Keep Your Smile Aligned
If you’re planning to undergo orthodontic treatment or are in the process, you want to make sure your teeth stay straight for years to come. It’s true that retainers are made to ensure your smile stays aligned after the treatment. However, sometimes teeth can shift back into their original position and it may seem like the treatment wasn’t worth the money.
At DeQuattro Orthodontics, our orthodontists have a solution to ensure your smile stays straight and stunning for years to come. Tooth width adjustment properly shapes the teeth to provide space for aligning. Read on to learn more about tooth width adjustments.
What Is Tooth Width Adjustment?
Tooth width adjustment, also known as interproximal reduction (IPR), is a procedure where your dentist removes a tiny amount of the outer tooth surface called enamel. The enamel is removed where the tooth makes contact with neighboring teeth. This procedure helps properly shape the teeth, creates more space for alignment, and helps the teeth fit together better.
In some cases, enough space can be created so no teeth need to be removed. With IPR, teeth are more likely to stay in place after removing braces. Orthodontists have used this trusted technique since the 1940s.
Benefits of Tooth Width Adjustment
When you choose tooth width adjustment, you can enjoy a variety of benefits including:
- Enhance smile appearance
- Boost self-confidence
- Improve alignment and bite
- Eliminate the need for extraction
How Tooth Width Adjustment Works
Tooth enamel is smoothed manually or with the aid of a specially-designed dental handpiece. IPR can be done alone or in combination with orthodontic appliance treatment, either in conjunction with tooth extractions or following treatment. Many times, front teeth are contoured during or after orthodontic treatment to create a balanced and harmonious appearance of teeth.
Ideal Candidates for Tooth Width Adjustment
Before you’re approved for IPR, your orthodontist will consider:
- The size and shape of your teeth
- Your tooth positions and alignment
- Your facial features
Education and experience in evaluating facial characteristics allow the orthodontist to develop a treatment goal that produces a healthy bite. If you have decayed teeth, unhealthy gums, or infected dental pulp, you may not qualify for tooth width adjustment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I care for my teeth after a tooth width adjustment procedure?
After the tooth width adjustment procedure, you must practice good oral hygiene habits. To ensure your teeth stay healthy, Dr. DeQuattro recommends following the instructions:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Floss daily
- Do topical fluoride treatment and a daily fluoride rinse to help teeth maintain resistance to decay.
- Schedule your biannual visits for professional cleanings and checkups
Does tooth width adjustment pose a risk to my gum and teeth?
There’s no risk if you decide on tooth width adjustment. Your teeth still have sufficient enamel to remain healthy and sound. The procedure doesn’t make teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, nor does it predispose gums to gum disease. Additionally, there are no nerve endings on the outer layer of the tooth, so the procedure should be painless. Occasionally, some patients may experience some sensitivity to hot or cold after the procedure, but the results are generally positive.
Receive a New Look at DeQuattro Orthodontics
If you want to ensure your teeth stay aligned after your orthodontic treatment, tooth width adjustment might be the right option for you. At DeQuattro Orthodontics, our orthodontics want you to feel confident in your brand new smile while ensuring your oral health is at its optimal.
Call our Wakefield, RI office at (401) 783-9890 or our Westerly, RI office at (401) 596-2264 to learn more about IPR or to schedule an appointment with us. You can also fill out our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly. We’re proud to provide services to Wakefield, Westerly, Narragansett, South Kingstown, Charlestown, Weekapaug, RI, and the surrounding areas.