What is Interproximal reduction?
The term interproximal reduction (IPR)is used to describe the removal of minuscule amounts of tooth enamel, typically from the sides of the teeth that touch each other. Its purpose is to alleviate crowding or reshape the contact area between neighboring teeth. The tiny bits of space created through interproximal reduction enables us to make fast leaps in terms of tooth movement.
The IPR treatment is used when teeth are overcrowded and involves the dentist stripping away a portion tooth in order to create space. This creates room between teeth in order to allow for their movement when the Invisalign aligners are worn, though this stripping does require a certain level of tooth enamel to be removed. In the rights hands, this procedure is completely safe to undertake and is a great alternative to tooth extraction, as is sometimes needed for other brace treatments. During your initial consultation for Invisalign, your dentist will be able to advise you as to whether or not this procedure is necessary.
In addition to helping address crowded teeth, the interproximal reduction can improve aesthetics. Sometimes teeth are naturally triangular in shape – wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. These teeth don’t always lay together in an aesthetically optimum fashion. Aligning these teeth without interproximal reduction would mean that we create unsightly spaces between the teeth at the top near where the teeth and gums meet. This is called “black triangle.”
Removing small amounts of the enamel on either side of the teeth improves aesthetics by altering the shape and making it possible for them to align properly.
Interproximal reduction also contributes to the successful outcome of orthodontic treatment, and helps ensure the long-term stability of your results after treatment is complete.
Depending on the space required your orthodontist may use several different tools to execute an IPR procedure.
At first, you may notice the gap IPR creates. With your aligner trays in, it isn’t visible. Your orthodontist may not execute all necessary IPR in one appointment. Your treatment plan may require multiple IPR appointments at different stages of your treatment.
Alternative to interproximal reduction
The main alternative to IPR is extracting one or more of the crowded teeth to create room for those that are left behind. Most patients, if given the choice between pulling teeth and enamel reduction, commonly decide to go with IPR! This truthfully makes sense if you realize that the extraction process usually requires the dentist to remodel one or more of the remaining teeth by using IPR!
If you have any more questions about IPR, give our friendly team a call 02078373938