How to Fix Diastema
Gaps between teeth, known as diastema, are quite common and can occur in both adults and children. These gaps primarily occur, and are most noticeable, between the two upper front teeth but they can develop anywhere in the mouth. Genetics, discrepancies in tooth size, missing teeth, and gum issues or disease, can all lead to the formation of diastema. Patients that are concerned with the appearance of a diastema may be wondering what options are available to correct the condition.
Treatment Options for Correcting Diastema
As with any dental procedure being considered, patients should first consult with their dentist in order to determine the cause of the diastema and suitable treatment options. Once the dentist has examined the patient’s mouth to determine the scope of the condition, they can provide solutions that fit the patient’s aesthetic and financial needs.
Braces: In addition to treating a number of oral issues, braces can be helpful in correcting gaps or spaces between teeth. Traditional metal braces use wires and brackets to slowly move the patient’s teeth into the desired place. Once the teeth have been rearranged, the patient is left with a straight and perfectly aligned smile. Depending on the size of the gaps, a set of braces is typically worn from six months to two years before the diastema is corrected. After the braces are removed, patients normally need to use an orthodontic retainer to keep the teeth in place and prevent recurrence of the diastema.
Invisalign: Patients with smaller or less severe diastemas may benefit from Invisalign treatments. Invisalign functions much the same way as braces but rather than use metal wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic trays to close gaps between teeth.
Dental Crowns: Generally used to cover damaged teeth, dental crowns can also be used to close gaps without actually moving the teeth. The porcelain crowns are placed over the tooth (or teeth) and can be sized in accordance with the space associated with the gap.
Dental Veneers: Custom made to look and fit the patient’s needs, dental veneers are a favorite for correcting aesthetic flaws like diastema. To close the gaps, veneers are slightly wider than the patient’s natural teeth and can help create a straight, seamless smile.
Dental Bonding: An affordable cosmetic solution for fixing chipped or cracked teeth, dental bonding is also commonly used to correct diastema. Using composite materials that match the tooth’s color, bonding can add width to teeth in order to close gaps.
Dental Implants: Ideal for patients with large diastemas or gaps caused by missing teeth. Dental implants use small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The posts act as a substitute to tooth roots and once bonded with the bone structure, create a strong foundation for mounting artificial teeth.
Preventative Maintenance: Because some of the causes of diastemas can be preventable, patients can take steps to help ensure they don’t develop in the first place. Practicing a thorough oral hygiene routine (flossing, brushing, and dental check-ups) can help prevent gum disease and ensure a patient’s jawbone remains strong enough to support their teeth. Avoiding habits that cause gaps to form, such as thumb sucking and incorrect swallowing behavior (tongue thrust), can also aid in the prevention of diastema.
More on Diastema : What is a Diastema?