It's possible to have a diastema without even knowing what the word means: A diastema (pronounced dye-uh-steam-uh) is a space between the teeth. While a space can occur anywhere in your dentition, common spaces that cause concern are those caused by a missing tooth or those in between the two front teeth. If you're not happy with your diastema but you are not interested in having orthodontic treatment, there are a few things your cosmetic dentist can do to minimize its appearance.
The least expensive way to treat your diastema is usually to have composite bonded to the sides of the teeth. Depending on the size of your diastema, this can entail just a small amount of bonding material, or quite a bit. The more bonding material needed, the less stable the bonding will tend to be over time, so if you have a large space, your dentist might suggest that you consider other options.
Composite bonding material comes in many different shades, so a close match is likely, but be aware that it's not always possible to create a perfect match with composite bonding material.
Veneers are a bit like artificial fingernails in that they sit on top of your teeth. Because each tooth is completely covered by a veneer, a slight color discrepancy is normally not a problem. Still, every effort will be made to order your veneers in a shade that will match your natural teeth very closely.
Veneers are more durable than composite bonding material, so they are also more expensive. They are also permanent; if you were to chip or otherwise damage a veneer, you would need to have it replaced, because a small portion of natural tooth structure is removed in order to create space for the thin veneer material on top of the tooth.
Crowns and Bridges
If your diastema is not due to your natural anatomy but instead is due to a missing or severely misshapen tooth, then a crown or bridge is generally the best way to fill the space. For a missing tooth, a dental implant is the most durable option; a crown matching the other teeth in the area is placed on top of the implant. A dental implant helps prevent bone loss, which is important in the front of your mouth, because the bone in this area gives shape to your upper lip. If you are already missing bone in this area, however, a dental implant might not be right for you. Your dentist will be able to tell you whether a dental implant would likely succeed.
Another option is to have crowns placed on the adjacent teeth with a bridge, or fake tooth, connecting them. A bridge is a great option for a patient who is not interested in having an implant placed. The disadvantage to this option is that the adjacent teeth need to be prepared for crowns; this process can also mean that you might need root canal therapy on those teeth. Talk to your dentist about whether this is a feasible option for your particular case.
A misshapen tooth or one that has been broken off or otherwise compromised might be best treated with a crown. The crown can be built up on the sides to disguise the diastema, if necessary.
Having treatment for a diastema is purely a matter of choice, as this is, in most cases, just a cosmetic difference. If you are not happy with your smile due to uneven or large spaces between your teeth, a cosmetic dentist can help you feel more confident when you look in the mirror.
Talk with a cosmetic dentist, or visit websites like http://tlcdentalohio.com, for more information and advice on which option would be best for you.