Tech Tip: IPR - Contouring

When you perform IPR with a diamond disc, you may end up with flat surfaces between the teeth and sharp corners at the edges. This isn't necessarily a functional problem, but some doctors and patients find it aesthetically displeasing. If the square corners are touching on the lingual, sometimes the buccal contact looks open. Proper contouring can conceal the evidence of IPR and restore teeth to their natural contours.

Contouring after IPR 1.png

Aligning teeth with rounded contacts can also reduce the arch length and reduce the appearance of open space between teeth. A rounded surface allows for the tooth to rotate without having the corners coming into contact.

Hygiene can also be an issue, because natural rounded contacts have a spot surface contact and a flat IPR surface has a broad larger contact. This means cavities will be larger on the broad contact when compared to the spot contact.

How to contour teeth


After you finish performing IPR with a diamond disc, file the corners with a diamond strip by bending the strip into a "U" shape and holding it that way as you move it back and forth around the corners of the newly created space. You don't want to reduce the main contact area more than neccessary, so make sure the strip is only touching the corners that you want to round off—not the middle of the contact surface.

We offer a complete IPR kit with discs, strips, burs, and gauges. You can purchase the full IPR kit on our online store.

We hope you found this information helpful. Check out our Help Center which is filled with useful information on the topic of IPR and clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

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