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Cosmetic Dentistry for Gapped Teeth

By Stephen Rogers on October 09, 2015

Close-up of beautiful smileSmall gaps between your teeth may seem like a minor problem, but they can have dramatic consequences for your appearance. Often, these spaces develop because of the natural proportions of your jawbone and teeth, but gaps can develop for other reasons, as well. Whatever the cause, we offer several cosmetic dentistry options for gapped teeth. Porcelain veneers and Invisalign® are both effective, and they can provide long-lasting results. Your dentist will carefully evaluate your tooth alignment and esthetic goals to determine the right option for you.

What Causes Gapped Teeth?

Gapped teeth, or diastema, can occur for several reasons. Most commonly, spaces appear because your teeth are disproportionately small in comparison to your jawbone. In other instances, soft tissue known as the labial frenum protrudes from your gums, separating your two front teeth. In still other cases, childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or pacifier use, can pull your teeth forward, which will cause gaps.

Rather infrequently, gapped teeth can occur because of “tongue thrust.” If you have an incorrect swallowing reflex, your tongue will press against your teeth, rather than the roof of your mouth. Over time, this will push your teeth out, creating a gap. If you have an irregular swallowing reflex, you may want to seek treatment before undergoing cosmetic care.

Porcelain Veneers for a Smile Transformation

If you have smaller gaps between your teeth, but you have overall healthy bite alignment, porcelain veneers may be an appropriate solution.  Veneers can close gaps between your teeth and correct other cosmetic issues at the same time. Because these thin shells will attach directly to your teeth, they can conceal a range of surface blemishes, including stains, cracks, and chips. They can also reshape small, worn, or irregular teeth. At Greater Long Island Dental, we proudly use CEREC® technology to provide same-day veneers in many cases. Your dentist will take digital impressions of your teeth. Then he or she will use these images to design veneers that correspond with your smile.

Invisalign®: Subtle Orthodontia

Invisalign® may be a good option if you have larger gaps between your teeth, or if your whole bite is misaligned. This orthodontic treatment works similarly to traditional braces. However, instead of wearing fixed brackets and wires, you will wear clear, plastic aligner trays. Your dentist will custom-design these trays to fit over your teeth. You will receive a series of aligners, each with a slightly different shape, to put a gentle pressure on your teeth. Typically, you will switch to a new tray every two weeks. As you progress through the sequence, the gaps between your teeth will close, and your overall bite alignment will improve. Invisalign® is both subtle and effective. In fact, most people will not realize you are wearing your aligners, even when they are standing close to you.

Learn the Right Treatment for Your Gapped Grin

If you are self-conscious about your gapped teeth, you can achieve the even smile you desire. Contact our office to learn more about our cosmetic treatment options. 

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