Diastema refers to a gap between a person’s teeth. This is most common between the upper front teeth. However, such a gap can occur between any two teeth. What causes a diastema and what treatment options are available? Read on to learn more about this condition.
Issues That Cause Diastema
Sometimes, the treatment of diastema will depend on the cause of the gap. Some potential causes are:
– Teeth are different sizes
– Misalignment of teeth
– Lost teeth
Treatment for Diastema
When a person has a gap between two teeth, there are three primary treatment options:
What are the advantages of each option?
Orthodontics – Orthodontics generally involve the use of braces to bring the teeth back into proper alignment. This can close any gaps that are due to misalignment. Sometimes, a tooth needs to be removed to make room for maneuvering the rest into proper position. If a gap is not severe, an oral appliance like Invisalign may be sufficient to shift the teeth into place rather than a full set of braces.
Veneers – This is a quick fix when the diastema exists between the top front teeth. Cosmetic dentistry may be able to hide the gap by fitting the two teeth with veneers. While the teeth are shaved down to have the veneer fitted, it still adds a little bulk and covers the gap. Since these veneers are bonded to the outside of the tooth, this is a permanent procedure. The type of veneer you will need depends on the location of the tooth. Porcelain veneers are often ideal for the front teeth.
Implants – This is a particularly beneficial means of correcting diastema caused by a missing tooth or teeth. Gaps can be filled with implants that, if properly cared for, can last a person for the rest of their life. Implants also allow for normal chewing and are matched to the rest of the teeth in color and shape to provide the most natural appearance.
What Is a Frenectomy?
Sometimes a person is born with too much tissue between their front teeth, and this causes the gap. A frenectomy involves removing the excess tissue. A child who receives a frenectomy may find that the gap between front teeth closes on its own as the child grows. Teens and adults will usually also need braces after the frenectomy to finish closing the gap.
Your dentist will perform an examination to determine the cause of your diastema and then will be in the best position to recommend treatment.