What can I do about the gaps between my teeth?
Some people have gaps between their front teeth which they can find cosmetically distressing. If this is your concern there are a variety of ways for your dental professional to help you resolve this problem.I decided to write this blog today to go through the options with you and show you how I resolved this challenge for a patient who came into the surgery with exactly this issue. What can I do about the gaps between my teeth? This is her photograph which she has kindly given me permission to use.
Firstly, I would note that we are all genetically different, gaps or diastemas are normal for some people. I still have one between my two front teeth. At this point in history they are commonly not considered aesthetic, although a very prominent model has recently sprung to fame with a distinctive diastema between her two front teeth, so who knows where the fashion will take us?
There are several ways that these “Gaps between my teeth” can be closed. In this case, after going through the options together, we decided to close these spaces with composite tooth coloured resin added directly to her teeth.This provided the cheapest and most cost effective change. It is important to note the material used can occasionally chip in people who grind their teeth. Also as with all composite resin materials, they do need occasional polishing to keep the finish stain free. It is also relatively easy to repair if chipping does occur.
This composite resin was mainly added between the teeth and in her case we didn’t have to cover the whole face surface of the tooth.
The major advantage of composite resin compared with porcelain, is that the teeth do not need to be modified in most cases, and the tooth underneath is almost completely undamaged by the process. Plus the technique is reversible, although it does take time to remove the material completely because of the wonderful bond.
The cost for this process was only about $250 per tooth.
So, I am pleased for you to see the photos of the end result which took about two and a half hours to complete, pain free with no local anaesthetic. So look, no longer are there “Gaps between my teeth”!
She ended up being one very happy patient!
There are other ways that these “Gaps between my teeth” can be closed.
This involves the use of ‘braces’ or orthodontic aligners to move the teeth and close up the spaces. The great advantage of this method is that it involves no modification of the teeth in most cases and is permanent if retaining wires are used or a retainer is used every night. The disadvantages are that it takes about eighteen months and it is difficult having to floss under these retaining wires. The expense in Australia at the moment is in the region of $6,500 plus dollars.
A veneer is a false front like a false fingernail that is cemented permanently on the face of a tooth. This can close the space between teeth very effectively. Veneers can be custom made in the laboratory of porcelain or composite resin. Also less expensive pre made veneers in stock sizes can be adjusted to fit at chair side. Custom made porcelain are the most costly but considered the best. However to look aesthetically pleasing most require some non-reversible shaving of the front of the tooth to allow space for the material. This is less of a worry to my conservative (tooth saving) mind if the teeth are heavily filled, but I am hesitant to do this with undamaged teeth. The cost of this is about $1000 per tooth.
One example of a technique for fabricating composite veneers can be found in this article by a talented American dentist Douglas Terry
Sometime the teeth are so badly damaged by decay and subsequent fillings that they don’t have sufficient strength to hold together without additional help. Crowns can be placed in this situation. You need to discuss the matter with your dentist but need to remember that this can often end up being the best option for you.
So when all is said and done I think we made the correct decision, don’t you? This composite resin technique will give my patient many years of service with those “Gaps between my teeth” fully closed.