Quantitative comparison of 3 enamel-stripping devices in vitro: How precisely can we strip teeth?

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In this in-vitro study, we aimed to investigate the predictability of the expected amount of stripping using 3 common stripping devices on premolars.


One hundred eighty extracted premolars were mounted and aligned in silicone. Tooth mobility was tested with Periotest (Medizintechnik Gulden, Modautal, Germany) (8.3 ± 2.8 units). The selected methods for interproximal enamel reduction were hand-pulled strips (Horico, Hapf Ringleb & Company, Berlin, Germany), oscillating segmental disks (O-drive-OD 30; KaVo Dental, Biberach, Germany), and motor-driven abrasive strips (Orthofile; SDC Switzerland, Lugano-Grancia, Switzerland). With each device, the operator intended to strip 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, or 0.4 mm on the mesial side of 15 teeth. The teeth were scanned before and after stripping with a 3-dimensional laser scanner. Superposition and measurement of stripped enamel on the most mesial point of the tooth were conducted with Viewbox software (dHal Software, Kifissia, Greece). The Wilcoxon signed rank test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were applied; statistical significance was set at alpha ≤0.05.


Large variations between the intended and the actual amounts of stripped enamel, and between stripping procedures, were observed. Significant differences were found at 0.1 mm of intended stripping (P ≤0.05) for the hand-pulled method and at 0.4 mm of intended stripping (P ≤0.001 to P = 0.05) for all methods. For all scenarios of enamel reduction, the actual amount of stripping was less than the predetermined and expected amount of stripping. The Kruskal-Wallis analysis showed no significant differences between the 3 methods.


There were variations in the stripped amounts of enamel, and the stripping technique did not appear to be a significant predictor of the actual amount of enamel reduction. In most cases, actual stripping was less than the intended amount of enamel reduction.

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