Diastema is a term used to describe a gap between the front teeth. Most gappy tooth cases are found in children, but it is not usually a cause for concern since the gaps generally close when their adult teeth come out.
However, some adults still have diastema and other gaps between their teeth. If you are in this class, you may want to check out our malocclusion treatments to help you close diastema. You can also choose to keep your diastema; some cultures even believe it can bring them fertility, wealth, luck and other good things.
Here is a comprehensive article on what you need to know about diastema. You will learn:
We believe that you will find the most needed solution to your diastema or that of your loved one here.
Diastema is "a gap between two teeth". The most noticeable ones occur in the front teeth, though these gaps can occur in any other part of the mouth. When the gap occurs in the lower teeth, it is usually referred to as "mandibular diastema", but it is called a median diastema or midline when it appears in the front teeth.
A report from the Journal of the American Dental Association states that there are between 1.6% and 25.4% of people with diastema. That's huge, but with the new techniques, you can close up gappy teeth quickly.
Diastema in baby teeth is relatively normal because the baby's jaw is still developing and teething. When the baby grows and losses the milk teeth, space will close naturally. If it doesn't, you may need to speak to a dentist for advice.
People with gaps between their teeth need to pay extra attention to their oral health. You need to use interdental brushes and a water flosser to achieve the required level of oral health.
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There are different causes of diastema. One of them is when the size of the jaw does not match the size of teeth. If you have a big jaw with small teeth, then you will have problems aligning because there will be too much space left in the mouth.
It can also occur when an extra tissue grows above the teeth. This tissue occurs between your lip and the top of your front teeth; it is called the frenum. When this skin overgrows, it can force a diastema to occur between your upper front teeth.
The other causes of diastema are sometimes related to behaviours like:
Tongue thrusting can cause mandibular diastema if the child pushes the tongue against their lower teeth when swallowing. Thumb sucking is known to cause midline diastema because of the pressure exerted by the thumb.
Suffering from severe gum disease (periodontitis) can make you lose your teeth. The infection can also cause bone loss which will make your teeth relocate with gaps in between.
There are some cases where the second incisor (the tooth right beside your two front teeth) does not correctly develop this condition is called peg lateral. In such a case, the second incisor will be smaller than usual and with a pointy tip. There will also be spaces on both sides.
Peg lateral can be fixed with restorations like crowns, veneers, and teeth implants.
It is pretty straightforward to close gaps between teeth. Many available solutions can be used to achieve this result. One of them is orthodontia. Your dentist will tell you about this treatment, which is best for you, and offer all the needed help until you are through.
The teeth can be adjusted with braces until they close up the gaps between them. Braces usually work better for more significant gaps, but the smaller ones will be treated with other methods. We will talk about this soon.
It is advisable to wait until all the adult teeth have fully occurred and developed before considering using braces to treat diastema. This is because some children's teeth and jaw do not grow at the same rate, and when the milk teeth mix up with adult teeth, there can be natural spacing between them. If space persists after every one of them has been developed, talk to your dentist, and they will tell you about the available braces options.
Yes. Braces and aligners are effective for closing gaps, but they are not the only options. There are two other helpful options: composite bonding and veneers. Unlike braces, they are suitable for closing just one or two gaps. So, you may want to consider braces if you have more gaps between your teeth.
Your dentist will tell you the most suitable treatment for you. But before then, read the segment below for the pros and cons of these treatments to understand your options.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
When closing a diastema with bonding, your dentist will apply a composite material directly to your teeth with no need for lab work. They will then build up the composite and shape it into the desired appearance. In most cases, the composite will be used to extend the tooth slightly to close the gap.
You can also ask your dentist to cover the original tooth completely. This treatment is called a composite veneer. It is a widespread treatment for repairing a chipped tooth.
A porcelain veneer is a slim cover that will be placed on your natural teeth to change their shape and colour. It is very effective and relatively straightforward for fixing small diastema, but it is only suitable for adults.
When using veneers to close gaps, the dentist will only create wider veneers than the natural teeth. After fitting them, they will meet in the middle and close up the gap.
You will need to visit your dentist twice to complete your treatment with porcelain veneers. The dentist will use the first visit to prepare your teeth and take dimensions for the veneers, while the second will be for the fitting after they have been produced from the lab.
A veneer is an excellent treatment for naturally covering small gaps in the tooth, but its result may not be so pleasing when used for more significant gaps. You may end up with oversized front teeth, which you will not appreciate.
The dentist knows what will work best for you. They improve smiles daily and have seen what works and what doesn't. Trust their judgement on this matter.
