Are You A Candidate For Interproximal Reduction?

Posted on: 9 October 2015

An interproximal reduction is a dental procedure that involves removing some enamel (the outermost part of the teeth) without damaging the inner tissues. It is also known as interdental reduction or teeth shaving, among other dental names. Here are examples of four situations in which you may need the procedure:

Your Teeth Are Crowded

One of the primary reasons for conducting interproximal reduction is to reduce overcrowding. Your dentist may suggest teeth shaving if the overcrowding is the only issue with your teeth. Trimming reduces the individual sizes of your teeth, which in turn increases the sizes of their gaps and makes them seem less crowded.

Your Teeth Have Different Sizes

Ideally, your corresponding teeth should all be of the same sizes. This means your upper left molars should mirror your upper right molars. This may not be a big problem if the discrepancies are minimal. However, extreme discrepancies may make you self-conscious when smiling.

Shaving the enamel is one method of dealing with this problem. The dentist can remove some enamel off the bigger teeth so that they mirror the smaller ones.

Your Incisors Are Proclined

If your incisors are proclined, it means that they are flared outwards. Orthodontics, such as braces, may be used to pull such teeth back and align them with the others. However, this is only possible if the incisors are properly sized. If pulling them back would make them touch each other, or they are already too close for comfort, then you need to have them reduced first before correcting the alignment.

Your Upper Teeth Overjet

An overjet is a condition in which your upper and lower teeth aren't in line with each other, and the lower teeth are located some distance behind the upper ones. Don't confuse it with an overbite, a more common word (though the condition itself is less common than overjets), meaning your upper teeth are longer than normal. If the overjet isn't extreme, then your dentist can strip away some enamel and bring back the upper teeth in line with the lower ones.

Teeth shaving is one of the dental procedures you should never try at home. You may be tempted, for example, to take an ordinary file and remove some enamel to reduce some of your teeth's sizes, but that is a dangerous move. You may make your teeth hypersensitive and more susceptible to bacterial attack if you remove too much enamel.  

For more information, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area.