Spaces or gaps in teeth decrease the chance of a cosmetic smile. Adults tend to seek treatments for closing gaps in their teeth to bring perfect and good-looking teeth on their appearance. So their social fears of embarrassment and hiding their gaps with lips or all those negative feeling about their smile will not be bothering them anymore.
Gaps between teeth whether these gaps are in the back teeth or front teeth have negative impacts on your life. Gaps and spaces in the front or anterior teeth may even cause you not to show too much of your teeth when laughing or even smiling. While you are eating, food particles get trapped easily in the gaps and it bothers you for cleaning your teeth.
For closing the gap between your teeth, you can try orthodontics, dental bonding like composite resin, porcelain veneer and full or partial crowns.
What causes gaps between teeth?
Diastema is another name for gaps between teeth. There are many causes for diastema or diastemata (multiple gaps in teeth). Gaps between teeth can be because of chronic periodontal diseases or gum problems, having a permanent tooth loss, hereditary factors, missing a tooth at your birth or even external factors.
If you have had a congenital missing tooth or teeth when you were born, this is when an unwanted space is created for growth of other adjacent teeth. Other teeth can occupy the empty space of a missing tooth and so their position for growth will change and spaces appear between the teeth. So, not just a missing tooth in childhood but a missing permanent tooth in adult age is one of the reasons you have gaps in your teeth.
Children can have abnormal frenum and this extra gum tissue is the cause for a gap between front teeth (central incisor teeth). It creates a common gap which is known as midline diastema. Among children, we have bunch of bad habits that cause teeth to wedge apart.
These habits when left ignored and untreated will reveal a lot of tooth problems that can take years to fix. Habits like pushing or positioning tongue against or between teeth, thumb sucking, constant use of pacifiers are childhood bad habits that can cause gaps in your teeth when you grow up.
Sometimes you get a broken tooth, which you haven’t restored and it can show itself as a gap in your teeth. Most people see the gaps rather than other healthy teeth next to the broken tooth.
The anatomy of jaws and teeth can also affect how teeth are shaped and grown. When there is an abnormality in size of both jaws and teeth and when there haven’t been any treatments to fix the jaw relation or teeth occlusion, gaps between teeth are just one problem that will happen.
Do children’s gaps in their teeth need treatment?
You should wait for the appropriate age to come. When children are in their mixed dentition period (between 6 and 12 to 15), most spaces and gaps between their teeth will close naturally. Due to some missing teeth and overcrowded teeth, these spaces may require some orthodontic management with braces or other orthodontic appliances. When you grow up and see the gaps and spaces are still there and you know that these gaps persist into adulthood, you need treatments for closing your gaps.
If you are an adult seeking a way to close your gaps without braces, there are definitely some treatments in dentistry that can close those spaces. You will have symmetrical and proportional good-looking teeth when the gaps are closed in your teeth.
Treatments for closing gaps between the teeth
Dental bonding uses composite materials like composite resin, Nano-filled and micro-filled composites to bond directly to teeth. Dental bonding is the most economical and the fastest way to fill the gaps between the teeth. Dental bonding is called direct restoration because there is no laboratory work and fabrication.
This is why this restoration is preferable for fractures and broken parts of teeth and gap filling during the emergency situations or when you don’t want to spend much time but you want the most beautiful look and shiny teeth in your mouth. You need a single visit for your gap closure of the teeth with dental bonding and it is done at the dentist’s office. Filling the gaps with dental bonding has the advantage of shiny and beauty of natural-looking teeth.
Dental bonding doesn’t have corrosion-resistance features of the porcelain veneers. Bonding materials are also fragile against too much pressure and wear especially in the posterior teeth (back teeth), and crown or porcelain veneers are options to choose when filling the gaps in the areas of teeth that have heavy loads of clenching and pressures from opposing teeth especially in the posterior teeth.
