Spaces or gaps in teeth decrease the chance of a cosmetic smile. Adults tend to seek treatment for closing gaps in their teeth to bring perfect and good-looking smile on their appearance. So their social fears of embarrassment and hiding their gaps with lips or all those negative feelings about their smile will not bother them anymore.
Gaps between teeth whether in the back or front teeth have negative impacts on your life. These spaces in the front 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 during brushing.
To close the gapped teeth, you can try orthodontics, dental bonding like composite resin, porcelain veneers, and full or partial crowns.
What causes gaps between teeth?
Diastema is another name for spaces between teeth. There are many causes for diastema. It can occur because of chronic periodontal diseases or gum problems, tooth loss, hereditary factors, or external factors.
If you had a congenital missing tooth when you were born, this is when an unwanted space is created for the growth of other adjacent teeth. Other teeth can occupy the space of a missing tooth, 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 of a gap between central incisors. It creates a common gap which is known as midline diastema. Among children, we have a 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, and constant use of pacifiers are childhood bad habits that can cause gaps in your child’s teeth when they grow up.
The anatomy of jaws and teeth can also affect how teeth are shaped and grown. When there is an abnormal bite and when there haven’t been any treatments to fix the jaw relation or occlusion, gaps between teeth are just one problem that will happen.
Do children’s gaps in 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. Teeth bonding is the most economical and fastest way to fill the gaps between the teeth. It is called direct restoration because there is no laboratory work or fabrication.
This treatment is commonly used for mild fractures and broken parts of teeth and it is a popular choice for gap filling. 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 porcelain veneers. Bonding materials are also fragile against too much pressure and wear especially in the posterior teeth (back teeth). In that case, your dentist may recommend a crown or porcelain veneers.
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 teeth can fill the 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. Orthodontic treatment uses application of constant pressure on teeth and moves the teeth to the acceptable position.
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 correct 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.
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 orthodontics 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.
Can I fill gaps 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 a simple composite resin bonding or by crown and porcelain veneer is done by dentists 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 orthodontist’s job. They use braces or other appliances for specific periods. 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 use 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 you wear them to cover the gaps and spaces. DIY dental veneers have a clear plastic color, which matches the natural color of teeth like aligners. You can also remove them like the Invisalign or aligners.