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2Q8. Why do I need cosmetic recontouring/ slenderizing/ interproximal recontouring (IPR) of my teeth?

Why do I need cosmetic recontouring/ slenderizing/ interproximal reduction (IPR) of my teeth?

There are several reasons for slenderizing of teeth:


Borderline extraction case

During diagnostic work up of a patient’s case, orthodontist will determine exactly how many millimeters of space are needed to resolve patient’s dental crowding, to maintain or improve profile, and to create or maintain a proper bite between the upper jaw and the lower jaw. If a patient requires 4 mm or less space and if patient have teeth with adequate enamel between the teeth, one way to obtain the additional space is by slenderizing patient’s teeth.


Bolton Discrepancy – oversized or undersized tooth preventing proper meshing of upper teeth to the lower teeth

By natural design, when a patient bite down upper and lower teeth should mesh perfectly. If the upper front teeth are abnormally small, then they would need to be build back up to the regular size. However, if the lower front teeth are unusually large, then the lower front teeth would need to be slenderized to a normal size for the upper and lower teeth to mesh or occlude properly.

Esthetic reason – oversized tooth

Some patient may have one or multiple unusually large or misshaped teeth. In some cases not only the bite but the final esthetic result of the treatment would be compromised if these teeth are not reduced or restored into normal size. For oversized teeth, it would often be necessary slenderize them to normal size.

Black triangle

As we age, our gums around our teeth usually recede and become less full. This may not be a problem for adults who have crowded front teeth since those front teeth often overlap each other. However, if these adult patients seek orthodontic treatment and their anterior crowding begin to unravel; the patient will begin to see spaces between the front teeth just above the gum. These spaces between the roots of the teeth are often described as “black triangles”. One way to minimize the “black triangle” is by making the front teeth less triangular by slenderizing the teeth. After slenderizing the teeth, the residual space can be closed easily and size of the black triangle would be minimized.