Do you have gaps between your teeth that cause you to feel embarrassed or unhappy about your smile? While some people like having gaps between their teeth, others are bothered by having spaces between one or more teeth. If you are part of the first group, then you don’t need this article. However, if you are part of the second group then you are not alone.
A poll conducted by Snow Teeth Whitening that was published in a New York Post article found that as many as 61% of Americans wish they could change something about their smile. Out of all the things people wished they could change, eliminating gaps between their teeth was one of the top concerns. Luckily, if you are part of this group that wants to get rid of the gaps between your teeth, there are a few different methods to choose from. These include:
Veneers are thin shells made from either porcelain or composite resin. After a layer of enamel is removed from the teeth, veneers are adhered to the front side of visible teeth. Veneers can address multiple cosmetic concerns at once such as oddly shaped, unevenly sized, severely stained, and crooked teeth. By placing veneers that are slightly larger than your natural teeth, your cosmetic dentist can also fill in gaps. Once they have been placed, composite veneers will last about 5-7 years, while porcelain veneers will last about 10-15 years.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over the top of an existing tooth after the tooth has been reduced in size. They are designed to encapsulate the entire tooth in order to restore a tooth significantly affected by damage or decay. Encapsulating the entire tooth can also change its shape, size, and color. When it comes to filling in gaps, the size and shape of the dental crown can be fabricated accordingly so that it eliminates the gap. Dental crowns can be fabricated from a variety of dental materials, however they generally last about 10-15 years before needing to be replaced.
Cosmetic bonding is a technique that bonds composite resin to the tooth’s surface in order to fill gaps. Composite resin is a popular dental material that is valued for its ability to bond easily with the enamel, as well as its ability to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. It is applied to the tooth as a soft putty that can be shaped appropriately before it is hardened in place with a curing light. The final layer is polished so that it will blend in with the surrounding tooth structure. Unlike veneers or crowns, cosmetic bonding can be completed in a single dental appointment and it is more affordable since a dental lab is not needed. However, composite resin only lasts about 5-7 years before it will need to be replaced.
Orthodontic treatment can eliminate gaps between the teeth by changing the position of the teeth and bite. Using orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign clear aligners or traditional metal braces, constant force is applied to the teeth in order to obtain gradual movement. Over the course of the treatment period, the teeth will move sideways, forwards, backwards, or rotate. As the teeth and bite are aligned, the gaps will naturally disappear. Although orthodontic treatment takes the longest, the results are permanent.