Invisalign Update – What is IPR?

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign

I just entered week 16 of my Invisalign treatment. Two weeks ago, I visited my orthodontist to undergo IPR to create some additional room for movement.

What is IPR?

IPR stands for Interproximal Reduction. IPR is an orthodontic procedure wherein tooth enamel is reduced to facilitate treatment. Interproximal Reduction is a common orthodontic procedure that you could encounter with traditional metal braces, lingual braces, or other clear aligner brands.

In short – they remove a bit of your tooth via what is essentially sanding. IPR:

  • Creates space without tooth extraction
  • Makes teeth fit together better

In my case, the procedure killed two birds with one diamond disc (see below).

What IPR Entails

Depending on the space required your orthodontist may use several different tools to execute an IPR procedure.

IPR

For 0.1mm adjustments, a thin, flat, tape-like file is threaded between the teeth and moved back-and-forth to file.

If your treatment plan calls for adjustments greater than 0.1mm, your orthodontist will use what is essentially a dremel-like tool to do this with a diamond disc. The disc is carefully situated as appropriate and used to etch away the enamel in question.

That Sounds … Horrible

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