Interproximal Reduction: What You Should Know 

March 21, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — wittortho @ 12:44 pm
Close-up of woman’s beautiful smile

Are you soon going to start on your journey with ClearCorrect? You may be excited about the road ahead, and understandably so. You have a more beautiful smile waiting for you! Still, your enthusiasm may be somewhat dimmed if you learn that you have to undergo a process known as interproximal reduction (IPR). It can seem a little scary at first. However, once you understand what it is and why it is so important, you can move forward with confidence.

What Is Interproximal Reduction? 

“Interproximal” is the word used to describe the area between teeth. Interproximal reduction is a dental procedure that involves removing a bit of enamel from the sides of teeth in order to increase the interproximal space. This is done with the aid of special instruments that can easily slide into the interproximal spaces and gently reshape the teeth.

Interproximal reduction is commonly used as a preparatory step prior to orthodontic services. It has been in use since the 1940s, and it has a firmly established track record of supporting successful, smooth teeth-straightening treatment.

Why Is Interproximal Reduction Necessary? 

Interproximal reduction may be recommended for you if you do not have adequate space between your teeth for your ClearCorrect aligners to fit well. This is often the case with individuals who have mild to moderate overcrowding in their dental arches.

The interproximal reduction procedure offers some noteworthy benefits:

  • In some cases, IPR can create enough space between the teeth for orthodontic appliances to work without the need for extractions. In other words, it can allow you to keep all of your teeth!
  • IPR can help your teeth to stay in their proper places after you complete your orthodontic treatment.
  • It can enhance the shape of your teeth and promote a harmonious bite.

What to Expect from Interproximal Reduction

The idea of getting your teeth shaved might sound a little intimidating, but there is nothing to be stressed about. Here is a general overview of what you can expect from the procedure:

  • Your orthodontist will take care to remove only as much enamel as absolutely necessary.
  • Most people have enough dental enamel that removing a few millimeters will not increase the risk of oral health problems.
  • Tooth enamel has no nerve endings. Therefore, your IPR treatment is likely to be comfortable.
  • IPR produces consistently positive outcomes. Some patients notice increased sensitivity afterward, but this issue is usually easy to manage with sensitivity-reducing toothpaste.

Interproximal reduction should not dampen your enthusiasm for your ClearCorrect treatment. It can be an important step on your journey to your new smile!

Meet the Practice 

Dr. Davis Witt has more than 25 years of experience in private practice. He uses his extensive knowledge of orthodontics to offer a wide range of treatments, including ClearCorrect and interproximal reduction. If you have questions about these services, our team would be pleased to speak with you. Contact our Holden office at 508-829-7650.

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