Diastemas are gaps between your teeth. The term is usually used to refer to a gap between the two front teeth. If your highly visible diastema makes you feel uncomfortable about your smile, you can get it fixed. Here are three treatments that dentists offer for diastemas.
If the gap between your front teeth is small, your dentist may be able to conceal it with dental bonding. Dental bonding is a type of tooth-colored resin. It is available in multiple shades, so your dentist will be able to perfectly match the resin to your own natural tooth color.
The dental bonding process is very simple. Your dentist will turn their attention to one of your front teeth first. This tooth will first be etched with acid to help the dental bonding stick to the tooth. Next, the dental bonding will be applied. This material has a putty-like texture, so your dentist will need to use metal instruments to sculpt it into the proper shape. The resin will be smoothed across the inner portion of your front tooth to close part of the gap. The resin will be hardened in place with a special light.
Once the first tooth has been treated with resin, the same process will be repeated on the second tooth to close the rest of the gap. This can all be done in one appointment, and if you're careful, your new dental bonding can last for as long as 10 years. Try to avoid biting hard objects like pens or fingernails as this can damage your bonding.
If your diastema is too large to repair with dental bonding, your dentist may recommend veneers, instead. Veneers are very thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are cemented onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They won't close your diastema like orthodontic treatment can, but they will completely hide the gap.
Getting veneers is more complicated than getting dental bonding. It requires two separate visits to your dentist, about six weeks apart. During the first visit, your teeth will be prepared to receive the veneers. Part of the outer layer of your teeth will be removed to make room for the veneers. Once your teeth have been reshaped, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory and they will make your veneers. While you're waiting for your veneers, you'll wear temporary veneers.
Once your veneers are ready, you'll go back to the dentist. Your temporary veneers will be removed, and the permanent veneers will be cemented in place. Veneers can last for many years if you look after them, but like dental bonding, they can be damaged by chewing hard objects.
If your dentist thinks you're not a good candidate for dental bonding or veneers, your last option is orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment may be required for large diastemas or for people who also have other dental problems like crooked teeth that make it hard to place bonding or veneers. Your dentist may be able to perform your orthodontic treatment, but if not, you'll be sent to an orthodontist, a type of dentist that specializes in re-positioning teeth.
Orthodontic treatment uses familiar techniques such as braces and retainers to permanently shift your teeth into different positions. Using these techniques, your dentist will shift your front teeth closer together to close your diastema. Your other teeth may also be re-positioned to ensure your bite functions properly and that your smile looks good.
If you're sick of looking at the gap between your front teeth, talk to your dentist--someone like Centre Family Dentistry--to find out if dental bonding, veneers, or orthodontic treatment are right for you.Share