In recent years, the number of adult patients in orthodontic offices has increased by 16 percent. Although some people get braces to improve their dental health, many people are motivated by cosmetic reasons, such as fixing gaps in teeth.
Of course, braces are a great solution to fix gaps, especially if you have misalignment issues. However, if your teeth are relatively straight, you have quicker and more affordable options.
In this post, we will look at three cosmetic dentistry procedures including braces that will give you the smile of your dreams. So, keep reading to determine which is right for you!
Causes of Gaps in Teeth
Dentists refer to gaps in the front teeth as diastema, and it is one of the most common reasons for getting braces. When openings occur between the two front teeth, the reasons may be:
- Teeth with disproportionate sizes
- Large jawbone
- Thumb sucking
- Oversized labial frenum (skin attaching lip to the jaw)
- Gum disease
However, gaps in your teeth may also occur if you had braces as a child and failed to wear a retainer. And, if you have missing teeth, large spaces may need to be filled with dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
Why You Should Repair Gaps in Teeth
No matter the reason for the gaps in your teeth, they can cause adverse effects on your dental health. For one, misalignment issues cause bacteria and plaque to build up in hard-to-reach places. As a result, you are at risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
If you have serious gaps, you may not be able to bite or chew your food thoroughly, and this can lead to digestive health problems. Moreover, you may feel embarrassed about your smile or lack self-confidence if you are not satisfied with the way your teeth look. For these reasons, many dentists recommend treating diastema.
Now, let’s take a look at three of the most common cosmetic dental solutions for those with gaps in their teeth.
When it comes to obtaining the perfect smile, braces are usually the answer. For gaps, they work by adjusting the position of teeth, thus closing even the largest of spaces. The entire process can take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the size of the gap.
Some patients prefer to use invisible braces, such as Invisalign, to fix the gaps in their teeth. These are especially good for adults who want their treatment to be discreet and adapt to their lifestyle.
Of course, young patients who have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth may have natural spaces that will eventually fill in. So, it is important to wait until all adult teeth come in before deciding to get braces to fix gaps.
However, braces are an excellent choice for older teens and adults with large gaps in their teeth. But what if the spaces between your teeth are minor? If this is your case, the following options may be more suitable for you!
One way to fix small gaps without braces is by getting veneers, thin porcelain covers that your dentist can apply to your natural teeth. To fill in a space between two teeth, your dentist will make the veneers slightly wider than your teeth. Then, when your dentist bonds them to the teeth, they will meet in the middle and cover up the existing space.
Getting veneers usually takes two visits. The first time you see the dentist, he or she will prepare your teeth, take scans or x-rays, and measure for the veneers. Then, at the second appointment, you will have them fitted to your teeth.
Thankfully, veneers cost less than braces. However, they aren’t the cheapest option for filling gaps, as composite bonding is more affordable. Nevertheless, you may decide that veneers are worth the extra expense because they are long-lasting and don’t require touch-ups.
Yet, veneers can only fill small gaps because your teeth will look oversized and unnatural if they are used to cover large spaces. So, ask your dentist whether this treatment is right for you!
- Composite Bonding
When small teeth are the cause of gaps, the solution is usually composite or dental bonding. Yet, before this treatment, your teeth need to be properly positioned. So, if you have never had braces, you may need them before getting composite bonding.
In this treatment, dental professionals apply composite material directly onto the tooth. They can use this extra material to build up the tooth and give it the desired shape. To fill gaps, your dentist increases the size of your teeth, bringing them closer together.
Like veneers, composite bonding is a great way to fill in small gaps. And, this is the quickest and most affordable option for filling gaps, as it only requires one office visit.
Nevertheless, most patients will need the bonding retouched roughly every five years. So, in the long run, you may end up spending more on composite bonding treatment than veneers, which are durable and last a long time.
Improve Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry
No matter the size of the gaps in teeth, cosmetic dental procedures can improve the appearance of your smile. This article gives you an overview of your treatment options, but a professional can help you decide which is most suitable for your oral issues. So, schedule an appointment with your local dentist’s office for more assistance!
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