Gaps between the teeth, especially the front teeth, currently seem to be a fashion statement. However, if your gap is making you feel self-conscious then you may be wondering if it’s possible to fix a gap in your teeth without orthodontic braces. Before we answer your question, let’s take a quick look at the cause of gaps.
What causes gaps in the teeth?
Gapped teeth, also known as diastemas, are one of the most common dental issues and can result from several issues:
- Disproportionately sized teeth – Gaps may occur when a person’s teeth aren’t large enough for the size of their jaw bone. As a result, other teeth may spread out causing gaps.
- Oversized labial frenum – A gap in the front teeth can be the result of the tissue located above (labial frenum) having grown in between the teeth, prising them apart
- Thumb sucking – Childhood habits such as sucking the thumb can also trigger a gap as the sucking motion forces the teeth forward creating a gap.
- Gum disease – Diastemas can also be caused by gum disease. The infection causes damage to the gums and soft tissues supporting the teeth which may lead to gaps between the teeth or tooth loss.
How to fix a gap in the teeth
You’ll be happy to know that at No Gaps Dental, we fix gaps in the teeth all the time. While orthodontic braces are one method we use to close gaps, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several other methods we can use depending on the size of the gap.
It’s important for patients to discuss all of their treatment options with their dentist to ensure the best outcome. Just filling the gap between teeth doesn’t always result in a natural look. Treatment plans differ according to the size of the gap, but in the main, there are two treatments we use to fix a small gap in teeth.
Cosmetic bonding is the simplest and most cost-effective procedure and since minimal tooth preparation is required, it can be completed in one visit.
The procedure involves the use of a conditioning gel which gently roughens the teeth to help the bonded material adhere to them.
A tooth coloured composite resin material is then applied and cured with a UV light.
Our dentist then shapes and polishes the resin so it matches seamlessly with your other teeth.
Although excellent results can be obtained with dental bonding, the resin can stain over time. Veneers are more resistant to staining and typically last longer since they are stronger and more resistant to cracks and fractures.
Porcelain veneers are another popular way to fix a gap in the teeth. They consist of thin shells of porcelain, which cover the front surface of the teeth and are made slightly wider than the actual tooth to conceal any gaps between them.
Except in the case of ultra-thin veneers (which cost more), the procedure involves removing a thin shaving of enamel so that the veneers fit flush with your other teeth. Once impressions have been taken and custom veneers made, you’ll be called back for a second visit to have your permanent veneers cemented into place. Veneers are extremely durable and can last up to 15 years if well cared for. While they are more expensive than dental bonding, they look more like natural teeth.
What about larger gaps, how are these fixed?
For larger gaps, we typically recommend dental implants which are considered the gold standard of tooth replacement. With dental implants, a titanium post is inserted into the jaw bone and topped with a natural-looking dental crown.
While they do a great job, they do involve a surgical process and aren’t always for everyone. For instance, implants require for there to be sufficient bone to support them. If this isn’t the case, then often a bone graft will be needed, and this adds both to the cost and the duration of treatment, which may take several months to complete.
Dental bridges are another good option for patients who can’t or don’t want to have dental implants. They’re also less expensive. During the procedure, a crown is placed on the tooth at each end of the gap and a bridge containing a false tooth or teeth is attached to these, effectively filling the gap and restoring the smile.
While there are plenty of ways to fix a gap in teeth without using orthodontic braces, sometimes your dentist will recommend orthodontic treatment to achieve the best long-term results.
If you have a gap in your teeth that you’d like fixing, then why not make an appointment with the experienced dentists at No Gaps Dental. We have 15 clinics scattered around the Sydney Metro area and offer affordable prices for everyone.
Contact us today to book an appointment and take the first step to close your teeth gaps and restoring your smile.