Can my dentist close the space between my teeth without braces? Spaces between teeth, sometimes called diastemas are larger-than-usual spaces between two teeth (also known as gapped teeth). Even when it doesn’t pose a threat to your oral health, its appearance can often diminish your confidence in your smile. Because it’s technically an arrangement issue, many patients fear that closing the gap means orthodontic treatment, like braces. However, for many patients, closing a diastema can be as simple as a quick, conservative cosmetic touch up, making a more confident smile easier to achieve than they realized.
Dr. James Fondriest offers several cosmetic treatment options to treat diastemas and other aesthetic issues. Our practice mostly serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs, but we often get patients from all over the United States.
Cosmetic bonding can close a diastema
In some cases, the reason for a diastema lies in the size or shape of one or more teeth, which can create a space that’s uneven to those around it. Adding to the tooth size to close the space between the teeth may be accomplished with tooth-colored composite resins. Your dentist customizes to match your healthy tooth structure and then bonds permanently to the tooth. Tooth bonding builds up the tooth shape so that it fits more uniformly with the rest of your smile. There are multiple benefits to using this cosmetic treatment to close a diastema.
Yields natural-looking results
Is relatively affordable
Preserves natural tooth structure
Cosmetic bonding can be placed in well under 30 minutes at our office. It is an excellent option to close spaces between teeth. Dentists begin by cleaning and preparing the enamel surface to receive the bonding material, which will be hand-blended to ensure that it perfectly matches the color of your natural teeth. Preparing the enamel may involve the use of a special liquid that ensures that the bonding material adheres tightly to the surface of your tooth.
Once your tooth is ready, your dentist will artfully place the composite resin to close the diastema, molding it to span the gap in your smile. The final step involves making final adjustments and polishing the surface of the tooth. There is no recovery time associated with dental bonding, and very few patients ever report side effects.
Porcelain Veneers may be the best way to close the spaces between my teeth
A veneer is a thin wafer of highly lifelike dental porcelain, which your dentist designs to closely match the size, shape, color, and overall appearance of your tooth’s healthy front surface. For many patients with gaps in their teeth, veneers can be created to fill out the visible tooth structure and close the diastemas. Porcelain offer more dramatic cosmetic results than cosmetic bonding can. This is one reason why celebrities opt for veneers to brighten their smiles.
Porcelain veneers are placed through two visits to our office. During your first visit, a small amount of enamel will be removed to make room for the veneer to sit flush against the surface of your tooth. Temporary veneers are placed while you wait for your final shells to be placed at a second visit. Following the placement of your new veneers, some patients experience heightened sensitivity, especially to cold and hot foods and liquids. These minor side effects typically subside within a few days.
Porcelain dental crown
Sometimes, a tooth is significantly smaller than those around it, or it has suffered damage to its structure that leaves a space between it and a neighboring tooth. To close the spaces between teeth, your dentist might recommend placing one or two custom-designed caps. A porcelain crown will be fashioned according to blend into your smile and to ensure that it closes the diastema fully and uniformly. Dental crowns require the removal of enamel. Once your final crown has been manufactured, your cosmetic dentist will place the cap using a strong bonding agent. Most cosmetic dentists offer a wide range of dental crown material options.
Should I Try a DIY Treatment at Home?
The growing trend of DIY or mail-order braces to address diastema is of concern to all professional dentists. These unproven products promise to correct gaps in your smile. Some products advise using an elastic band to pull teeth. Doing so can pose serious dangers to your teeth and gums. Remember, any treatment that alters the appearance or orientation of your teeth requires professional supervision. Patients who try to close spaces between their teeth by treating themselves risk damaging or even losing a tooth.
The American Dental Association offers this warning:
The ADA strongly discourages the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics because of the potential for harm to patients. Patients are being inundated with direct marketing campaigns encouraging them to initiate and manage their own orthodontic treatment. These campaigns are operating in multiple media outlets, including online, billboards and television ads. [The ADA] supports the importance of dentists being in charge of diagnosing and treating patients to ensure the safe delivery of appropriate care.
Customizable Options to Close the space between your teeth
While a handful of celebrities can rock a diastema, few of us can. If you have a diastema or gaps or any other concerns with your smile’s appearance, then we can offer a number of customizable cosmetic solutions to improve it.
If you are asking yourself how to close a diastema, schedule a consultation by calling us at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.