One of the most common complaints people have about the appearance of their smile is a gap between two of their front teeth. Technically known as a diastema, this smile imperfection makes many people unhappy every time they look in the mirror, and self-conscious any time they consider smiling in public.
Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with a tooth gap that can eliminate the problem.
In the past, there was only one way of looking at a gap in your smile: as a terrible flaw. In recent years, though, a number of actors and models have gotten popular in part because of the gap in their smiles. In a world of perfect smiles, it seems, their flaw gave their smile personality.
For some people, it’s easy to embrace your smile and be proud of its flaws. Thinking of your tooth gap as part of your personal brand can give you great energy. But not everyone can do it, and if you find yourself still disliking your smile gap after trying to embrace it, it may be time to get it fixed.
Dental bonding is the fastest and easiest solution to a gap between your teeth. Dental bonding is a composite material, a plastic paste that has ceramic embedded in it for strength. It’s the same material used in some white fillings. Dental bonding is used to enlarge the teeth on either side of the gap so that they fill the entire space.
Dental bonding is inexpensive and can be completed in a single visit. But it does have limitations. It doesn’t last as long as porcelain veneers, is more vulnerable to staining and wear, and doesn’t have the same luster as natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers/veneers/’}}}} are thin facades of advanced ceramic that, like dental bonding, can be used to reshape teeth on either side of the gap, closing it.
Porcelain veneers may require a couple visits to place (although with CEREC they can sometimes be made in just one visit!), but they are beautiful–they can be indistinguishable from your natural teeth. They’re also long-lasting, usually surviving a decade or more, and resisting stains, unlike bonding and natural teeth.
We can also close the gap in your teeth using orthodontics, like Invisalign , which moves your teeth so there’s no gap between them.
Orthodontics can take a year to complete, but it can also help if you have other crooked teeth you want to correct at the same time. And if you use your retainer, the results can be permanent.
Filling a Tooth Gap at Home
Can you fill a tooth gap at home? Not really. There are a number of things people try, but these range from the ludicrous to the dangerous.
on the ludicrous side, there are some snap-on veneers you can buy online. However, when you get them back, you will realize that the results, if they even manage to fit, will look worse than any gap in your teeth.
Some people try to imitate bonding techniques using temporary dental material they buy at the drug store. However, these materials are designed to be temporary–the results won’t last. In truth, that’s probably a good thing, too, because the results you are likely to achieve doing this for yourself probably look worse than mail-order teeth.
Other people might try a form of do-it-yourself orthodontics. This can destroy your oral health and may lead to tooth damage and even tooth loss. Never attempt to improvise any form of orthodontic treatment for yourself. Dentists make it look easy, but, believe us, we’re professionals with extensive education and experience–this is anything but simple.
Which Strategy Is Right for You?
If you are currently unhappy with the gap between your teeth, we can help you decide which is the right approach for dealing with it. Please call (918) 528-3330 for an appointment with a Tulsa cosmetic dentist at élan by Dr. Meghan Hodges.