In vivo enamel stripping: A macroscopic and microscopic analytical studyStripping in vivo : étude analytique macroscopique et microscopique

International Orthodontics

Available online 10 April 2019

International Orthodontics



Interdental stripping is often used in orthodontics to correct discrepancies of tooth shape or size. However, this procedure involves significant risks for the enamel. The roughness of the enamel surface might depend on the instruments used; it can lead to the accumulation of cariogenic plaque and periodontal problems. The main objective of our study was to evaluate the enamel surface condition after interproximal stripping in the mouth, by comparing different manual and mechanized enamel reduction protocols; on the other hand, the topography of the stripped area was observed to specify its location on the stripped proximal surfaces.

Materials and methods

An in vivo study was carried out: interdental stripping was performed in the mouths of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment and on healthy teeth intended for extraction for orthodontic or periodontal reasons. The sample was divided into four groups: in group 1, the distal faces were stripped with conventional single-sided diamond abrasive strips and non-stripped mesial faces (control faces); in group 2: the distal faces were stripped with the manual ContacEZ IRP Kit (single-sided abrasive files of different grain sizes) and non-stripped mesial faces (control faces); in group 3: the faces were stripped with ContacEZ IRP diamond discs attached to a handpiece and the mesial faces were not stripped (control faces); in group 4: the distal faces were stripped with the Intensiv Ortho-Strips mechanized system and the mesial faces were not stripped (control faces).


Our study showed that regardless of the type of stripping material used, the enamel surface showed some roughness with the presence of striations and grooves of different widths and depths. Our observations objectivised more regular and less roughened enamel surface conditions when using the Intensiv oscillating files. Manual instruments (abrasive strips and files) have shown rougher and more irregular surface conditions that may constitute a real risk of carious and periodontal disease. The macroscopic evaluation of the topography of the stripped area showed that there is great variability in the situation and extent of the stripped area in relation to several parameters.


The current mechanized instruments (oscillating files) provide enamel stripping with more comfort for the patient and the practitioner, and seem to produce a more regular and less harmful surface condition for the tooth and periodontium.
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