Interproximal Reduction

PATIENT EDUCATION

stripping.JPGlnterproximal reduction (IPR), also known as "tooth stripping" or "interdental reduction," is the removal of small amounts of outer enamel tooth surface between two adjacent teeth. This is beneficial when a small amount of dental crowding must be eliminated and the removal of adult teeth or expansion of the dental arches by themselves are not the best option. In other words, it is a means to acquire additional space to create ideal tooth alignment.

How  is IPR performed?

This procedure is performed by hand, using flexible diamond-coated strips that are worked back and forth between your teeth like a finger nail file, so that a very small part of the thickness of a tooth's enamel is trimmed where space is needed for orthodontic realignment.

Is this going to hurt?

Even though we are talking about removing enamel from living teeth the amount of enamel that's being removed is small and the thickness of enamel is so great, generally no discomfort is experienced. Plus there are no nerve endings in the outer layer of the tooth. So overall, this procedure is a not painful, very safe and effective means of creating ideal tooth alignment.

Will I notice gaps between  my teeth?

After your interproximal reduction is performed you will notice small gaps between your teeth. After all, making space is the whole idea associated with the procedure. Your new gaps may not, however, be nearly as apparent to others. And of course, as your treatment progresses your gaps will become smaller and smaller until they are fully closed.

Will this change, damage or hurt my  teeth?

Because only a very minor amount of enamel is removed, IPR does not result in the tooth appearing any thinner, nor should it result in an increased risk of tooth decay or sensitivity. There is nothing new about orthodontists performing interproximal reduction on teeth. In fact, this procedure has been in use for decades and many dental researchers have evaluated its long-term effects with no increased incidence of dental problems (e.g. tooth decay, gum tissue or bone problems).

before IPR
Before
before IPR
After