When adjacent teeth do not touch we call it a “diastema” , which is just a fancy word for the gaps or spaces between your teeth. This can be caused by teeth that are too narrow your mouth, missing teeth, or an uneven bite. These spaces can be very tiny or large enough to be unsightly or a food pack problem.
Because sometimes spaces between teeth are not attractive or may cause discomfort when chewing, our office uses many different approaches when eliminating these gaps:
Orthodontics: Often clear braces, called Invisalign or ClearCorrect can be used to close the spaces between teeth. The advantage with this approach is that there are no restorations to be done and no wires or metal brackets that show on your teeth. It can take from just a few to 18 months to reposition your teeth and we work with several talented and experienced orthodontists in our area and get terrific results.
Bonding: Bonding refers to a procedure where I carefully attach plastic or composite resin to your teeth. This is perfect for smaller spaces and the color is custom blended to exactly match your teeth. Most times this does not require any anesthetic and can be done in one visit.
Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers or laminates (Lumineers) are great for larger spaces and also make it much easier for us to lighten or lengthen your teeth at the same time. They are more durable and longer lasting than composite bonding. They are custom shaded and individually hand made at a dental lab and are the “gold standard” for restorative solutions to closing spaces between your teeth.
Porcelain Crowns: When the teeth with gaps between them require more comprehensive restorations due to decay, wear, fracture or previous large fillings we will consider custom shaded porcelain crowns. Many times the choice between porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns will depend on the condition or degree of destruction on the backside your teeth. Veneers by definition do not cover the back of your teeth and so require a relatively intact backside as opposed to crowns which cover the entire tooth.
What is great about any of these procedures is that your appearance changes for the better dramatically! Patients are always blown away by our results! In addition, many times lips and cheeks are better supported and patients notice more youthful facial profiles. And it is always a bonus when not just your spaces are closed, but your smile is whitened and brightened.
Call our office in Southfield at 248-356-8790 if you are concerned about those spaces between your teeth. I will be pleased to meet with you free of charge to discuss all your options to close those gaps and make your smile the best it can be!
That’s all for this week! Until next time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD