How Can I Close a Gap Between My Front Teeth?
Gaps between the front teeth get mixed reviews. Some people find them attractive, and many celebrities preserve theirs rather than having cosmetic dentistry to close the gap. For many others, the gaps cause them to dislike their smiles, hiding them behind closed lips or hands.
If you fall into the latter category and do not like the gap between your front teeth, this article is for you. In it, we will discuss the various cosmetic dentistry options for closing a gap between the two front teeth.
Move the Teeth to Close the Gap
Interestingly, the most conservative way to close a gap between front teeth also takes the longest. Moving the teeth is the most conservative approach because it does not make any changes to the teeth themselves. Orthodontically moving the teeth also preserves the natural shape of your teeth.
At Designer Smiles, Dr. Ann has used Invisalign to create hundreds of beautiful smiles. With the clear aligners of Invisalign, you can discreetly move the teeth to close any unsightly spaces. This is the best treatment option for closing gaps when you like the shape and size of your teeth. The length of the treatment depends on how large the gap is, the presence of any other orthodontic problems you would like to correct, and your compliance with wearing the aligners at least twenty-two hours each day.
After closing a gap with Invisalign, it is absolutely essential that you wear your retainers as directed by Dr. Ann. Even after correction, these teeth will have a tendency to move back to their original position.
Add to the Teeth to Close the Gap
Another option to close a gap between front teeth is a dental treatment commonly referred to as “bonding”. (We don’t love this term because it sounds a little too close to “bond-o”, which is nothing like dental bonding.) This option involves the dentist adding perfectly matched tooth-colored filling material to the sides of the teeth facing the gap, thus filling it in.
This option does make the teeth wider, so it is a wonderful treatment for patients whose teeth may be small or narrow. Conversely, it would not be a great option for teeth that already appear wide or large.
The advantages of this option are that it is quick (only a single dental appointment) and conservative (requires little to no removal of tooth structure). Another significant advantage is that it is the least expensive of the treatment options to close gaps.
It also carries a few disadvantages. It may not provide the best cosmetic result due to the widening of the teeth. Also, the material used is prone to chipping, breaking, or collecting stain.
Cover the Teeth to Close the Gap
You can also close a gap as part of a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. Veneers cover the visible surface of the teeth and make cosmetic changes. With veneers, your dentist can correct multiple cosmetic problems in a smile. This ability makes veneers a great treatment option when the gap is only one of the things you dislike about your smile.
Porcelain veneers offer the advantage of correcting additional cosmetic problems, like discoloration, minor crowding or rotation of the teeth, and multiple gaps. Veneers recreate the shape, size, and color of the teeth, so Dr. Ann can customize the teeth to perfectly fit your face.
The advantages of porcelain veneers is their longevity and stability over time. The highly glazed porcelain will not collect stains from coffee, tea, or red wine. When made by a skilled dentist like Dr. Ann, they also carry a much lower risk for chipping or breaking than composite bonding does.
One disadvantage of porcelain veneers is that they do require the removal of tooth structure. We must make space for the porcelain, which will replace the enamel of the teeth. This removal of tooth structure is irreversible, so the teeth will require coverage for the rest of your life. Another disadvantage is the expense of veneers. They are a significant investment, and one that our patients consider well worth the cost!
What Causes Gaps Between the Front Teeth?
One of the most important aspects of closing a gap between the front teeth is understanding the cause of the gap. The last thing your dentist wants to do is close a gap that will quickly re-open. Dr. Ann will assess the nature of the space you have in order to recommend the proper follow-up care.
For example, if the cause of the space is a low muscle attachment, called the frenum, then a procedure that removes that attachment may be necessary. This minimally invasive surgical procedure (frenectomy) can eliminate the pressure between front teeth and maintain their new position (with the help of retainers) after orthodontic treatment.
In other cases, the cause of the gap is heavy teeth grinding where the lower jaw pushes forward against the upper teeth. When this is the case, we must prevent those forces by consistently wearing a protective nightguard. Another potential cause of spacing is progressive gum disease. You should never undertake any cosmetic dental treatment without first addressing gum disease. Having cosmetic dental work done with existing periodontal disease is like building a beautiful new house on a crumbling foundation. It’s just a waste of money!
More Questions about How to Close Gaps Between the Teeth?
Call Designer Smiles today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann. She can assess your current situation, determine the cause of your gap, and discuss the various treatment options with you. We’ve been creating beautiful smiles for decades and would be thrilled to add yours to the list!