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Approximal enamel reduction

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

What is proximal enamel reduction and what does it do?

With the help of approximal enamel reduction, or ASR for short, the enamel at the contact points of two teeth is minimally reduced. In the case of crowding, this creates space that may be necessary for the correction of malocclusions. And all this is done without extraction. ASR is performed with the aid of fine polishing strips.

Advantages of approximal enamel reduction

Extracting two molars usually creates a space gain of 10-15 mm. However, this rarely corresponds to the space that is really required, whereas approximal enamel reduction can be used in a very targeted manner and can thus be adapted exactly to the individually required space.

In this way, the required tooth movement is minimized and negative consequences of large tooth movements, such as root resorption, which is a pathological degradation of tooth structure in the area of the tooth root, are prevented. In addition, the duration of the treatment is shortened.

Esthetic effects

While approximal enamel reduction offers various advantages for the course and outcome of treatment with transparent dental splints, there are no esthetic implications here. There is also no risk of flattening the profile.

Amount of reduction

Very little tooth structure is sacrificed. This has no clinical relevance and may even prevent tooth extraction. Emerging edges are treated so that the texture is similar to that of untreated enamel.

Caries and temperature sensitivity

Long-term studies show that enamel reduction has no effect on the temperature sensitivity of teeth, and the risk of caries is not increased.


The treatment is not painful, but is similar to the sensation of removing tartar. Therefore, ASR is usually performed without local anesthesia.

Daily dental care

If your treating dentist deems it necessary to grind your teeth for the purpose of aligner treatment, you will be asked to use toothpaste with extra fluoride as your daily dental care during the initial period. Please consult your dentist about this.


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