Cosmetic Dentistry for Gapped Teeth

Cosmetic Dentistry for Gapped Teeth By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on December 26, 2015

If you have a small gap between your teeth, you may be unsure about the best course of action. Your alignment issues do not affect your dental function or overall oral health, but they do impact your appearance. Dr. O’Keefe offers several cosmetic dentistry options to close or conceal these tiny spaces. Though traditional braces can certainly be effective, modern alternatives are subtler, more convenient, and more comfortable. Our treatments include Invisalign®, porcelain veneers, and dental bonding. Dr. O’Keefe will explain all your options beforehand, helping you choose a treatment that meets your goals and budget. To undergo treatment for gapped teeth, contact our Jackson, MS practice today.

Why Are My Teeth Gapped?

Gapped teeth, or diastema, can occur for several reasons. The causes of gapped teeth include:

  • Disproportionate jawbone: If your jawbone is too large compared to the size of your teeth, there may be small spaces in your smile
  • Missing teeth: If you do not treat missing teeth, the surrounding teeth will drift in your mouth, causing gaps to develop.
  • Irregular swallowing reflux: In some cases, you may thrust your tongue forward when you swallow. Over time, this will push your two front teeth apart.
  • Bad habits: Children who continue to suck their thumbs or use a pacifier after their teeth come in may develop diastema. The constant sucking motion can force the two front teeth apart.
  • Oversized labial frenum: Your labial frenum is the tag of tissue between your upper lip and gums. If it is too large, it can form a wedge between your two front teeth.

Invisalign®: A Subtle Way to Straighten Your Teeth

Invisalign® involves the use of clear aligner trays to gradually push your gapped teeth together. Results are permanent, and you can also improve the overall alignment of your bite. If you select this treatment, Dr. O’Keefe will take 3-D images of your tooth, which he will use to design your aligner trays. You will switch to a new tray every two weeks, and you should wear it 20 to 22 hours a day for optimal results.

Invisalign® typically offers the same results as traditional braces, but it is a subtler option. Plus, the aligners are more comfortable than metal braces, and they require fewer visits to the dentist’s office. In most cases, Invisalign® treatment takes the same amount of time as traditional orthodontia, but some patients enjoy beautifully enhanced smiles in as little as nine months.

Veneers and Bonding: Instantly Conceal Small Gaps

If you want immediate results, of if you only want to close a single gap in your teeth, consider veneers or bonding. Along with your gapped teeth, these treatments can address other cosmetic flaws, such as stains, chips, or worn edges. Porcelain veneers are thin shells, which Dr. O’Keefe will attach to the front of your teeth. He will first buff your teeth to remove some enamel and make room for the porcelain. Then he will take impressions so our lab can ensure a lifelike fit. To fill in the gap in your teeth, the technicians can create veneers that are slightly wider than your teeth.

Dental bonding is a more conservative option, since it does not require prep work. Instead, Dr. O’Keefe will apply composite resin directly to the front of your teeth. He can extend it out from the sides, filling in the space between your teeth. When he has concealed all cosmetic flaws, he will harden the material with a curing light.

Schedule a Cosmetic Evaluation

Correcting the gap between your teeth may be easier than you ever dreamed. Contact Dr. O’Keefe today to learn more about your treatment options.