This patient had microdontia meaning having smaller than normal teeth. The teeth were so small that there were large spaces between her teeth. She came to us wanting all of her teeth removed so that she could have a denture with normal sized teeth.
This patient had microdontia meaning having smaller than normal teeth. The teeth were so small that there were large spaces between her teeth. She came to us wanting all of her teeth removed so that she could have a denture with normal sized teeth. To yield an ideal result, this patient had some orthodontics to evenly space her teeth around the arch. Then a gum lift was done to reduce the gummy smile and to make it easier to have ideal shapes to the new crowns.
Do you have gaps in your smile? Some individuals embrace this trait. Others, however, may wish to fill spaces between the teeth for a more uniform appearance. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. James Fondriest discusses why spacing can occur between the teeth, and explains how to address the issue with cosmetic dentistry.
Why Do I Have Spaces between My Teeth?
A gap between two teeth is called a diastema. This condition is a variation of normal, and typically does not affect the state of your oral health. However, in addition to detracting from the appearance of a smile, a diastema can sometimes cause pain and discomfort – especially if your lips, cheeks, or tongue become caught in the space.
There are plenty of reasons why a diastema may occur. Some of the most common causes include:
- Oversized labial frenum
- Undersized teeth
- Periodontal disease
- Difficulty swallowing
- Missing teeth
- Thumb sucking
- Prolonged bottle or pacifier use
How to Correct Gaps between the Teeth
There are a few different options when it comes to closing down the gaps in your smile. The method recommended for you will depend on the severity of the diastema. We will explore three common options in the sections below.
Cosmetic Dental Bonding
This process involves applying composite resin to the affected teeth. The resin is color-matched to your natural tooth so it will blend it with your smile.
To perform cosmetic dental bonding, Dr. Fondriest roughens the surface of the tooth to prepare it for bonding. Next, the composite resin is applied, shaped, and molded until the tooth is the desired shape and size. Finally, any last adjustments are made, and the teeth are polished to a high, natural-looking shine.
Performing this on two consecutive teeth can effectively close down any spacing between them. If the gap is large, however, you may be better suited for alternative options.
Veneers are strong, resilient, but ultra-thin restorations that adhere to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are similar to dental crowns, but they do not cover the entire tooth structure. Crafted from medical-grade porcelain, veneers can eliminate gaps in your smile and conceal other cosmetic imperfections as well.
Placing porcelain veneers usually takes at least two dental visits. First the affected teeth are prepared. To do this, Dr. Fondriest removes small amounts of enamel to create a better bonding surface for the restorations. Next, impressions are taken and sent to a dental lab. There, a ceramist will create your new veneers according to your unique preferences and dental anatomy.
Once the porcelain veneers are finished, they will be shipped to our office. We will schedule you for a second appointment, during which Dr. Fondriest will bond the restorations to your teeth. With proper care, veneers can last upwards of 20 years.
Patients with severe or complex spacing may require orthodontics to correct the issue. Braces not only straighten the teeth, they also improve your overall oral health and function. If Dr. Fondriest determines that orthodontic treatment is necessary to achieve your goals, he will refer you to a trusted specialist in the area.
Contact Lake Forest Dental Arts
If you have spaces between the teeth and would like the enhance the appearance of your smile, schedule a consultation at our Chicago, IL practice. Contact us online or give us a call at 847-234-0517.