Nobody likes having a gap between teeth. The reality is that some people have no choice but to live with it simply because they can not find affordable dental care. Sometimes those who were born with a gap between teeth can find it very difficult to accept his or her smile. While many people are okay with the gap, there are also just as many people who are looking for a permanent fix.
A gap between teeth can make individuals self-conscious and for many reasons. It may be the look of the gap, or it may even be that food gets caught, and it is uncomfortable. Although a gap creates a signature look for some and they are okay with it, it is vital to know that this gap can become a breeding ground for germs.
Several options can be explored to help close a gap between teeth. Even options that do not require braces.
Here are some general scenarios for gaps that exist between:
Front and Side Teeth:
The first option is for a gap that may be present between your front and side teeth. The side teeth, also known as the lateral incisors, are skinny and rectangular. For this particular scenario, counterbalancing the smile and its proportions may be a great idea. The best option for this is with cosmetic bonding. Cosmetic bonding is considered a non-invasive procedure that can be completed by your dentist in as little as 30 minutes.
Canines on One Side:
Gaps between the canines are common, and there may be a couple of different situations that could occur. It may be that adult canine is in a hard to reach place or it may be that the baby canine is still present. In either of these cases, bonding is a great option to make the teeth appear more substantial and more symmetrical. The teeth generally need to be straightened before bonding, which can sometimes be a bit tricky. If the baby tooth is still present, exercise caution because the root of the baby tooth if it is still present, may be small and fragile.
Having a gap between teeth, especially the front two, is probably one of the most common scenarios and can happen for many reasons. One possible reason is that the front two teeth could be smaller than usual. A fix for that is to bond the teeth, making them larger and moving them closer together.
It is highly possible that the gap is there because of a small bit of gum tissue called the frenum. This piece of tissue can prevent the teeth from moving closer together, and it is possible it may need to be removed. In many cases, aligners or retainers can help move the teeth closer together, closing the gap.
Having a gap between all of your teeth is something that can happen and often does because when compared to the jaw, the teeth are too small. It would seem logical that you could wear an aligner, but in this case, it may not be the best option. An aligner used for this purpose may still leave some gaps on the upper back portion of the mouth. These gaps as discussed previously can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and they are now in a place that could be quite difficult to reach.
Alternatives such as bonding might be suggested and offered, but do proceed with caution. Bonding could close most of the gaps, but if any space remains (at the top and back of the mouth, for example) this could cause the upper teeth to sit behind the lower teeth, which will create another problem in and of itself.
Unfortunately, because everyone is different, there is no one size fits all treatment plan to fix a gap between teeth but do know that there is undoubtedly an option that will work for you. In addition to the ideas as mentioned above, here are a few other options to close a gap between teeth without braces:
This particular solution is excellent for fixing large gaps, quickly. This method involves tooth-colored resin applied directly to the tooth and then hardened with a special light. Within a matter of hours, your tooth will return to normal, even if it was chipped or broken.
Crowns and Veneers:
Veneers, typically made of porcelain, are thin and are attached directly to the front of the tooth. However, veneers are a permanent option, and before they can be attached, a small portion of the tooth will need to be removed. Dental crowns are a “cap” for a tooth and cover the majority of the tooth itself. Crowns are a great option to help deal with decay or damage caused by trauma.
Dentures are an option with which many people are familiar. Most commonly people know dentures to be a removable option. Dentures can be considered partial or complete and are typically the best option for those who have lost several teeth. The loss of several teeth could be due to trauma or even a decline in oral health.
Dental implants can be fixed or even removable. These are a great option if you have several teeth that have large gaps between them. Once your implants are complete, they will give that natural looking smile.
While there are several options for closing a gap between teeth, one common trend among those that want to try fixing things themselves, are bands. While they may seem like a logical and cheap option, the use of a band can have serious consequences. Using this method can affect everything from the gum tissue and bone to the teeth themselves. This method can make the teeth appear even more crooked and can also pose a higher risk for tooth loss.
Some commonly asked questions about a gap between teeth are:
How do you treat diastema naturally?
- One easy way is to leave it. You may be better off letting the gap be if it is not causing you any problems. After all, plenty of people, even famous people, have gaps.
- As stated above, porcelain veneers are a good option.
- Teeth with implants as well as bridge and crown work are also options. Keep in mind; however, implant options would be for the adult patient.
How long does dental bonding last?
The lifespan of bonding materials varies and is based upon how much bonding is done. Another contributing factor is oral habits. Typically, however, bonding material can last three to as many as ten years before needing to be replaced or touched up.
Why am I getting gaps between my teeth?
If you have a gap that was caused by periodontal disease, then you will need to see a periodontist (gum specialist) or dentist for periodontal treatment. Once gum health is restored, often braces can be used to help close any gaps.
How can I fix a gap in my teeth myself?
- Retainer: One of the most cost-effective and straightforward ways to close a gap is a retainer.
- Dental Bonding: If chipping is to blame for the gap in your teeth, then dental bonding might be the best solution.
- Veneers: Veneers make a great option and can give you that picture-perfect smile.
Ultimately, there are several options, but it is always best to discuss any potential concerns, even gaps, with your dentist. While it can be hard to find affordable dental care, Nebraska Family Dentistry offers several different payment options so that you can have the smile of your dreams!
This article was written by Dr. Kathryn Alderman who can be found at the East location of Nebraska Family Dentistry, Preserve Family Dentistry. Schedule online 24/7 to meet this caring, gentle family dentist. Nebraska Family Dentistry and Dr. Kathryn Alderman promise to provide you with the best that dentistry has to offer.