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A diastema is a space or gap between two teeth. Most often, these gaps appear between the two upper front teeth; however, gaps can occur between any two teeth. Teeth gaps can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes smaller sized teeth will result in gaps. Habits such as thumb sucking, which creates pressure against the front teeth will push them forward causing a space. Periodontal disease can create tooth movement and gaps when gums are irritated and bone loses support.
If the gap is caused by periodontal disease, then periodontal treatment by a dentist or gum specialist (periodontist) is required. When gum health is restored, corrective treatment can begin.
There are a number of ways that dentists and orthodontists can reduce or fix gaps between teeth. We'll tell you more about each, and note these are not in any particular order. Some of the methods such as implants, dentures, and braces lend themselves to more complex gaps.
Cosmetic dentistry options include dental bonding, crowns and veneers, dentures, and implants. These options vary in expense and durability. Dental implants are the most permanent option, but also the most expensive due to requiring oral surgery.
Orthodontics, whether used to adjust gaps and smiles with traditional metal braces or the clear Invisalign aligners can be a great solution to permanently correcting gaps and straightening teeth. These methods are very common and are for adults as well as teens. The process will not show results as quickly as with other methods, but is necessary when teeth straightening or movement are required. This is where our team can help the most and we would be happy to consult with you about correcting your smile and bite.
Another method that exists, but should be avoided are teeth gap bands. Essentially a band is placed around the two teeth during sleep, and the gap closes within weeks/months. The gaps need to be less than 3.5 mm and the rest of the patients teeth need to be straight. We caution against these as although a cheap and quick fix, further dental problems can result.
If you have questions about any gaps, crowding, or smile/bite imperfections, seek consultation with our team.