You Do Not Have To Live With Diastema If You Do Not Want To
If you have had to deal with diastema, or a gap in your teeth, you may have felt singled out, or identified due to this visible characteristic. Although many people embrace their gap as a part of their looks, if yours makes you self-conscious, once you understand the cause of it, there are a couple of ways you can fix it.
What Was the Cause of Diastema?
Knowing the cause of your diastema will often have implications into your available options for treatment. Gaps can take place anywhere in your mouth, although they are most visible when they take place in the front of your upper teeth. Many times these gaps are present from early childhood, or when you first begin to cut your permanent teeth. These are often caused by:
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting
- A mismatch between the size of your teeth and your jawbone
- A large labial frenum (or the tissue that connects your gum to your upper lip), and more
While it is less common to develop a gap later in life, you can develop one as you age due to:
- Teeth shifting
- Gum disease
- Bone loss
Are You a Candidate for Braces?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for braces. If your diastema has been caused by the following, braces may not be an option your dentist chooses as a part of your treatment plan.
- Gum disease—Gum disease will need to be treated prior to any other intervention. Not only does it put you at a higher risk of losing your teeth, it puts you at a higher risk of other health issues. Even if you have had your gum disease successfully treated, braces can put you at higher risk of gum disease reoccurring.
- Bone loss —Many times those who have suffered a significant amount of bone loss will not have the underlying bone structure to successfully wear braces.
- Your teeth shifting due to missing teeth in other areas—Braces may not work without additional bridges, implants, or other dental work to fill in the missing teeth. Even if braces successfully close your gap, you will run the risk of the gap reoccurring if the initial reason is not addressed.
Will You Consider Dental Veneers?
Another popular method to correct the gap in your teeth is through the use of dental veneers. These are shells which are created especially for you by your dentist, and then fit over or bonded to your existing front teeth. They are usually composed of one of two main materials which are porcelain and ceramic composite.
Ceramic composites can often be created by your dentist while you are in the dental chair. This is often applied as a thin layer of laminate that only covers the surface of your tooth. Porcelain veneers on the other hand, are most often created by a dental lab. They are usually designed to fit over the entire tooth and normally installed at a later appointment.
Unfortunately, dental veneers can be relatively expensive, and they are often not covered by your dental insurance. Porcelain veneers can average anywhere between $500 to $1,100 per tooth, and ceramic composites can average between $700 to $1,300 per tooth. These prices can be much higher depending on the where you live, and the demand in your area.
If you choose not to embrace your distema as many other famous people have, speak with your dentist to discuss the right options for correcting yours. A dentist or orthodontist will be able to determine what can be done about the gap between your teeth and which method to use. Your comfort and satisfaction is worth the price.