20 October 2020

3 mins read

IPR: What Is It and Do You Need It Before Getting Invisible Braces? | Zenyum SG

Your dentist may have asked you to do IPR before you start wearing invisible braces. Find out what it is, why you need it and whether it is painful.

filing of teeth

Why do you need IPR?

If your teeth are crowded, there may not be sufficient space for your teeth to move into alignment. Your teeth will start getting in their own way as they move into new positions. There are two main ways to create space. 

1. Interproximal Reduction

The first way is through Interproximal Reduction where your dentist uses fine discs to shave the sides of your teeth and teeth enamel. IPR only shaves off between 0.2 to 0.3 millimetres of your enamel on each side of the tooth receiving the IPR treatment. The enamel on your teeth is generally about 2.5 mm thick, so no need to worry about losing it all.

For clear aligners, IPR is generally preferred over teeth extraction because your dentist has more control over the amount of space created. However, if a substantial amount of space is needed, your dentist may recommend teeth extraction instead.

2. Teeth extraction

The second way is to extract a few teeth if more space needs to be created. Before you put on braces, your dentist will examine your teeth and advise you whether you need to undergo IPR or teeth extraction.

While IPR shaves off up to a maximum of 0.25 mm of your enamel on each side of your tooth, if you have very little interproximal enamel, your dentist may advise you not to undergo IPR and go down the tooth extraction route instead. 

“But…other invisible braces sellers don’t provide IPR!”

Yeah… that’s because they are DIY invisible braces. With no in-person consultation with a local, qualified doctor or dentist in their process, 

  • Any additional procedures like IPR are off the table, 
  • There’s literally no-one to tell you if you need or don’t need IPR.


Getting invisible braces without seeing a licensed, qualified dentist is a bad idea – just like buying shoes 2 sizes too small just because they’re on sale. They’re gonna hurt! 

That’s why it’s so risky to go with any invisible braces brands that don’t have you see a licensed dentist in person. Keeping costs down shouldn’t come at the expense of your health! 

Is IPR painful?

No, it is not painful. There are no nerve endings in the outer enamel of your teeth so the procedure will not hurt.

You might feel some discomfort as pressure will be applied to your teeth. Some people have said it feels similar to teeth polishing.

We all know how important enamel is, which is one of the main positives for IPR, as it does not damage your teeth because only a small amount of enamel is removed. You should not feel any tooth sensitivity or face an increased risk of tooth decay as a result.

What happens during IPR?

Your dentist may use a dental drill with a diamond-coated bur or disc at the end. He or she will run it along the sides of your teeth to shave off your enamel.

Alternatively, your dentist may use a diamond-coated strip and run it back and forth along the sides of your teeth to file them down.

Do not be alarmed if there are noticeable gaps in your teeth after your IPR procedure. These gaps will close up when you start wearing invisible braces and your teeth start to shift into their new positions for your best smile. 

There you have it! The ins and outs of IPR – not so scary, right? Just lay back in the dentist chair, and let your dentist take care of the rest. After all, you can rest easy knowing your mouth is going to have enough room for your teeth to take up their positions for a sparkling new smile. 

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IPR: What Is It and Do You Need It Before Getting Invisible Braces? | Zenyum SG


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