was extremely straightforward with me and told me from the outset that the tooth that I have at the bottom of my mouth would be very hard to move. See my clincheck here. He also warned me before treatment started that there was a good chance that it won’t move at all, and that even having created a space for it, it may just not move up into the place we make for it. If it does, I will need a fixed brace on that tooth and the ones next to it to get it to move. I know all that, and I accept it fully. If the tooth in question fails to move I will have that tooth extracted and either close the gap again or get some kind of implant tooth or similar.
I think what maybe I didn’t appreciate, however, was that it hadn’t really been tried before, or that if it worked it would be such a new technique for Invisalign it would make the medical journals! I thought it was more of a “this could be a bit tricky” scenario, rather than a “this might be a world first” Still, I am going to remain positive, nonetheless. Repeat after me….I believe that my teeth can move, I believe…
Other than scaring me half out of my wits the appointment went well however. He did a tiny bit of Invisalign IPR (filing between my teeth to make them close together tighter) even though it wasn’t on my schedule, just because he felt that two of my teeth were a little close together and might have difficulty moving past each other. I haven’t had Invisalign IPR before and it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences but it wasn’t awful. He simply took some type of metal file and slid it into the gap between my teeth. He then moved it backwards and forwards between my teeth in a sawing action shaving a tiny bit of tooth off. There was a grinding, grating sensation, and it very definitely felt like he was shaving the sides of my teeth off, but there was absolutely no pain whatsoever. I spent the whole time a little petrified that he would somehow miss and file my gum, but that didn’t happen.
See below for a very quick video on what happens with Invisalign IPR:

Other than that everything is on track. I picked up sets 9-11 and will put set 9 in tonight. The great news is that comparing sets 1-11 I can definitely see some differences in the aligners now, so I shall post some pictures of that over the next couple of days.
Finally, thanks again to everyone for all your comments. I really enjoy getting them and knowing that people are actually reading this!

4 thoughts on “Will I make the medical journals? A little Invisalign IPR – Tooth Shaving”

  1. >Hello! I am always checking your website for updates… time seems to pass so slowly before your next ones!

    i finally saw the orthodontist today and the word ‘complicated’ kept cropping up. Decided on a compromist – braces for the bottom teeth (can’t see much of my bottom teeth when i talk), brackets for the top teeth at the back, followed by invisalign for all the top teeth. getting my brackets on Monday. Can’t wait!

    oh…. and i might need to have a tooth extracted sometime after the brackets as well…hoping that won’t happen but it’s a high possibility as i have crowding with my bottom teeth.
    :)… ds

  2. >Hi there, its so good to read your blog and it has really made me smile and given me comfort when i felt like throwing the trays in the bin during the early days!

    I think we started our treatment at about the same time – I am on 10/14 Upper and although I have finished my first set of lowers, I will need more IPR and refinements on both upper and lower because of gaps that have emerged as a result of strange shaped teeth!

    Good luck during the rest of your treatment 🙂

  3. >Thanks for doing this blog, I am on aligners 4 of 34U and 14L so you are a bit ahead of me and it’s great to see the similarities in feelings/problems etc, I also have an overbite/overjet, mine is really bad and they have combined using elastic bands with my invisalign which is working great!

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