Below is a table that summarises the differences between composite bonding and veneers, the two main options for treating diastema without braces.
|Composite bonding||Porcelain veneers|
|How does it work?||A composite material will be added to your teeth to increase the size and build them up until they reach each other at a midpoint, covering the gap.||A thin porcelain cover that is slightly wider than your teeth will be placed on your teeth to cover the gap|
|How long does it take?||It can be completed in one visit||Two visitations with the second coming 1-3 weeks after the first for fitting|
|Cost of the treatment||£90 - £300||£650 - £1,000|
|Pros||Cheaper and quick to apply||Hardwearing and long-lasting|
|Cons||It will need retouching as the bonding last for 5 years. It only works for small gaps||Some part of the healthy tooth will be removed, and it takes two visits to complete. It only works for small gaps|
Treating diastema can costs anything from £200 (when using composite bonding to cover the gap between the two front teeth) to thousands of pound when treating with braces and porcelain veneers.
The price range for getting composite bonding and porcelain veneers have been included in the table above. If you are using braces for treating your diastema teeth, it will cost you anywhere between £1,000 and £5,500 depending on the type of braces you choose.
If you have a mild orthodontic case, you can treat diastema with Invisalign i7 or Invisalign Lite from £1,500. However, if your teeth need more movement, using Invisalign Full is essential. You can check in with us to find out the price of having Invisalign treatment with us.
Public healthcare does not cover the treatment of diastema. This is because diastema is not considered a medical necessity in the UK.
However, people with severe teeth spacing (that may be caused by hypodontia, naturally missing teeth) can be eligible for braces, and after that, dental bridges or dentures to cover the gap. Public healthcare also covers the treatment of periodontitis which is one of the causes of gaps in teeth.
You can contact us at St Albans Dental Care to find out if you are eligible for treatment on public healthcare. You can also find out about our payment plans for dental work here.
Generally, the diastema gap in between teeth is not a medical concern. However, there may be some underlying causes of a gap between your front teeth or the other teeth, so it is advisable to see your dentist.
Gaps in children's teeth are not usually a cause for concern as it is a common occurrence. The condition may correct itself after the child fully develops adult teeth.
Closing gaps with braces is a straightforward process, so there may be no need to go for traditional braces. Invisalign offers an excellent solution for up to 90% of orthodontic treatments. Do not forget to check in with us to know your eligibility for Invisalign.
Retainers can move the teeth to some extent, but their level of movement is limited. Using fixed or removable braces are more effective for closing tooth gaps. After your treatment with braces, you can use the retainers to keep the newly arranged teeth in place.
Removable aligners are more preferred for closing diastema because they are not fixed to the teeth. Also, they are barely visible, and there are no metal wires to make their presence so pronounced. Book an appointment with us for your treatment with clear aligners.
It all depends on what "naturally" means to you. Using braces, composite bonding, and veneers are not natural ways of fixing diastema; they offer natural-looking results.
Some people may use elastic bands around their gapped teeth to pull them together. Still, The American Association of Orthodontists, in their 2017 report on trends, stated that this process causes more harm to the teeth than the diastema they are trying to close.
You will learn all you need about the most suitable procedure for closing diastema when you visit a dentist.
Yes, with our at-home teeth straightening kits, you can fill your teeth at home. You can also use a temporary filling material to cover the space, but it won't be aesthetically pleasing or long-lasting. You will also need to regularly visit the dentist to ensure that you are in optimum dental health.
Yes, it is normal for babies to have gappy teeth. This is because the baby's jaw is still undergoing development, and the teeth may look spaced out. Also, it is normal for children to have spaces when they combine adult and baby teeth. These gaps should close up after the jaw and adult teeth are fully developed.
If the gaps don't close up with adult teeth, you may want to consider treatment for diastema. Then you will need to talk to your dentist to find out the most suitable option for your child.
Braces are used to correct misaligned teeth and pull teeth into the desired position. If you do not like the results you got from your treatment with braces, go back to the dentist that treated you.
Ensure you wear your retainers when your treatment is over to keep your teeth from moving back to their previous position.
There is no evidence that flossing the right way can create gaps between teeth. However, flossing wrongly will hurt your gums and make them recede. This will, in turn, make it look like there are gaps between your teeth.
You should learn how to floss properly with your dentist. If you worry about disappearing gums or newly created gaps in teeth, visit your dentist to ensure that everything is okay; it could signify a gum disease.
A lot of changes happen with age, including the eroding of the enamel. This can cause your gaps to appear more prominent. It is possible to get braces to correct these gaps even as a senior, but you need to confirm with your dentist that the gaps are not resulting from gum disease
The duration for closing gaps between teeth with braces depends on the complexity of the case. People whose teeth need only a slight movement can complete their treatment in three months, while those with complex issues can take way longer than that.