For those who are unhappy with the appearance of gapped teeth, treatment is available. Gapped teeth can be addressed with cosmetic dentistry for an enhanced smile and improved confidence. If you are self conscious about the appearance of gapped teeth, treatment may be right for you. To learn more about treatment for gapped teeth, schedule a consultation with Mountain View, CA dentist Patrick F. McEvoy.
The Causes of Gapped Teeth
Gaps between the teeth can have a genetic cause or develop over time as the result of certain habits. Some common causes of gapped teeth include:
- Oversized labial frenum: The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. Sometimes this tissue is oversized, extending between the front upper teeth. In some cases, this leads to a large gap between the two front teeth.
- Undersized teeth: When the teeth are undersized, gaps may form between them.
- Thumb sucking or pacifier use: Prolonged thumb sucking or using a pacifier use can change the bite, causing gaps between the teeth.
- Tongue thrust: Tongue thrust is a disorder in which the tongue pushes into the upper front teeth when swallowing instead of the roof of the mouth. Over time, the pressure of the tongue pushing on the upper teeth can lead to the formation of gaps.
- Tooth loss: Tooth loss can cause gaps in two ways. The first is the space left from the missing tooth itself. The second is that the remaining teeth may shift over time, causing gaps to develop between the teeth.
Treatments for Gapped Teeth
There are many treatments available to close gaps between the teeth and improve the smile's appearance. The type of treatment depends on the needs of the individual.
- Frenectomy: A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure used to reduce the size of the labial frenum. A frenectomy alone won't close gaps between the teeth, which is why it is generally performed in combination with orthodontic treatment.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are wafer thin, tooth-shaped shells used to correct a number of dental flaws. When used as instant orthodontics, porcelain veneers can quickly close gaps between the teeth.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding treatment can transform the smile and treat gapped teeth using a tooth-colored resin. This resin is directly applied and shaped on the teeth to close gaps and address other aesthetic dental issues.
- Porcelain crowns: Porcelain crowns are custom-made, tooth-shaped restorations. Porcelain crowns fit completely over the teeth to transform their size and shape the teeth and close gaps.
- Invisalign®: Invisalign® is a discreet orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear trays to gradually reposition the teeth and eliminate gaps.
- Traditional orthodontics: Traditional orthodontics are highly effective at closing gaps of any size while also correcting mild to severe alignment issues.
- Dental implants: Dental implants offer a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. Dental implants may be used to replace one or more missing teeth when paired with dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of gapped teeth, treatment for gapped teeth may be right for you. To learn more about your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. McEvoy at your earliest convenience.