IPR stands for Interproximal Reduction. Although this process is employed with all kinds of orthodontics, it is a commonly used part of Invisalign treatment to repair crowded teeth. Thus, our Auburn dentist wants you to know answers to these questions: what is IPR and why is it a commonly employed orthodontic process for treating specific issues with the teeth during the orthodontic process?
IPR is also known as “enamel reduction,” because it requires rubbing away little portions of the outermost enamel from multiple teeth in spots that are crowded or that surround crowded teeth. Flexible strips of considerably more fine material, similar to sandpaper, are employed to rub away little portions of outermost enamel. Hand tools or dental instruments are employed to accomplish IPR. A typical tooth loses no more than .2 or .3 millimeters of outermost enamel during the entire Invisalign treatment experience. Tooth enamel can be 2.5 millimeters thick, so IPR removes only a small quantity and is only performed on specially selected teeth – never your whole mouth.
IPR is employed alongside additional orthodontic processes such as when adjusting arch width or the incline of the teeth (proclination). Often, people with crowded teeth have narrow arches and their teeth are inclined in a way that exacerbates their issues. By widening their arch and treating their proclination, considerably more room is made for all the teeth. The little amounts of IPR performed on certain teeth during your orthodontic process allows them to move into their intended positions along the mandibular and maxillary arches.
The first alternative to IPR is extracting one or more of the crowded teeth in order to make room for remaining teeth. Most customers, if given the choice between enamel reduction and extracting teeth, understandably choose to go with IPR! This makes sense if you consider that the extraction process often requires the dentist to still use IPR on remaining teeth.
The office of Rock Creek Dental considers every tooth to be important and should be retained if at all possible. IPR helps meet this goal if dealing with crowded teeth. It encourages greater stability of the teeth, requires no healing period (unlike extractions), and speeds up your orthodontic process, saving the you time and money.
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