What Are My Treatment Options for Gapped Teeth?

November 21, 2015 — by Kenneth W. Coffey, DDS
Tags: Cosmetic Dentistry Porcelain Veneers Dental Bonding

A woman without gaps between her teeth, smilingIf you are unhappy with the appearance of your gapped teeth, you can undergo dental treatment. Cosmetic dentistry makes it possible to close gaps between teeth without the need for time consuming orthodontics. Orland Park, IL dentist Kenneth W. Coffey offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments to address dental gaps and improve the smile's appearance. Learn more about the many treatment options for gapped teeth in this overview.

Causes of Gapped Teeth

Gaps between teeth can occur for a number of reasons. Some people may have a large gap between the two upper front teeth due to an oversized labial frenum. The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. Sometimes this tissue extends between the two front teeth, creating a large gap.

Other people may develop gaps over time due to issues with the swallowing reflex, called tongue thrust. Tongue thrust is a condition in which the tongue presses against the front teeth while swallowing, instead of into the roof of the mouth. Over time, the repeat pressing of the tongue against the teeth can lead to gaps forming between the teeth.

Gaps between the teeth may also be a result of tooth size. Smaller teeth may not fill out the dental arches, resulting in gaps between teeth. Missing teeth can also cause gaps, not only from areas where the teeth are actually missing, but also as a result of the remaining teeth shifting.

Treatments for Gapped Teeth

There are many options for treating gapped teeth. The right treatment will depend on the specific needs of each patient. Some may require a combination of treatments while others may see improvement with only one type of treatment. Treatments for gapped teeth include:

  • Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped fabrications that are made to the desired size, shape, and color to fit over the front surface of the teeth. Porcelain veneers can be used to close gaps between the front teeth in as little as two dental visits.
  • Dental bonding: Dental bonding treatment is also used to close gaps between teeth, as well as correct dental shape, size, and overall appearance. Dental bonding treatment uses a resin that is applied and shaped directly on the teeth to improve overall aesthetics.
  • Frenectomy: A frenectomy may be preformed when closing gaps caused by a large labial frenum. During a frenectomy, excess labial frenum tissue is removed. Frenectomies are generally combined with other treatments to fully close large gaps between the upper teeth.
  • Orthodontics: Severe gaps may require orthodontic treatment. Invisalign® or traditional orthodontics are highly effective at closing gaps between teeth.
  • Dental implants: Gaps caused by missing teeth can be corrected with dental implant treatment. Dental implants are surgically placed titanium posts that can be paired with different types of dental restorations, like dental crowns or bridges, to replace individual or multiple teeth.

Contact Dr. Coffey for Your Personalized Treatment Plan

Don't wait any longer to enjoy a beautiful smile. To discuss which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coffey.

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