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IPR—A Conservative Approach to Overcrowding


In the course of discussing the direction of dentistry with a few of my dentist friends, one particular theme was repeated over and over—conservative dentistry. This approach to oral health care touches just about all procedures and specialties. In one recent conversation, the topic of overcrowding came up.


Because of my unfamiliarity with this subject, my friends gave me a quick primer, with a strong focus on interproximal reduction (IPR). They clued me in that the main reason to use IPR is to resolve overcrowding. It’s one of five ways to take care of this problem.


The other, much less conservative approaches include moving the teeth back or forward, moving the teeth wider through expansion, and removing tooth mass through extraction.


With IPR, which removes just a little bit of tooth structure in very small increments, clinicians can reduce black triangles, create more stable retention, resolve tooth size discrepancy, adjust the midline, and retract proclined anterior teeth.


IPR can be performed with diamond-coated slow-speed discs, manual strips, or mechanical strips. Strauss Diamond Instruments, for example, has a full line of IPR instruments, including Interproximal Reduction Diamond Burs, the IPR Gauge Set to measure and confirm space, the Magic Strip Assortment Kit, and the Magic IPR System.


I’ve been impressed by the trend toward more conservative dentistry among clinicians. Support of that approach is provided by companies like Strauss Diamond Instruments. They put research time and money into developing products that allow for the preservation of as much tooth structure as possible while allowing clinicians to deliver the highest level of care.

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