Crowded teeth are a common trait in many patients who seek orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes achieving ideal alignment requires more than simply shifting teeth. In some cases of overcrowding, interproximal reduction helps provide enough room to align teeth properly.
Interproximal reduction is a technique that is often used in conjunction with Invisalign treatment. It can provide quicker results in many cases when combined with orthodontics.
Interproximal reduction is the removal of a tiny amount of enamel between teeth to slightly decrease their width. This technique also is known as slenderizing, enamel reduction, stripping, selective reduction or reproximation.
How the Process Works
Front teeth create the framework upon which the lips rest, so their position alone plays an important role in a person’s facial appearance.
Once Orthodontists, identify which teeth to slenderize, they use a small, flexible file strip- referred to as a lightning strip- to gently remove tiny layers of the enamel along the sides of the teeth. The small amount of enamel removed does not affect the tooth, which remains healthy and sound.
This procedure creates the necessary space to allow the teeth to be shifted into place and fit closely together without being overcrowded. This shifting process helps Orthodontists create an ideal bite pattern and appearance for each patient.
Because most teeth are wider at the bottom and taper slightly at the gum, interproximal reduction sometimes helps prevent what is known as a “black triangle.” This is the open space that often results when two neighboring teeth don’t fit tightly against each other near the gumline, which creates the appearance of a dark hole or space.
the most important goal for an orthodontist is to properly align each patient’s teeth in a manner that best promotes good oral health, and also to create the most aesthetically pleasing smile possible. A black triangle can detract from that beautiful smile, so having a technique such as interproximal reduction offers a simple, painless way to correct that.
In some cases, patients may experience slightly increased tooth sensitivity in the area after interproximal reduction, but this can be alleviated by using a toothpaste designed for aiding in tooth sensitivity.