Interproximal reduction (IPR) is the removal of small amounts of outer enamel tooth surface between two adjacent teeth. It is a means to acquire additional space to create ideal tooth alignment. Alternative names include: slenderizing, stripping, enamel reduction, and reproximation.
Benefits of IPR
- Creates space to improve tooth alignment.
- Helps to improve the bite (the way your teeth fit together).
- May help to improve the appearance of the teeth, reshaping them for a better esthetic outcome.
- Can increase the stability of the teeth, so they will retain their position long term.
- Can reduce “black triangles.” This is created by the absence of gum tissue (gingival papilla) between teeth and gives the appearance of a dark space or hole.
- IPR in certain cases may alleviate the need for permanent tooth extractions. Note: IPR may also be used in conjunction with tooth extractions for reasons listed above.
Considerations for IPR
- There are several factors an orthodontist must consider to determine if IPR is appropriate treatment.
- Size and shape of the teeth.
- The Position and alignment of the teeth.
- The patient’s facial features.
- Existence of “black triangles” and need for esthetic improvement.