Options For Fixing Gapped Teeth

Gaps between your teeth, a condition called diastema, are rarely a health concern, but they can make you self-conscious when they occur in the front teeth. Fortunately, there are several ways to address the gap so that you can get rid of it forever. The following are a few options that may work for your situation.

Option #1: Gap bands

Gap bands are small orthodontic rubber bands. A single band is slipped over the two teeth bordering the gap. The tension will slowly move the teeth together until the gap is closed. Bands are only suitable for small gaps, since they only align two teeth and new gaps can form if major movement occurs. It's best to use bands only under the direct advisement of your dentist so you don't create a larger alignment issue.

Option #2: Braces

For large gaps, multiple gaps, or a combination of alignment issues, few things work better than braces. These can bring all of the teeth into proper alignment, which not only gets rid of gaps but can also prevent other issues like bad bite and jaw tension. If the idea of traditional braces doesn't sound appealing, there are newer invisible treatments, such as aligning trays and rear installations, that are always an option.

Option #3: Bonding

Bonding is when a resin tooth filler is placed along the edge of one or both teeth bordering the gap. Your dentist will need to mix it so that it matches your tooth color exactly, then they will apply it and shape it so it looks natural. Bonding only works with very small gaps. Your dentist will need to roughen up your tooth enamel so the bond holds well. Bonds can eventually come off, which means you must get them repaired immediately because the roughened surface can harbor bacteria if the bond isn't replaced.

Option #4: Veneers

Veneers work for both large and small gaps, and they are an excellent option when you don't want braces or need a quicker fix. Your dentist will file down the enamel on the gap-bordering teeth, then they will fit a porcelain veneer over each tooth. The veneers look just like your natural teeth except they are wide enough so that no gap remains. These are typical very durable and it is rare for them to come off, but much like bonding, you must plan for an immediate repair if you do lose a veneer.

For more help in choosing the right method to remedy your gap, talk to a cosmetic dentist in your area.