What are tooth gaps and how to do form?
Tooth gaps are known as ‘Diastemas’ in the field of dentistry. They can either be generalized, i.e. seen between all or most teeth of the oral cavity, or localized, that is, seen only between two particular teeth in a segment. Diastemas can either occur naturally during eruption of permanent teeth, or result from other physiological factors such as:
- Periodontal diseases
- Drifting of the teeth due to the presence of empty sockets in the mouth
- Habits such as thumb/finger sucking and mouth breathing
Fortunately, there are dental procedures that can effectively treat or mask the problem. However, some of these treatments may take a longer duration, while others can be performed during a single visit at the dental clinic. Tooth gap fixing procedures therefore depend upon the patient’s personal preferences, time duration and budget. It is important to note that some problems that lead to the formation of gaps, such as enlarged adenoids and habitual mouth breathing require lifestyle modifications and orthodontic or surgical interventions for the desired results.
How can tooth gaps be fixed?
ORTHODONTICS: The most effective way of fixing tooth gaps is with the help of orthodontic braces. Braces work by forcing teeth into the desired positions with the help of controlled movements, and finally stabilize them to prevent relapse or unwanted drifting. However, this process may take 1.5-2 years and involves the placement of metallic brackets on to the facial surfaces of the teeth, through which a wire is passed. The greatest advantage of opting for this procedure is that the results are permanent, and instead of merely masking the problem, it actually treats it.
PROSTHODONTICS: If there is a single gap, or very few gaps between the teeth, one can also opt for Porcelain Crowns. Porcelain Crowns are basically ‘caps’ which cover a damaged or structurally/aesthetically compromised tooth. These however, require the affected teeth to be slightly trimmed down before the crowns can be cemented on to them. Unlike orthodontic intervention, this procedure only masks the issue without treating it.
COSMETIC RESTORATIONS: The third procedure, which is highly preferred owing to its instant smile makeover properties, is direct dental bonding or composite veneering. This treatment is simple, painless and offers immediate results. A tooth colored filling material known as Composite is used to extend the natural margins of the teeth to fill the gap in way that they appear 100% natural in terms of contour and shade. The material is then light cured and set permanently. This procedure effectively addresses a number of cosmetic dental issues, including tooth gaps.
Visit South Austin Dental Associates today to learn about all the treatment options available for fixing dental diastemas, and which one suits your needs best!