You may have taken great care of your teeth over the years. The only problem is that 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 after awhile, you’ve been noticing the growing number and those gaps in your teeth seem to be disrupting your body image.
Thankfully, that gap doesn’t have to be permanent for there are various treatments available.
There are several reasons why you’re experiencing gaps in teeth.
- If there is a mismatch between the size of the jaw bones and the size of the teeth
- Missing or undersized teeth can cause neighboring teeth to move and attempt to help close one gap, but this movement creates entirely new gaps.
- Oversized labial frenum
- Bad habits like thumb sucking
- Spaces can develop if your swallowing reflex does not happen properly.
- Gum disease causes your jawbone, which supports the teeth, to weaken and recede.
Depending on the severity of your gapped teeth, there are several treatment options available.
Dental bonding is the easiest, quickest, and most economical way to fix the gap between your teeth. It 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.
Although it’s one of the least expensive options, it’s more prone to staining. The procedure is also not as strong as other restorative procedures like veneers, since the material is prone to chipping and breaking off the tooth. But 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 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 may look great, 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. Without that enamel, your teeth need the veneers for protection.
Moving the two teeth will also create gaps in between every other tooth. For this reason, you might require braces for all of your teeth.
Thankfully if you’re uncomfortable with metal brackets, there are other options like invisible aligners which are far less noticeable and can even be removed. Orthodontics is a great option for giving your smile a complete makeover, fixing many aesthetic and functional problems.
The downside, of course, is that orthodontic treatment will take longer than dental bonding or veneers. But for severe cases, sometimes you can’t get around the extra time.