No matter how well we take care of our teeth, we are ultimately at the mercy of our genetics. While this can leave many people susceptible to staining and tooth decay, it can leave others predisposed to alignment or development issues that can cause gaps in teeth. Also known as diastema, this common occurrence is treatable in several different ways. If you are concerned about gaps between your teeth, here are some options.
How Are Gapped Teeth Treated?
Depending on the nature and severity of your issue, there are several ways your dentist can close or conceal the gap. These include:
The quickest, easiest and most affordable way to address gapped teeth, dental bonding involves the application of a natural-looking, tooth-like resin material to your teeth. The bonding material is shaped and hardened with a special light which helps bond it to the surface of your tooth.
While it is one of the simplest and most affordable options, bonding is susceptible to staining. It’s also less durable than other restorative procedures such as veneers. That said, research has shown that bonds can last a long time if you follow your dentist’s recommendations for proper care and maintenance.
A thin strip of porcelain, a veneer is shaped in a lab to resemble a person’s unique tooth. The dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from a patient’s tooth to accommodate the veneer. The veneer is then bonded over the front of a tooth to cover the gap. Once they are bonded in place, veneers become extremely durable and difficult to break. They also look great and last indefinitely. In many instances, dentists can place veneers without the need for other procedures. In some cases, however, orthodontics might be necessary to correct gapped teeth.
For especially severe cases of diastema, you may need orthodontic treatments. Since correcting gaps in front teeth can cause gaps elsewhere, the orthodontist will likely place braces on all of your teeth. While some people require traditional metal braces, others may be able to take advantage of invisible aligners which are removable and less noticeable.
Orthodontics can be a great way to give your smile a complete makeover. This can lead to a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile which is much easier to clean. With that said, orthodontic treatments take longer than veneers or dental bonding.
Getting Good Results
While dentists have several options for treating diastema, research has shown that effective treatment depends greatly on an accurate diagnosis and appropriate intervention. Make sure you talk to your dentist to explore every available opportunity, so you can get the right treatment for your distinctive needs. It’s also important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for maintaining your resin, veneers or braces, so you can avoid complications and get the smile you’ve always wanted.