Lots of people have gaps between teeth. Commonly, this happens between your front teeth but you can have a space between any teeth in your mouth. As I write this in 2018, actually having a gap between your front teeth is quite fashionable. There are loads of models with gaps between their teeth. This has not always been the case and fashions may change in future. But the point is that if you have a gap between your teeth, you don’t have to do anything about it. It’s perfectly normal and you may see it as a part of you and your smile. As long as you care for your teeth and keep the gap clean, I’m happy. This article is for people who have one or several spaces between their teeth and they wish to change this.
Before we go any further, we are not talking about replacing missing teeth. We are talking about how to close or disguise small gaps between teeth. If you want to know about the different options to replace a missing tooth then read this article.
If we want to get rid of a small gap between teeth, we have two main options. We can ﬁll the gap or we can close the gap.
Fill the gap
If we want to ﬁll the gap, we have the option of doing it with either ﬁlling material or porcelain. Using a tooth coloured ﬁlling material is a nice, simple treatment. It doesn’t require the removal of any healthy enamel. However, it is tricky for the dentist to make it look as nice as the porcelain option. The porcelain option can come in the form of a veneer or a crown. The downside with these two options is that you have to remove some enamel to make space for the porcelain. A veneer will look nice but it may require destruction of part of the tooth underneath.
Either of these materials can work when ﬁlling a small space. Using tooth coloured ﬁlling material is the most conservative option but porcelain can look better. The major downside with closing a space by ﬁlling it is that the teeth have to be made broader. When getting rid of a small gap, this may not be a problem. But if you try to ﬁll a larger gap between teeth, the teeth may look very broad and fat. This might look ﬁne but you need to be aware of this before you go ahead with the treatment.
Close the gap
The second option is to close the gap. This will require some form of brace. It could be a traditional, train track style brace. Or it may be possible to use a clear braces or tooth coloured brace. The beneﬁt of using braces to close a space is that the teeth are not made wider. The downside with braces is that it will take time to move the teeth and close the gap. This is likely to be the most expensive option but it could be the only option if the spaces between the teeth are quite big. To learn more about braces, read this article.
After braces treatment, retainers must be worn for as long as you want your teeth to remain in that position. The gap could open up again if you do not use retainers so this is really important. Each person is different. Each gap is different and so the best treatment option will vary. Whereas one person may need braces, another person may just need a small tooth coloured ﬁlling to close the unwanted gap. If you have spaces between your teeth that you would like to close, ask your dentist about the options. If you have gaps and you are happy, that’s great. But if you want to close the spaces between your teeth, hopefully this short article has been helpful.