Dental crown whether it is full crown or partial crown require much tooth preparation and take more time. Crown for teeth is called indirect restoration because lab work and material preparation for a custom-sized crown to fill the space and gaps is necessary. Crowning a teeth can fill your gaps in the teeth with special materials in filling dental materials.
You can choose all-ceramic crowns, which is esthetically beautiful to fill the space of teeth. Crowning a tooth is like putting a crown over the remaining part of teeth and it enlarges the bulk of teeth to a good proportion to the other adjacent teeth.
Therefore, spaces and gaps are fixed when tooth-to-tooth relation and occlusion of teeth are all checked by the dentist. Sometimes you have very small size teeth or maybe cavities and too much tooth decay have ruined your teeth. So dental bonding doesn’t work in this case and you need to have durable tooth gap filling treatment even between extremely worn and decayed teeth.
Veneers are like shells and they are laminated or attached to your teeth. So veneers are also called laminate veneers. Porcelain laminates or veneer is a ceramic type veneer that gives you tooth-colored and white looking teeth like dental bonding with composite resin but even better.
Porcelain veneer requires much tooth work on the enamel of your teeth in order to be laminated on the surface of the teeth. The dentist prepares porcelain veneers at the lab, so veneers are better for you in terms of choosing the best shade and color to match yours.
How can porcelain veneer fill the gaps between your teeth? When veneers are attached on teeth, dentist starts to contour and shape the porcelain veneer like composite. If there are any spaces and a gap between your teeth, porcelain veneer covers that for you with excellent and proportional space needed for a perfect and pearly pair of teeth.
Although porcelain veneer can take much time and money compared with dental bonding, it has the advantage of being wear-resistance, being durable and having a luster and shiny look for teeth.
Orthodontics is the best way to close the spaces between the teeth. Orthodontics uses application of constant pressures on teeth and moves the teeth to the acceptable position near each other. From the beginning of a missing tooth or bad oral habits among children, orthodontists know what is going to happen not just to appearance of spaces between your teeth but to the more future dental deformities of your jaws and teeth.
Using braces and common orthodontic appliance like retainers and new methods of Invisalign or aligners have all been useful ways to manage teeth and close the gaps in teeth.
Aligners in orthodontics are for all ages old and young. Aligners can fill the gaps between the teeth by small gradual movements to get the best shape in position. You can remove aligners while eating, drinking or brushing. Most adults will not select braces because they have social fears or attentions of public eye.
But with aligners, even these fears and problems will not come across your way. Nothing comes without a price. Orthodontics is not a one or two-day work and you should wait months or years to see the results. But what orthodontic does remains for the rest of your life.
These are your natural teeth that are moved and pulled to leave no space and gaps behind and even if teeth movements have reached to the end point or due to smaller size teeth, there are still spaces, composite resin after your orthodontics can provide a set of well-shaped teeth with a cosmetic look and appearance.
Can I fill gap between teeth at home and naturally?
This is the question that many people ask and also questions like “what is an at-home filling gap between teeth?” or “how can I hide my teeth gaps naturally at home?”
The answer to this question is no there isn’t a way and you can’t do at- home gap filling treatment. It is as simple as this, closing tooth gaps and spaces between teeth whether by direct restoration with composite resin bonding or by indirect restorations with crown and porcelain veneer is done by dentists an at their clinics and offices.
Filling gaps is not an at-home task. Also, orthodontics, which is the best gap filling treatment for teeth, is the orthodontists’ job using appliances with specific plans by them in specific periods of time. Never wear or try orthodontics appliances on your own to move your teeth at home. The results are too dangerous and irreversible for your teeth.
One thing you can do is using DIY dental veneers. But DIY veneer is not for moving teeth or repositioning of teeth to fill the gaps. It is just a veneer, so it is worn over your teeth. DIY veneer hides your gaps and your wear them to cover the gaps and spaces. DIY dental veneers have the clear plastic color, which matches the natural color of teeth like aligners. You can also remove them like the Invisalign or aligners.