Repairing A Gap Between Front Teeth

added on: October 8, 2011

When adult teeth emerge, some people find their two front teeth fail to come together, leaving a gap. This is called diastema (dy-as-tee-mah). Repairing this with today’s exceptional techniques and materials in dentistry typically requires only one or two visits.

Depending on the width of the gap, bonding may be the easiest method to close the space. In this process, a tooth-colored resin material is applied to the teeth. Shading is carefully matched and the surface is polished to give a natural appearance. This is the least expensive method; however, bonding, particularly on front “biting” teeth, is more vulnerable to chipping or breaking than with porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers are custom-designed “shells” that are attached to the front of teeth. Veneers give the most durable, natural feel and appearance possible, even reflecting light as a natural tooth. This method also requires minimal disruption to the natural tooth, even though a veneer can give new shape or size to the tooth for a more flattering look.

When teeth are badly turned or shaped, porcelain crowns may be the best way to close the space. This method requires existing the tooth to be reshaped to accept a custom-designed crown. The crown covers the top and sides of the tooth, while protecting the natural tooth portion underneath. Crowns, like veneers, give excellent longevity and have natural appeal.

If the space is wide, other front teeth may need to be involved in treatment. This keeps the teeth visible in your smile to balanced proportions. Otherwise, you could end up with two, very wide front teeth that close the gap but fail to achieve an appealing smile.

After an examination, we explain the option that will give the best results to each patient. Once you understand the choices, you will have taken the first step to regain a smile you’ll love!

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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