To investigate the correspondence between programmed interproximal reduction (p-IPR) and implemented interproximal reduction (i-IPR) in an everyday-practice scenario. The secondary objective was to estimate factors that might influence i-IPR to make the process more efficient.

Materials and Methods

Fifty patients treated with aligner therapy by six orthodontists were included in this prospective observational study. Impressions were taken at the beginning of treatment and after the first set of aligners. Data on p-IPR, i-IPR and technical aspects of IPR were gathered for 464 teeth. Statistical analyses included the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Kruskal-Wallis, and multilevel mixed regression.


Mean difference between p-IPR and i-IPR was 0.15 mm (SD: 0.14 mm; P = .0001), with lower canines showing the highest discrepancy. Use of burs and measuring gauges resulted in a smaller difference (respectively: coeff.: 0.09, P = .029; coeff.: −0.06, P = .013). IPR was performed more accurately on the mesial surface of teeth than on the distal surface. Round tripping before IPR resulted in a slightly more precise i-IPR compared to the previous alignment (coeff.: −0.021, P = .041).


Implemented IPR tends to be less than p-IPR, especially for lower canines and distal surfaces of teeth. Burs tend to provide more precise i-IPR, especially compared to manual strips; however, there is variation between the techniques. Using a measuring gauge tends to increase the precision of i-iPR. As several factors influence the implementation of IPR, particular attention must be paid during the procedure to maximize its precision.

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Author notes


Private Practice, Milan, Italy.


Professor. Department of Human Sciences and Innovation for the Territory, School of Dentistry, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.