A gap or space between your teeth is called a diastema. There are several factors that will help your dentist decide if Invisalign, another form of orthodontic treatment, or cosmetic dentistry can help.
Size of the Space
The size of the space between your teeth can determine your treatment options. If the gap is small, treatment with Invisalign or another type of clear braces might not be necessary. Small gaps can be concealed with dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
Skilled cosmetic dentists use dental composite to conceal imperfections in teeth, including small gaps. Your cosmetic dentist will blend together shades of composite to match your teeth. After your teeth are lightly etched, the bonding will be applied, shaped, hardened, and polished. People won’t be able to distinguish the composite from your natural teeth. Bonding stains over time and will need periodic polishing. Depending on how well you take care of it, it will need to be replaced every five to ten years.
Dental bonding can help you avoid months of treatment with Invisalign or other types of orthodontic treatment. Bonding is applied while you’re sitting in the dental chair and usually only takes one visit.
Thin shells of lifelike porcelain can be bonded to the fronts of the affected teeth. Adjacent teeth might also need veneers to create symmetry and natural-looking results. Porcelain veneers are permanent. Your natural teeth have to be prepared for veneers, and the preparation cannot be reversed. Although Invisalign doesn’t require any work on your natural teeth, treatment can last many months. It only takes a few office visits to receive porcelain veneers.
Is There Labial Frenum Between Your Teeth?
At times, there is tissue between the teeth—labial frenum—that is suspended from the upper lip to the gums. It can prevent the gap from closing. If the frenum prevents the gap from closing, the tissue will need to be surgically removed. If the gap is large, Invisalign can be used to close it. Otherwise, porcelain veneers or dental bonding can hide a small gap.
What about Invisalign for Closing a Gap?
If any of your teeth are misaligned, invisible braces will correct the misalignment and close the gap. There are other considerations:
- Unlike dental bonding or porcelain veneers, no material will be permanently applied to your teeth.
- When your treatment with invisible braces is complete, you will need to wear a retainer to maintain the alignment of your teeth.
- Invisalign treatment takes longer than dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
- If you have a gap along with wisdom teeth that are erupting, the movement of your teeth can affect the size of your gap. Your dentist will determine the best time to start treatment.
What About DIY Methods?
Closing a gap between your teeth is not something you should try on your own. Do-it-yourself orthodontics, such as rubber bands, can incorrectly move your teeth, cause them to twist, or leave spaces between them that didn’t exist before.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist to learn more about Invisalign and your other treatment options.
This post is sponsored by Steven Brooksher, DDS, an accredited cosmetic dentist in Baton Rouge, LA.