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Improve Your Smile with Gapped Teeth Treatment

By Dr. Silvers on March 01, 2016


A woman with a beautiful, gap-free smileGaps can occur between any teeth, but for those with large gaps between the front facing teeth, dental gaps can be a source of self-consciousness. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can address dental flaws and close gaps between the teeth, creating beautiful, flawless smiles. To find out which treatment for gapped teeth is right for you, schedule a consultation with Harrisburg, PA dentists Warren Silvers III or Daniel Laux.

What Causes Gaps between Teeth?

Gaps between teeth, also called a diastema, can occur between any two teeth and for multiple reasons. Treating gaps between the teeth begins with determining the cause. Some possible causes of gaps between teeth include:

  • Size mismatch: When the size of the teeth are small in comparison to the size of the jaw bone, gaps may occur between the teeth.
  • Oversized labial frenum: An oversized labial frenum may cause a diastema between the two upper front teeth. The labial frenum is the tissue that runs from the upper lip to the gums, and normally stops just above the two front teeth. In some cases, the labial frenum extends down and between the two front teeth, creating a gap.
  • Thumb sucking: Thumb sucking can cause gaps to form between the teeth as this habit can force the front teeth to shift forward.
  • Tongue thrust: Tongue thrust, a swallowing reflex disorder, can lead to gaps forming between the teeth. With tongue thrust, the tongue pushes against the upper front teeth rather than the roof of the mouth. This regular pressure can push the upper teeth forward, causing gaps to develop over time.
  • Gum disease and tooth loss: Gum disease can lead to loss of jaw bone volume, causing the teeth to become loose. When teeth are lost, gaps will form where there are missing teeth but the remaining teeth may also shift, leading to gaps between adjacent teeth.

Treatment Options for Closing Gaps Between Teeth

There are a variety or treatment options available for closing gaps between teeth. Drs. Silvers and Laux perform thorough examinations to determine the best treatment for each patient's needs. Some patients require a combination of treatments while others benefit from a single treatment. Patients wishing to address the appearance of gapped teeth may benefit from such treatments as:

  • Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped fabrications that can be used to adjust the size and shape of the teeth, closing gaps between teeth in as little as two dental appointments.
  • Dental Bonding: Similar to porcelain veneers, dental bonding treatment can address the appearance of undersized teeth, widening the teeth to close gaps.
  • Dental Crowns: Dental crowns may also be used to widen undersized teeth, effectively closing gaps between the teeth.
  • Invisalign®: Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® uses a series of clear trays to gradually adjust the alignment of the teeth and close gaps in the process.
  • Traditional Orthodontics: Traditional orthodontics is highly effective at closing gaps between teeth. With traditional orthodontics, a wire and bracket system is bonded to the teeth and gradually tightened to change the position of the teeth, resulting in beautifully aligned teeth.
  • Frenectomy: An oversized labial frenum may be reduced through minor surgery called a frenectomy. Gaps may close on their own in younger children who've undergone a frenectomy. Older children and adults will generally require additional treatment, like braces, to close gaps after a frenectomy.
  • Missing Tooth Replacement: Gaps causes by missing teeth can be corrected with treatments for replacing missing teeth, like dental implants or dental bridges.
  • Tongue Thrust Treatment: Patients with tongue thrust should speak to their dentist about ways to retrain their swallowing reflex.

Which Treatment Is Right for You?

For more information about treatment for gapped teeth, or to find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Silvers or Dr. Laux.

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