What Is Interproximal Reduction?

Are you curious to know what is interproximal reduction? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about interproximal reduction in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is interproximal reduction?

Orthodontic treatment aims to align and correct the positioning of teeth to achieve a beautiful and functional smile. Interproximal reduction (IPR) is a technique commonly used by orthodontists to create space and improve tooth alignment. In this blog, we will explore what interproximal reduction is, its purpose in orthodontics, and its benefits for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.

What Is Interproximal Reduction?

Interproximal reduction, also known as enamel reduction, slenderizing, or tooth stripping, is a controlled and minimally invasive dental procedure. It involves the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel between adjacent teeth, primarily in the interproximal areas, to create space for proper alignment. The procedure is typically performed using specialized dental instruments, such as diamond strips or discs.

The Purpose Of Interproximal Reduction

  1. Space Creation: One of the primary purposes of interproximal reduction is to create space between teeth. By selectively removing a minimal amount of enamel, orthodontists can alleviate crowding or overlapping of teeth, facilitating their proper alignment within the dental arch. This space allows for the movement and positioning of teeth to achieve an ideal occlusion and a harmonious smile.
  2. Alignment Enhancement: Interproximal reduction aids in achieving optimal tooth alignment. By strategically reducing the width of certain teeth, orthodontists can address discrepancies in tooth size and improve the overall alignment of the dentition. This technique helps create symmetry and balance within the smile, enhancing both esthetics and functionality.

Benefits Of Interproximal Reduction

  1. Minimally Invasive: Interproximal reduction is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the removal of only a small amount of tooth enamel. Compared to more invasive techniques, such as tooth extraction, IPR preserves the natural tooth structure and minimizes the risk of complications.
  2. Improved Esthetics: By creating space and aligning teeth properly, interproximal reduction can significantly enhance the esthetics of a smile. The procedure helps correct crowded or overlapping teeth, resulting in a more harmonious and balanced appearance. Improved tooth alignment can also contribute to better oral hygiene and a healthier periodontal environment.
  3. Enhanced Treatment Efficiency: Interproximal reduction can expedite the orthodontic treatment process. By creating space between teeth, it allows for more efficient tooth movement, reducing the overall treatment duration. The precise control over tooth positioning achieved through IPR can also minimize the need for extensive orthodontic adjustments or refinements.
  4. Increased Stability: Proper alignment achieved through interproximal reduction can contribute to long-term stability. Teeth that are well-positioned and properly spaced are less likely to shift or relapse after orthodontic treatment. This increased stability helps maintain the desired results and reduces the likelihood of requiring further orthodontic interventions.

Considerations And Professional Expertise

Interproximal reduction is a technique that requires professional expertise and careful planning. Orthodontists assess the suitability of IPR based on various factors, such as the severity of crowding, tooth morphology, and overall treatment goals. They consider the amount of enamel reduction required and ensure that the procedure is performed conservatively, maintaining the structural integrity of the teeth.


Interproximal reduction is a valuable technique in orthodontics, offering numerous benefits for patients undergoing treatment. Through controlled removal of enamel, interproximal reduction creates space and improves tooth alignment, leading to a more esthetically pleasing smile and enhanced functionality. When performed by a skilled orthodontist, interproximal reduction can help expedite treatment, increase stability, and contribute to long-term oral health and well-being.

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What Are The Dangers Of Interproximal Reduction?

Complications or side effects from interproximal enamel reduction include hypersensitivity, irreversible damage to the dental pulp, increased plaque, higher risk of caries on the stripped enamel location and periodontal diseases.

What Does Interproximal Reduction Do?

Interproximal Reduction—also known as IPR, tooth polishing, stripping, or slenderization—is a very routine orthodontic procedure. It is commonly used as a strategy to make space to align crowded teeth. IPR involves removing small amounts of outer enamel tooth surface between two adjacent teeth.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Interproximal Reduction?

Pros and cons of interproximal reduction

The process is usually very efficient in solving the space problems that patients with common dental crowding have. However, if you go to a dentist or orthodontist who does not have the necessary knowledge and removes the enamel excessively, the patient may have future problems.

Does Interproximal Reduction Hurt?

As previously mentioned, IPR is not painful. In fact, you don’t even need to be numb! Your orthodontist will simply use a special tool to carefully reshape your teeth. If you’re only getting IPR between a few teeth, the entire process can be completed in less than 10 minutes.


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