In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about how attractive a gap in the front teeth might be. Some people might feel inclined to embrace the gap, but if you’re like most people with a gap in your smile, you’re probably not happy with it.
The good news is that if you’re unhappy with a gapped smile, our Columbia, SC cosmetic dentist can help. Actually, you have a lot of good options, so it’s more a matter of picking the right one than finding a solution.
What Causes Gaps in Teeth?
When there is a gap between your teeth, it’s known as a diastema. It’s common for these types of gaps to appear between the upper two front teeth. However, gaps can occur between any teeth. Gaps are usually caused for several reasons including the following:
- Mismatched size of teeth and jawbones
- Undersized or missing teeth
- Oversized labial frenum
- Thumb sucking
- Improper swallowing
- Gum disease
It’s Okay to Have a Gap
Before you figure out how to get rid of gaps in teeth, you should explore why it’s okay to have a gap. As long as your gap isn’t causing you bite problems or any other problems that affect your oral health, it’s really okay to have a gap between your two front teeth. However, if you want to learn how to get rid of a gap in your teeth, we offer several different treatment options to help you.
Invisalign is a great solution for people who are unhappy with their gapped smile but are otherwise happy with the size and shape of their teeth. It’s an orthodontic treatment that uses clear plastic aligners to move your teeth into position by incremental steps. These aligners are completely removable, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning food out of braces, or giving up any of your favorite foods.
The main limitation of Invisalign is that it takes time. Like traditional braces, it may take a year to complete treatment. This makes it best for people with orthodontic issues beyond just the gap in their smile, which you can fix more quickly with other options.
Dental bonding is when the same composite material used for tooth-colored fillings is used to reshape your teeth. It begins as a putty, which is then applied to your teeth on either side of the gap, closing it by extending your teeth. This is an especially good treatment if you are unhappy with the size or shape of your front teeth.
Dental bonding is quick. We complete it a single visit and it’s the least expensive option. It does have the limitation that it tends not to be as durable as other options, and it’s more susceptible to staining.
Porcelain veneers are thin facades of ceramic that we apply to the front of your teeth to reshape them. This is similar to the way dental bonding works, but it gives us more flexibility, and it often gives us more attractive results.
Porcelain veneers do have the limitation that we have to send your impressions to a dental laboratory and wait to receive the finished veneers, which can take a couple of weeks. However, the results from porcelain veneers can last a decade or more.
I Have a Gap in My Front Teeth, Which Treatment Is Right For Me?
It can be hard to weigh the benefits and limitations of all your treatment options to find the one that’s best for you. During your consultation, we’ll talk about each option in detail and give recommendations based on your smile and your cosmetic goals.
To learn more about closing gaps in your smile, please contact cosmetic dentist Dr. Adam Hahn in Columbia, SC today at (803) 781-9090.