Did you know that 7 out of 10 Americans are self conscious about their teeth? A recent poll conducted by Snow Teeth Whitening and published in a New York Post article found that people were insecure about crooked teeth, stained teeth, receding gums, and spaces between the teeth. In fact, these imperfections weigh so heavily on some people that 57% admitted to covering their teeth when they laugh.
Out of all the cosmetic concerns people noted, dentists note that their patients frequently express displeasure over having gaps between their teeth. In fact, fixing gaps between the teeth is one common request many cosmetic dentists hear from their patients. Luckily, eliminating gaps between the teeth can be accomplished in several different ways, including:
Dental veneers are thin shells that are most commonly made from porcelain, but can also be made by composite resin. They are adhered to the front side of existing visible teeth and are used to enhance the look of one or more teeth. In some cases, veneers are only used to restore a single imperfect tooth, however they can also be used for an entire smile makeover. In addition to eliminating gaps between the teeth, veneers can also improve the alignment, size, shape, and color of the teeth. For this reason, veneers are extremely popular among those looking for a dramatic change. However, veneers do require the removal of a thin layer of enamel and are a permanent treatment.
Cosmetic bonding is an affordable and minimally-invasive way to eliminate gaps between the teeth. This method uses composite resin bonded to the surface of the teeth in order to fill a gap between two teeth. The tooth-colored composite resin is applied as a soft putty that will be shaped to match the surrounding tooth structure and then hardened into place. The final layer will be polished to resemble natural tooth enamel. In most cases, cosmetic bonding does not require the removal of any enamel, however it may need to be repeated every 5-7 years to maintain the results.
Dental crows are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over the entire visible portion of the tooth. They are generally used to restore teeth that have been significantly affected by damage or decay, but they can also be used to improve the shape, size, and color of a tooth. To eliminate a gap between the teeth, one or more dental crowns may be used to make the natural tooth structure slightly larger in order to fill the gap. In order to place a dental crown, your natural tooth structure will need to be significantly reduced, making this a permanent treatment.
Orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign and metal braces, can also be used to eliminate the gaps between teeth. Unlike the aforementioned options that simply cover up the gaps between the teeth, orthodontic treatment will actually change the alignment of your teeth. This may be an ideal treatment for you if you are also self conscious about crooked teeth. While orthodontic treatment does take significantly longer than the other treatments, but the results last a lifetime.
Maureen Karl, DDS, FAGD graduated in 2004, obtaining her DDS degree from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. She completed a general dentistry Residency at the Castle Point VA. This residency provided her with continued training in general dentistry including extractions, crowns, root canals, and the treatment of periodontal disease. Dr. Karl is a member of the Fort Worth District Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Dental Association. She is committed to furthering her education to better serve her patients.