You may have taken great care of your teeth over the years. You’ve brushed and flossed, kept them clean and white, and for the most part, you’re proud of your smile. The only problem is, there is a slowly growing dark spot right in the center of your smile: a gap in between your front teeth! It may only be a fraction of an inch, but in some circumstances, that gap could feel bigger than the grand canyon.
Fortunately, that gap doesn’t have to be permanent. There are several treatments available for “gapped teeth” and fixing them carries both aesthetic and health benefits for your smile. The following are the treatment options available:
1. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is the easiest, quickest, and most economical way to fix the gap between your teeth. The simple procedure involves the application of a tooth-colored resin material to your teeth. The material is shaped to look natural and then hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” it to the tooth to close the gap in your smile.
Bonding can usually be completed in one office visit. Unlike veneers, we don’t need to remove tooth enamel, which means the process can be reversed if necessary.
Although it’s one of the least expensive and simplest options, bonding material is a bit more prone to staining. The procedure is also not as strong as other restorative procedures like veneers, as the bonding material is prone to chipping and breaking off the tooth after several years. However, good care and maintenance of your bond means it can last a long time, and correcting a broken bonding is a simple procedure.
Porcelain veneers are another cosmetic procedure that can fix the gaps in between your front teeth. They are a little more involved than dental bonding, but the procedure is still relatively simple and the results will last for many years.
A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that has been shaped in a lab to match the shape and color of your teeth. It is placed and bonded over the front of your tooth and acts like a mask, covering up any imperfections or gaps in your teeth. Once bonded, the thin piece of porcelain becomes very sturdy and difficult to break.
Veneers look great and are permanent, but patients should know the process is irreversible. A thin layer of enamel must be removed from the front of your teeth to make room for the veneers, and without that enamel, your teeth need the veneers for protection. Veneers can correct many cosmetic issues, but depending on the cause of the gaps in your teeth, orthodontics might be required.
For more severe cases of diastema, we may need to refer you to an orthodontist. Correcting the gaps in your front teeth isn’t as simple as moving your front teeth. Moving those two teeth will also create gaps in between every other tooth. For this reason, you might require braces for all of your teeth.
But don’t worry, if you’re against having metal brackets on your teeth, there are other options like invisible aligners which are far less noticeable and can even be removed. Orthodontics are a great option for giving your smile a complete makeover, fixing many aesthetic and functional problems. This can lead to a healthier smile and make your teeth easier to clean.
The downside, of course, is that orthodontic treatment will take longer than dental bonding or veneers. Also, it is expensive.
But for severe cases, sometimes you can’t get around the extra time.