There are a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to help close gaps between the teeth and improve the smile's overall appearance. If you are unhappy with the appearance of one or more gaps between your teeth, treatment for gapped teeth may be right for you. Schedule a consultation with Staten Island, NY dentists Alex Hecht and Jason Hecht to discuss your treatment options.
Determining the Cause of Gaps
A gap between the teeth, also called a diastema, can develop for a number of reasons. While some gaps between teeth are genetic, others may be caused by our habits. The first step in treating unwanted gaps between teeth is determining the underlying cause.
- Large labial frenum: The labial frenum is the tissue that runs from the middle of the upper lip to the gums, generally stopping above the two front teeth. When the labial frenum is oversized, it may run between the teeth, resulting in a large gap.
- Tooth size: Some people may develop gaps between the teeth due to the teeth being too small in relation to the size of the jawbone.
- Tongue thrust: Tongue thrust is a swallowing reflex disorder that can cause gaps to form between the upper teeth. This is because tongue thrust causes the tongue to push into the upper teeth, rather than the roof of the mouth. Over time, the pressure of the tongue regularly pressing against the teeth can cause the teeth to shift, leading to gaps.
- Thumb sucking: Thumb sucking can cause the front teeth to move forward, resulting in gaps.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of tooth loss. When teeth are lost, an obvious gap is left between the remaining teeth, but tooth loss can also cause the remaining teeth to shift, causing more gaps to develop.
Closing Gaps with Dental Treatment
There are a variety of dental treatments that can close gaps between the teeth. Choosing the right treatment is best decided between you and your dentist.
- Frenectomy: Patients with an oversized labial frenum may require a frenectomy to address the diastema. In younger patients, gaps may close on their own after a frenectomy, while older patients may require additional treatment to close gaps.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-shaped fabrications that can be crafted to any size or shape to address cosmetic flaws and close gaps between the teeth.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are a type of tooth-shaped restoration. Unlike veneers, dental crowns completely encase individual teeth to widen undersized teeth or repair dental damage.
- Invisalign®: Invisalign® is a discreet orthodontic treatment designed to close gaps and adjust alignment using a series of clear dental trays.
- Traditional orthodontics: Traditional orthodontics is one of the most effective and proven ways to close gaps between the teeth. Using a wire and bracket system, traditional orthodontics gradually reposition the teeth.
- Replacing missing teeth: Gaps caused by missing teeth can be addressed with restorative treatments, like dental implant-supported restorations or dental bridges.
Discover Your Treatment Options
You can enjoy a beautiful, gap-free smile with treatment from Drs. Hecht and Hecht. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation.