Navigating the Nuances of Interproximal Reduction in Orthodontics: Insights and Innovations

Have you ever questioned the precision of IPR in orthodontic treatments? Interproximal Reduction (IPR) is a cornerstone technique in orthodontics, particularly when working with clear aligners. It’s employed to create space, helping to alleviate crowding or correct a Bolton discrepancy. However, a crucial aspect often overlooked is the accuracy of IPR reports generated by orthodontic planning software like ClinCheck® and iOrtho.

Why the Focus on IPR Accuracy?

Digital scanning technologies and orthodontic planning software, while advanced, have limitations. They cannot precisely gauge the micro-collisions that occur between teeth during treatment. This means that an IPR report suggesting a reduction of 0.3mm between two teeth might actually require 0.28mm or even 0.35mm. Such discrepancies, albeit small, can significantly impact treatment outcomes, leading to tracking issues or residual spaces upon completion.

A Revealing Study* 

A recent publication in the Australasian Orthodontic Journal highlighted this issue. The study found that the actual amount of IPR performed was significantly less than prescribed – achieving only 44.0% of the total prescribed per tooth, with a mean discrepancy of 0.16 mm per tooth. This finding underscores the necessity of viewing IPR reports as guides rather than absolute directives.

Strategies for Effective IPR Management

Clinician’s Role in IPR

As dental professionals, it’s essential to approach IPR reports with a critical eye. Understanding that these reports serve as guides rather than exact measurements can enhance treatment outcomes. This awareness encourages clinicians to rely on their expertise and judgment during the procedure.

Join the Conversation

We are eager to hear from you! Share your experiences, thoughts, or queries about IPR in the comments section below. Let’s collectively explore ways to refine orthodontic treatments for better efficacy and precision.

*Citation: Weir, Tony & Shailendran, Arun & Kerr, Brett & Freer, Elissa. (2021). Quantitative assessment of interproximal tooth reduction performed as part of Invisalign® treatment in 10 orthodontic practices. Australasian Orthodontic Journal. 37. 176-186. 10.21307/aoj-2021.019. 

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