Dental alignment issues can not only impact your appearance but, over time, they can also affect a patient's overall health. Patients and parents alike are often unsure about what course of action to take when fixing gaps between the teeth. In addition to braces, several great cosmetic dentistry treatment options are available depending on the severity.
Which treatment option is the right choice for you?
Key Causes of Gaps Between Teeth
Gapped teeth, also called a diastema, cause distinct gaps between the teeth. Diastema is often used for the most common gap in the mouth - the gap between the front two upper teeth. It is estimated that 50% of children under the age of 5 have this type of genetic gap, and it typically closes on its own by the age of 9.
Additional Jaw Space
Aside from genetics, there are a few other reasons why gaps in the teeth can develop. If there is a size mismatch between your child's jaw and teeth size, there may be extra room in the jaw for the teeth to space apart.
The use of a pacifier or thumb-sucking can also result in gaps between the upper front teeth.
The maxillary labial frenum is a strip of tissue that connects the upper lip's underside to the gum tissue between the two front teeth. If this strip is too thick, it can prevent the two front teeth from closing together.
Closing Dental Gaps
Gaps in the teeth can be closed with various treatments. The most common correction for gapped teeth is through the use of orthodontic braces. Other cosmetic treatments can be used to close minor gaps depending on the gap's location and why it's occurring.
Dentists recommend dental implants to patients who have a gap in their teeth from losing a tooth. Spaces between teeth can be an open invitation to harmful bacteria, bone loss, and the shifting of surrounding teeth. Dental implants are considered the best and most permanent solution for closing a gap between teeth that have resulted from permanent tooth loss.
A gap between teeth is one of the most common orthodontic concerns in the United States. Braces are considered the most effective treatment for closing unwanted gaps and spaces in complicated cases. Traditional orthodontic treatment can be useful for alignment cases ranging from mild to severe.
Invisalign is designed with 3-D imagery to move and shift a patient's teeth into proper alignment without traditional metal braces. Clear aligners work by pushing the teeth together to close gaps and improve the bite's alignment. Invisalign treatments offer the same result as traditional braces, but without metal, and it's the ideal choice for closing minor gaps between the teeth.
Dental bonding is the perfect solution for minor gaps between the front teeth and solving aesthetic issues. Your dentist will prepare the surface of the teeth and apply a tooth-colored bonding material. The tooth-colored composite resin is skillfully applied to cover the gap between the front teeth. Dental bonding is recommended for patients with a misaligned bite, crooked or crowded teeth.
Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells applied to the teeth' surface to conceal stains and close small gaps between the teeth. In just a single visit, veneers can transform flawed teeth into an evenly spaced, perfectly shaped smile.
In situations that involve a small tooth that results in a gap between teeth, a porcelain crown can close a cap.
Depending on the size and severity of your gap, your dentist will recommend the best treatment option for your smile. Not only are esthetics vital to us, but Thompkins Dental also ensures all of our patients achieve maximum comfort and bite stability. If you're ready to fix an unwanted gap between your teeth, contact us today to schedule a consultation.