Ideally, teeth should be straight, white, uniform in shape, and spaced evenly. Although few people are naturally blessed with flawless teeth, quality cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Even the most beautifully shaped teeth can form an unattractive smile when there are one or more noticeable gaps. At Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix, AZ, we offer several treatment options for this problem.
What causes gaps between teeth?
A gap or space between two teeth, known as a diastema, is most common between the upper front teeth, but it can occur anywhere. It is usually caused by a proportional discrepancy between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw. When the jawbone is too large for the teeth to fill the space, a gap will form. The opposite problem, a jawbone that is too small for all of the teeth to fit, results in crowding. Other potential causes of gaps include excess soft tissue inhibiting tooth development, certain swallowing patterns, loose teeth, missing teeth, and childhood habits such as thumb sucking.
After performing an examination, your dentist can recommend the best treatment for you. The solution depends on the underlying cause.
- If the gap is only one of many orthodontic issues, braces may be needed. We offer Invisalign invisible aligners, Six Month Smiles express cosmetic braces, and traditional metal braces.
- Dental veneers are often used to alter the size of teeth, covering them with a thin layer of porcelain. This is an excellent option for patients who have multiple esthetic issues. Veneers can change the color or shape of teeth, and cover natural flaws.
- Dental bonding can be used to build up teeth and close gaps. The result is very similar to porcelain veneers, although bonding tends to be more economical and less durable.
- Dental crowns cover all exposed tooth surfaces with a cap of porcelain. They are not generally recommended for minor adjustments, because the tooth must be shaped in size to accommodate the crown. Alternatively, if the tooth is too small, damaged, or significantly worn, a crown may be recommended to restore appearance, size, and functionality.
- Sometimes the issue originates with a missing tooth, which causes a very large gap. Even if the lost tooth is not visible, the space it leaves can trigger a domino effect, causing other teeth to become crooked. A bridge, denture, or implant-supported restoration may be recommended to stabilize your teeth.
Call us at (602) 954-8200 and schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.