Do you look in the mirror and see gaps between your teeth that compromise your otherwise beautiful smile? You are not alone, but fortunately, it is a situation that can be remedied.
Dr. Robert W. Hessberger has a variety of cosmetic dentistry techniques he uses for the treatment of gapped teeth at his Chicago, IL dental practice. You might like to know more about them.
Why Do Gaps Form?
There are several reasons why gapped teeth occur. Dr. Hessberger will first determine the causative factors, since they can influence the type of treatment he will recommend.
- Jaw-tooth size discrepancy: Gaps can occur simply because a person's teeth are too small for the jawbone.
- Missing teeth: Gaps can exist where teeth were lost to trauma or disease, or where teeth are impacted or congenitally missing.
- Habits: Thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting, habitually chewing on foreign objects, and other bad habits can cause gaps, and these habits must first be corrected before treating the gaps.
- Gum disease: Advanced gum disease can cause the teeth drift out of position or result in tooth loss, leaving a space between the teeth. The disease should be treated before attempting to close the space.
- Misplaced muscle attachment: The muscle attachment that connects the upper lip to the gum can extend between the two front teeth, causing them to spread apart. It may need to be surgically repositioned before the space is closed.
Methods for Closing Gaps
Any gap should be treated if it makes you feel self-conscious, causes a speech problem, or allows food to become trapped between your teeth.
Dr. Hessberger will carefully evaluate the nature and cause of your gapped teeth before recommending the treatment that is best for you. He has several options from which to choose, depending on your specific circumstances. Each of them can very effectively brighten your smile.
- Porcelain veneers: These thin, tooth-colored shells can be bonded to the front of the teeth. They can be matched in size, shape, and shade to the adjacent teeth.
- Dental bonding: A tooth-colored composite is bonded to the front of teeth to close gaps. Composite resin is used instead of porcelain and it can be placed in a single appointment.
- Dental fillings: For back teeth with gaps that allow food impaction, a tooth-colored filling can be placed to close the gap. It is strong, practically invisible, and it can be completed in one appointment.
- Dental crowns: A strong and esthetic custom-made crown, or cap, can be the ideal way to close a space on one or both sides of a tooth.
- Dental bridges: A custom-made bridge can effectively fill a gap caused by one or more missing teeth. It is highly esthetic, durable, and is permanently cemented to the teeth on either side of the space.
- Dental implants: This is the ideal treatment for a gap caused by a single missing tooth. After the implant is permanently embedded into the jawbone, a sturdy, natural-looking crown is attached to it.
- ClearCorrect: This comfortable and esthetic alternative to traditional braces employs clear plastic aligner trays to gradually move your teeth together and close gaps.
- Full mouth reconstruction: This can be the best solution if you have gaps and other dental issues, all of which need to be addressed. It combines some of the above treatments to restore your oral health.
If you want to know more about how to improve your smile, we would love to hear from you. We perform the full range of cosmetic and restorative dental services, so regardless of your needs, we can help. Give us a call at (773) 792-5562 or contact us online for a consultation appointment.