• Diastema

WHAT IS DIASTEMA

Diastema is referred to as a gap between two teeth. It is common for children to have gaps between their teeth; it is not something you should worry about because the gaps will be filled up once the permanent teeth start emerging.

Gap(diastema) teeth is not a concern to some people; they like the fact that their teeth have gaps between especially the two front teeth. Some say it enhances their beauty —some in Asian cultures believe that gap teeth bring specific attributes such as wealth, fertility and luck.

If you have any gap between your teeth after your permanent tooth has fully emerged, you may want to consider one or more malocclusion treatments to close the gaps. In case you are not comfortable with your diastema, the information we have provided in this article will help you get rid of that gap — you should read further to find out more.

Table Of Content

What Is Diastema

Diastema is defined as a gap between two teeth. Gap teeth can happen anywhere in the mouth but are more noticeable when they occur between the two front teeth. There are two types of diastema, namely; mandibular diastema, which is a gap in the lower teeth, and median or midline diastema, which is a gap between the two front teeth.

It is usual for babies to have gap teeth because their jaw is still growing at this stage. The gaps in the teeth will naturally close up when permanent teeth start emerging. You may seek the advice of your dentist if gaps are left after your permanent teeth have erupted. Some gaps are more noticeable than others. You need to take extra care of your oral health if you have spaces between your teeth. Using water flosser will make it easier to clean gaps between teeth.

Causes Of Gaps In Front Teeth

Diastema has different causes; the most common of them is a mismatch between the size of teeth and the jaw size. Your teeth will not align properly on the jaw if the jaw is more prominent  and you have smaller teeth. This is because a lot of space will be left in your mouth. Extra tissue growing above the teeth can also cause gaps between teeth. The frenum is the bit of skin between your lip and top front teeth. When the frenum grows more than it should, it causes a diastema between your two upper front teeth.

It is conventional for gap teeth to close naturally when their permanent teeth start emerging. Some behavioural factors can cause diastema; these include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Gum disease caused by poor dental hygiene

Thumb sucking can make the thumb exert pressure on your two front teeth (midline diastema). Mandibular diastema can be caused by tongue thrusting due to the tongue pushing against the lower teeth when swallowing. You can prevent this by curling these habits in children. Severe gum disease can make you lose your teeth which creates gaps on your jaw. You must take your oral health seriously to prevent severe gum diseases that can cause diastema.

What Is A Peg Lateral?

Peg lateral occurs when the second incisor that is next to the two front teeth does not develop properly. When this happens, the tooth appears smaller, having a pointed shape. Peg lateral leaves a gap on either side of the mouth since it is smaller than it should be. You can fix peg lateral using dental crowns, implant and veneers.

How To Close Gaps In Teeth?

Closing gaps in teeth is a simple and straightforward process since it is not a complicated malocclusion. There are different treatment options you can use to close a diastema. Every case of diastema is distinct, and different treatment approaches are needed. Your dentist will be able to talk you through the best treatment to close your gaps.

Closing Gaps In Teeth With Braces

Braces can be used to close the gaps between your teeth. Smaller gaps may close on their own, but more significant gaps will need braces to close them.

You cannot use braces to fix diastema in children — jaw growth at a different rate to the teeth in children and milk teeth and permanent teeth can grow together at the same time, causing natural spacing between teeth.  You will have to wait until all permanent teeth have emerged before you can consider braces as an option for effective diastema treatment. If there are still gaps after permanent teeth have fully developed, your dentist will talk you through different braces options.

Invisalign For A Diastema

Some people prefer closing their gap teeth with Invisalign braces because they are more comfortable than metal braces. Unlike the traditional braces, the clear aligners are hardly noticed and they are very effective for treating mild and moderate cases of diastema —  the fact that they are removable add up to the general convenience. You can check if your case of diastema can be treated with Invisalign braces when you take Invisalign Smile Assessment from Invisalign website. It is free, and will take just a few minutes. If you need consultation on how you can close a diastema with Invisalign braces, you can visit the Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic on Harley Street, London or call us on 020 71830755 to book an appointment.

How Can I Get Rid Of Gaps In Teeth Without Braces?

You can close some gaps between your teeth without braces. Other treatment options your dentist may adopt to close diastemata are veneers and composite bonding — they are more effective when closing one or two gaps. Braces will be the best option if there are several gaps to be closed or if the diastema is over-spaced. Your dentist should have experience with both options and He/she will talk you through the pros and cons to know the one that is suitable for you.

