Millions of Americans are affected with diastema, also known as the noticeable space or gap between the upper front teeth.Â Diastemas can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, a tooth size discrepancy, a low muscle attachment between teeth known as a frenum, tongue thrusting, or spreading of teeth due to gum disease.Â
There are two ways to treat a diastema. The first involves orthodontically moving the teeth together with braces, and usually requires one to two years of treatment. Another option to close a diastema is by placing a bonded composite restoration on each adjacent tooth.
When the space is larger than one millimeter, or when more permanent and stronger restorations are required, porcelain veneers are the restorations of choice. Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain applied directly over the tooth structure after some initial tooth preparation. Once the porcelain veneers are fused to the underlying tooth structure, they can reestablish the look of straight teeth and can close spaces without the use of braces.
If you do have diastema you aren’t alone. Many celebrities and politicians including Madonna and Condoleezza Rice have prominent diastemata. For more information on how you can fix the gap call your local Gentle Dental office at 1-888-513-7436.