Weak teeth can create a lot of oral problems, which is why it is a good idea to consider cosmetic dentistry. While most people believe that cosmetic dentistry only focuses on the appearance of the teeth, that is actually far from the truth. Cosmetic dentists specialize in improving both the form and function of the…
Treatment Options from a Cosmetic Dentist for Filling in Gaps Between Teeth
One of the ways a cosmetic dentist can help you achieve the beautiful smile you have always wanted is by filling in gaps between teeth. This condition is known as diastema and can happen anywhere in the mouth. These gaps vary in size and may be a minor cosmetic issue for the patient, or the spaces can be very large and noticeable. Patients are often most unhappy with spaces that form in the front of the mouth, especially between the top two central incisors. Fortunately, there is a positive outlook for this condition, with several methods that can be used to bring teeth closer together.
What causes gaps between teeth?
While some patients may develop diastema due to genetic reasons, there are a number of preventable factors that can contribute to this condition:
- Teeth that are too small for the jaw bone
- Gingival hyperplasia, or gum tissue overgrowth near the teeth
- Gum disease
- Tongue thrust
- Thumb sucking
- Prolonged pacifier or bottle use
How can a cosmetic dentist treat diastema?
When going in for a cosmetic dentistry consultation for gaps between the teeth, there are several treatment options the dentist may discuss with the patient depending on the cause and severity of the gaps. For patients with gum disease, the dentist will likely first address the infection before attempting to fill in the spaces. In cases where gingival hyperplasia is to blame, surgical removal of the excess gum tissue may be necessary.
For very large gaps in the mouth, the dentist may have clear aligners made for the patients or refer them to an orthodontist for braces before proceeding. Some of the most common dental treatments used to reduce gaps and enhance the smile are bonding and veneers.
Veneers are thin shells made out of porcelain that are custom-made to fit over each individual tooth. The natural tooth is sculpted before the coating is placed onto the teeth. Veneers are designed to cover up damage to the teeth and can be made the shape and size desired by the patient. By making the coating cover a larger area, the dentist can fill in gaps.
With dental bonding, rather than using porcelain to coat the teeth, the dentist uses a composite resin that is colored to look like a natural tooth. The patient’s natural tooth does not need to go through grinding or be heavily altered. Only light sanding is necessary to help the resin effectively stick onto the teeth. The material is formed to make the tooth the desired shape and then UV light is used to harden it.
While diastema does not often lead to dental issues such as tooth decay or gum disease, this condition can make patients unsatisfied with their appearance. There are several procedures a cosmetic dentist can use to fill in unsightly gaps, including veneers and dental bonding. The first step to achieving a beautiful smile is to schedule an appointment with a dentist to develop the appropriate treatment plan.
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