Porcelain veneers

You can close small gaps between your teeth with porcelain veneers. It is a thin layer of ceramic material that is fitted on top of your natural teeth to change the shape and colour. Using porcelain veneer to close diastema is very straightforward, but it is only suitable for adults. Veneers are custom-made in the lab for your teeth — the lab technician makes it slightly wider so that it can fill the gaps between the original teeth. When the teeth are covered with layers of porcelain, the excesses from the teeth help to hide the gaps between them. You will need to visit your dentist twice for the process to be completed.

An impression or measurement of your mouth is taken on your first visit, and your enamel will be slightly scraped so that your teeth will not appear bigger when porcelain veneers are fitted. Once your veneers have been made in the lab, it will be fitted to your teeth with a bonding agent.

Naturally, veneers can help to cover small gaps in teeth, but the results may not look so good if the gaps to be cover are too broad — it will make it appear you have an oversized front teeth.

Composite bonding

A composite material can be applied directly to your teeth to close a diastema. This process does not require lab work; your dentist takes his time to build and shape the composite to achieve your desired result. For composite bonding to be useful for closing gaps it is used to slightly increase the size of the tooth. The entire tooth can be covered with composite material— it is a conventional treatment for chipped teeth.

Veneers Vs Bonding For A Diastema

The table below gives a summary of the two main options for treating a diastema without braces and the costs of treatment.

  Porcelain Veneers Composite Bonding

What does it involve

A layer of porcelain is made to be slightly wider than the teeth so that it can close the gap between them

A composite material is added directly to increase the width of the teeth so that it can fill the gaps between them.

How many visits before completion

You need at least two visits to the dentist before your diastema can be covered with porcelain veneers

Treatment can be completed in one appointment.

How much does it cost?

£400 - £1000 per tooth

£90 - £300 per tooth

Pros

It lasts longer; it can last more than ten years

It is faster and cheaper

Cons

The enamel of your healthy tooth might be scraped off, and this is not reversible.

A composite material is placed on original teeth without scraping your heathy teeth off

 

How Much Does A Diastema Closure Cost?

Treatment of diastema with braces costs between £1,500 and £5,500 in the UK. The cost varies depending on the type of braces that will be used for treatment. Invisalign braces are more expensive than conventional metal braces, it takes a longer time to achieve desired results, but they are more comfortable. As shown in the table above, porcelain veneers cost £400- £1,000 while composite cost £90 - £300. You should consider your budget before choosing the treatment option for your diastema.

FAQs

Can A Retainer Fix Gaps In Teeth?

Retainers are not too effective for closing diastema. This is because they are limited providing the required pressure to move the teeth into alignment and it takes longer to achieve desired result. Removable braces move teeth faster into alignment. You can have your diastema fixed with removable braces after which you will wear retainers to keep your teeth in their new position.

Are Gaps In Baby Teeth Normal?

Gap teeth in babies are regular. This is because the jaw is still developing at this stage which may be faster than teeth growth. When milk teeth are growing differently on the jaw, there will be gaps which may be filled later when permanent teeth have erupted. You may consider having diastema treatment if there are still gaps after permanent teeth have developed fully. Your dentist will talk you through the best treatment option to close your diastema. You can also contact Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic on Harley Street, London to have an experienced dentist prescribe the most suitable treatment for your diastema. Give us a call on 02071830755 to book an appointment.

What Can I Do If I Have Gaps In My Teeth After Braces?

Braces are designed to move your teeth into proper alignment. You can refer back to your dentist if you are not happy with the results of your treatment. Just as a dentist often recommends, you should wear retainers after your treatment to keep your teeth in the aligned position.

Does flossing create gaps in teeth?

It is not an establishes fact that flossing can cause gaps between teeth. It may be possible that your gum may start receding when you floss between your teeth and if this occurs, you should see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment if you feel gaps are appearing in your teeth as a result of flossing because it may be a sign of gum disease.

Conclusion

A diastema is not a medical concern, but gaps between your teeth may be due to oral health issues such as gum diseases. Gum disease can result from poor oral hygiene, and you should see your dentist for proper assessment. The process of closing diastema is straightforward —various treatment options you may consider include braces, porcelain veneers and composite bonding.

You should not be too concerned if your baby has gap teeth, because it will disappear when permanent teeth erupt. You may consider diastema treatment if the gaps remain when permanent teeth are have fully erupted.

Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic can help you fix your diastema —visit us today at Harley Street, London or call 02071830755 to book an appointment.