Interproximal reduction of teeth: Differences in perspective between orthodontists and dentists

  • Barcoma E
  • Shroff B
  • Best A
 et al. 
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Objective: To determine if interproximal reduction of teeth (IPR) is perceived differently by orthodontists and general dentists. Materials and Methods: A Web-based survey containing statements about IPR was developed and randomly distributed to orthodontists and general dentists. Results: The majority of orthodontists and general dentists strongly agreed that IPR is a minimally invasive procedure that poses little risk for the development of interproximal decay. However, general dentists were more likely to perform post-IPR polishing and to apply topical fluoride than are orthodontists (P , .0001). A greater percentage of orthodontists strongly believed that the esthetic and occlusal benefits of IPR outweigh the potential risk of tooth decay when IPR was performed (P , .0001). A greater percentage of general dentists were hesitant to perform IPR, despite research supporting that IPR has little negative effect on the health of teeth. Conclusions: The results of this study disproved the null hypothesis that orthodontists and general dentists share similar views regarding the use of IPR during orthodontic treatment. General dentists were more conservative in their views of IPR and were less comfortable with performing IPR as a routine procedure. General dentists felt more strongly about the importance of post-IPR polishing and application of topical fluoride. Orthodontists were more likely to have researched the long-term effects of IPR on the health of teeth and therefore felt more comfortable performing IPR during orthodontic treatment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dentists
  • Interproximal reduction
  • Orthodontists
  • Perception

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