Referred to as a diastema, a gap between two teeth can occur anywhere in the mouth, but it is more prominent and visible when it's located between the front upper teeth. Gaps are caused by a myriad of issues, including missing or undersized teeth, an over-sized jawbone, crowded or overly large teeth, excessive frenum tissue and habits, such as thumb sucking.
If you have a noticeable gap, you're probably less concerned about how the gap formed and more concerned with getting rid of it. Fortunately, there are several cosmetic treatments that places like Katz Family Dentistry PC can use to fix gaps between teeth.
Bonding for Small Gaps
If your gap is relatively small, you're in luck. A simple procedure called bonding can fill in your gap. Bonding involves placing composite resin - the same stuff dentists use to fix chipped teeth - into the gap. The resin is then contoured, shaped and colored so that it looks like a natural extension of your teeth. After your dentist achieves the desired shape and color, the resin is cured with a high-intensity light.
It only takes one office visit to complete a composite bonding procedure. However, the fix is not permanent. It usually lasts 10 to 15 years, after which you will have to have the procedure redone.
Orthodontic Fixes for Large Gaps
Orthodontic fixes, such as braces, retainers and implants are ideal for large gaps. They also offer a more permanent solution. Braces are used when the teeth are overly crowded or spaced far apart. They are also great for gaps caused by crooked teeth. Dental implants are used when there are missing teeth that need to be replaced in order to close the gap. If none of these options are feasible or if they don't offer a complete fix, porcelain veneers may help.
Surgery for Excess Tissue
The raised flap of tissue connecting your upper lip to your upper gums is called a frenum. When this tissue is too large, your teeth can't grow properly, resulting in a gap. A surgical procedure called a frenectomy gets rid of the excess tissue. This procedure may be followed by braces if the gap doesn't close on its own.
You don't have to live with a visible gap. There are several cosmetic and orthodontic procedures that correct gaps found between teeth. While all procedures aren't right for everyone, your dentist can help you find the treatment that's right for your individual circumstances.