While most gaps between the teeth are nothing more than an aesthetic concern, there are cases where diastema treatment may be necessary. Diastema, or gapping of the teeth, is a dental condition that may be caused by heredity or oral health conditions.
Small and minor gaps are normal for most people, especially between the two upper front teeth. Often people may decide to seek diastema treatment options to close or diminish the look of the gap. This can be accomplished by several dental and orthodontic methods.
When considering how to fix a gap in the front teeth, it is advised to speak to your dentist about whether it is due to potential oral issues such as periodontal disease, or from a discrepancy in tooth size. Other diastema causes involve misalignment of the teeth, missing teeth, and oral habits such as thumb sucking as a child.
It is recommended that small gaps between the teeth in young children be left untreated until their permanent teeth develop.
Diastema Treatment Options
For a non-invasive treatment for diastema closure, there are three common options your dentist may recommend based on the size of the gap and your oral health.
Dental bonding is considered the quickest way how to fix a gap in teeth. Bonding is the process of using composite resin materials to fill in the gap between the teeth. The material used can be colour-matched for a more natural appearance.
Dental bonding is a cost-effective method of treating a diastema in the shortest time. The teeth are professionally cleaned, and the bonding material is applied across the affected teeth including the existing gap. A special dental light is used to harden the material to the teeth. With proper care, dental bonding can last up to five years and sometimes longer.
It should be noted with this short-term fix, dental bonding can be susceptible to some staining and cracking over time. It is not recommended as a treatment option for large gaps.
Braces were designed to gradually force the teeth to move into proper placement and close any gaps between the teeth. At one time, braces were only available in metal materials but today’s orthodontics use traditional metals, ceramics and thermoplastic polymers.
Traditional, lingual, and clear aligners all use the same basic design to apply pressure to the teeth to dimmish the existence of the gaps. These all provide long-term results. The size of the gap and the conditionof the teeth can influence the type of braces used. Your orthodontist can also recommend the best type for treatment.
The limitation of braces involve the aesthetics for those who are self-conscious about the sight of the device and the length of treatment which last up to four years. Traditional braces can also require regular professional maintenance and dietary restrictions to protect the components.
Veneers are another alternative diastema treatment to fix gaps in teeth without braces. Constructed as thin covers, porcelain and composite veneers are custom-made to fit the teeth with a width wider than the tooth itself. Hence, the gaps between the teeth are closed up.
Like the material used for dental bonding, the veneers are affixed to the surface of the tooth with a fraction of the enamel being removed for a better fit. The type of veneers used align with the shade of the teeth.
Veneers are more costly than bonding as they are designed to last for 10 years and involve various construction and design steps. The downside of veneers is the inability for removal as they replace a portion of the tooth’s enamel.
Factors Influencing Treatment Choice
As with most dental treatments, the most cost-effective and easier-to-manage treatment options are not always the best choice for the diastema condition. A dentist will offer a consultation on the right treatment dependent on several factors.
Severity of the diastema: The treatment can depend mainly on the severity of the diastema. Larger gaps or areas where teeth are missing cannot be treated with basic dental bonding.
Patient's oral health and preferences: The overall oral health of the teeth, gums, and mouth can also influence whether bonding, veneers or braces are the most suitable treatment choice.Veneers require the tooth surface to be a particular size for proper attachment.
Time considerations: If the gap is small, it is possible to treat it in a short period of time with bonding. Larger gaps will need veneers as a more “permanent” measure or braces which can take months to years for the best results.
Budget constraints: Diastema treatment options are for cosmetic purposes and therefore may not be partially or fully covered by individual dental plans. Some cases may be eligible for financial assistance if the patient’s health is at risk because of the diastema. Bonding is the cheaper compared to veneers and braces.
Aesthetic concerns: If the patient has a choice between the three main diastema treatments discussed, the dentist can offer a visual representation of what each one has to offer because of the treatment. The shape, colour, symmetry, and natural appearance of the teeth can be considered.
Potential impact on adjacent teeth: Dental bonding and veneers do not have an effect on adjacent teeth as they do not promote the movement of the teeth. Braces are designed to shift the teeth and can have an impact on the alignment of all teeth.
Consultation and Treatment Planning
When considering treatment for any form of a diastema condition it is important to have a professional consultation with your dentist or an orthodontist to protect the health and shape of all teeth. A consultation will involve examination of the affected area as well as the oral health of the patient.
The dental treatment plan can involve regularly scheduled care and maintenance appointments to make needed adjustments to the materials and/or dental appliances used.
Choose Princeview Dental Group for Your Diastema Treatment Options
At Princeview Dental Group, we can craft stunning smiles that boost your confidence and oral health. Whether you're considering dental bonding or veneers or even in-office orthodontic Invisalign treatment to address your diastema, our experienced professionals are here to guide you every step of the way. Our personalized approach ensures that your unique needs and preferences are met giving you a smile you'll love to show off.
If you have any questions regarding our practices or if you need to schedule a dental procedure, please contact us our recently relocated and totally resdesigned dental office facilities at 3052 Bloor Street West, conveniently located just west of the Royal York subway station, under the Crooked Cue Pub & Restaurant.