When it comes to our teeth, we’re all pretty sensitive about them. We want them to look their best — straight, white and, of course, no gaps. For many people, having a gap between their front two teeth can be a source of bullying, embarrassment or low self-esteem. Though a gap between teeth, also known as a “diastema,” is not an uncommon occurrence, many people seek to rid themselves of this “diastema disaster.” For those looking for solutions we’ve listed some of the most common treatment options for this cosmetic dental dilemma.
The foolproof method for treating a gap between teeth is spring for braces. Though not always the most cost-friendly, quick or most stylish option, braces are a time-tested orthodontic tool that has produced countless quality results — greatly enhancing many people’s smiles. Braces will work to straighten all of your teeth, as well as make teeth align properly and eliminate the gaps between all your teeth too — which is a definite bonus. A treatment with braces can last anywhere from six months to two and a half years, depending on treatment. However, I recognize that braces aren’t for everyone. If you’re over the age of 20, living with braces will probably cause you some significant social adjustment issues. However, an orthodontic solution is one of the only ways to eliminate the gap while keeping your teeth as “natural” as possible without bonding or veneers. Luckily, even if braces aren’t what you want to opt for, there are more options than conventional braces when it comes to treating your diastema.
2. Oral Bands
A relatively new treatment for a diastema, oral bands are becoming a popular solution to the problem of gaps between teeth. Comparatively cheap when considering all the options, oral bands have had some success with patients who want to close small gaps. An oral band procedure will require you to wear oral bands while you sleep and will work to shift your teeth overnight. The whole procedure can vary in time depending on the severity of the diastema in question. However, oral bands are an entirely over-the-counter (in actuality, most actually are actually ordered online it seems) treatment option and have had mixed results. It could be a good treatment option, but there’s no conclusive evidence.
3. Dental Bonding
One possibility for the treatment of gapped teeth is dental bonding. Possibly one of the most efficient and direct treatments for diastema, dental bonding is a procedure that encompassses the adhesion or bonding of a material to the tooth in order to close gaps, chips or other cosmetic abnormalities or damage to a tooth. The material is usually a composite resin, and is quickly adjusted to by patients. Because one of dental bonding’s main reasons for creation was to alleviate diastema in patients, bonding is a great option for those who don’t want to spring for braces, but want something more reliable than oral an over-the-counter solution.
Much like dental bonding, one of the great cosmetic treatments that has arisen in recent years is dental veneers. Veneers have a wide variety of applications, but their basic function is to hide any imperfection son a tooth or a person’s smile. A veneer treatment simply requires the bonding of a wafer-thin, tooth-like material to the surface of your tooth. When applied properly, veneers can offer a variety of cosmetic benefits such as a straighter, more aligned smile — or in the case of our scenario, the correction (more accurately, the hiding) of gaps between teeth.
Returning to braces — sort of — the Invisalign procedure is another method in which many patients have chosen to eliminate their diastema. Invisalign is a relatively new, novel, orthodontic treatment that is used by some patients in lieu of conventional metal braces. Invisalign is custom-made, see-through tray built to straighten your teeth and eliminate any gaps, much like metal braces. However, due to their “invisibility,” Invisalign patients’ smiles are indistinguishable from people without braces or Invisalign treatment. Likewise, the Invisalign procedure is a much more quick procedure than conventional braces. For those who fear the potential social teasing that might come along with braces, Invisalign might be a great choice.