The dental term for gapped front teeth is ‘diastema.’ Although, by today’s beauty standards, having a gap between front teeth is not seen as a desirable characteristic, it has given unique appeal to certain famous names. These include Lauren Hutton, Madonna, football/talk show host Michael Strahan, and country music star Charley Pride. In the middle ages, a gap between front teeth was often associated with lustful characteristics. In Australia, gapped teeth in children predicted a life of future wealth and in Ghana and Nigeria, a diastema is a sign of fertility.
However, most Americans feel a gap between their front teeth detracts from their smile’s appearance. Fortunately, a diastema is easy to fix when the gap is not too wide. In these cases, we fill the gap with tooth bonding. In this, the tooth surface is mildly roughened and a carefully matched shade of material is applied, shaped and polished. The procedure is quick and provides a natural look and feel.
A wider gap requires more extensive treatment. To keep the front teeth at a natural width, the teeth on each side of the front teeth are typically included in treatment. Using porcelain veneers, the two front teeth can be reshaped with the adjacent two slightly widened to give a more balanced smile. Although more expensive, porcelain veneers give a natural look and feel that blends beautifully with other teeth.
Some gaps are only part of the challenge in one’s mouth. Bite alignment is vital to the longterm well-being of teeth. Misalignment can lead to pain in jaw joints, facial muscles, chipped teeth, clenching, headaches and migraines. When teeth are misaligned, we recommend Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear mold that can be removed for eating and cleaning teeth. The molds are provided in stages. Although faster than conventional braces, Invisalign is slightly more expensive. Yet, many teens and adults feel the added expense is worth it in terms of comfort and appearance with a shorter treatment time.
Regardless of which option we recommend, your result will give you a smile you’ll love to share. It often causes people to smile more with a bigger smile that projects a confident, happy individual.
Don’t let a gap between teeth cause you to ‘hold back’ when the solution may be simpler than you realize. Call us at 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation.