Keep Your Smile Aligned
If you’re considering or undergoing orthodontic treatment, one of your main goals is likely to maintain straight teeth in the long run. Retainers help keep your smile aligned after treatment. However, there are instances when teeth can shift back to their original positions, leaving you feeling like the investment in orthodontics was not worthwhile.
At DeQuattro Orthodontics, our Wakefield and Westerly orthodontists understand the importance of preserving a straight and stunning smile for years to come. That’s why we offer a solution that goes beyond retainers: tooth width adjustment. By properly shaping the teeth to create space for alignment, this innovative technique can enhance your smile and ensure lasting results.
What Is Tooth Width Adjustment?
Tooth width adjustment, also known as interproximal reduction (IPR), is a dental procedure where your orthodontist carefully removes a small amount of enamel from the outer surface of the teeth where they contact with neighboring teeth. This technique aims to shape teeth, create more space for alignment, and improve their fit. This procedure offers a reliable solution to address crowded or misaligned teeth without the need for extractions, resulting in a beautifully aligned smile with long-lasting stability.
Benefits of Tooth Width Adjustment
Tooth width adjustment offers several notable benefits for patients seeking orthodontic treatment. This technique provides the following advantages:
- Enhanced Alignment: By selectively removing small amounts of enamel, tooth width adjustment allows for precise reshaping of the teeth. This results in improved alignment and positioning, creating a harmonious and balanced smile.
- Space Creation: Tooth width adjustment creates additional space between teeth. This is particularly beneficial in cases of overcrowding, where the space is limited. By carefully adjusting the width of the teeth, orthodontists can achieve optimal alignment without the need for tooth extraction.
- Stable Results: One significant advantage of tooth width adjustment is its ability to enhance the stability of orthodontic treatment outcomes. By properly shaping the teeth and improving their fit, this technique helps reduce the likelihood of teeth shifting back into their original positions.
- Improved Functionality: In addition to aesthetic benefits, tooth width adjustment also contributes to improved bite functionality. By ensuring that the teeth fit together properly, this technique helps promote optimal occlusion, facilitating comfortable and efficient chewing and speaking.
- Minimally Invasive: Tooth width adjustment is a minimally invasive procedure that involves removing only a small amount of enamel. This conservative approach preserves the natural structure of the teeth while achieving the desired alignment and aesthetics.
- Versatility: We can combine tooth width adjustment with various orthodontic treatments, including braces and clear aligners. This versatility allows orthodontists to tailor the treatment plan to the individual needs of each patient, ensuring optimal results.
Tooth Width Adjustment Process
During the initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. DeQuattro, who will evaluate your dental structure and discuss your specific concerns and goals. He’ll conduct a comprehensive examination, which may include dental X-rays and impressions, to assess the alignment and spacing of your teeth.
Based on the evaluation, he’ll determine if tooth width adjustment is a suitable option for you. Dr. DeQuattro will then explain the procedure, and potential benefits, and address questions or concerns you may have.
Once you and your orthodontist decide to proceed with tooth width adjustment, we’ll schedule your procedure. During the procedure, your Wakefield or Westerly orthodontist will carefully remove a small amount of enamel from the outer surface of the teeth in specific areas where they come into contact with neighboring teeth. The enamel removal is performed manually or using a specialized dental handpiece designed for precision and minimal invasiveness. The amount of enamel removed is determined by your orthodontist based on your unique dental needs and treatment goals.
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.
Following the tooth width adjustment procedure, your orthodontist will provide instructions for proper aftercare.
- Manage any pain with over-the-counter pain relievers
- Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, to keep the treated teeth and surrounding areas clean.
- Attend scheduled follow-up appointments with your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments.
Ideal Candidates for Tooth Width Adjustment
Before you’re approved for IPR, your orthodontist will consider the followings:
- The size and shape of your teeth
- Your tooth positions and alignment
- Your facial features
You may not qualify for tooth width adjustment if you have decayed teeth, unhealthy gums, or infected dental pulp.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the tooth width adjustment procedure take?
The duration of the procedure depends on the extent of enamel removal required. In most cases, tooth width adjustment can be completed within a single appointment, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to around 30 minutes.
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, your orthodontist recommends following the instructions:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Floss daily
- Get topical fluoride treatment and a daily fluoride rinse to help teeth maintain resistance to tooth 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.
How long will the results of tooth width adjustment last?
With proper aftercare and maintenance, the results of tooth width adjustment can be long-lasting. However, follow your orthodontist’s instructions regarding wearing retainers, practicing good oral hygiene, and attending regular dental check-ups to maintain the alignment and stability of your teeth.
Receive a New Look at DeQuattro Orthodontics. Schedule Now!
If you want to ensure your teeth stay aligned after your orthodontic treatment, tooth width adjustment might be the right option. At DeQuattro Orthodontics, our orthodontists 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 schedule an appointment. 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, and the surrounding areas.