Tooth Gaps

Frequently Asked Questions (Click on Questions to See Answers)

Q - What causes gaps in teeth?

A - Gaps between teeth can be caused by a number of reasons, such as tooth loss due to injury, decay or gum disease that results in tooth extraction or deformation of tooth structure. When teeth are developing from milk teeth into adult teeth, people can have what is termed as ‘diastema’ - meaning a space between the two top front teeth. The gap can be caused by excess gum tissue called frenum between the two front teeth, by incisors that are smaller than usual, or simply by under-developed permanent teeth.

Q - When should a gap between teeth be filled or closed?

A - In considering whether a gap between teeth should be treated, it depends on the size of the gap, if the gap is a result of a lost tooth or tooth structure deformation, if it interferes with developing tooth structure, the health and oral condition of the patient, and the reason the patient is concerned about the gap between teeth. These are reasons that may give rise to a recommendation to fill a tooth gap.

Q - How can tooth gaps be filled?

A - Tooth gaps can be filled or closed through orthodontic or cosmetic dental procedures. These treatments include full or partial braces, Invisalign braces, Lingual Braces, accelerated orthodontic surgery, cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, Lumineers, dental implants, crowns or bridges.

Q - What are the benefits to filling gaps in teeth?

A - Closing a gap between teeth can boost confidence because you can smile knowing that you have a full set of natural white looking teeth. The treatment also improves the facial symmetry as the tooth structure and alignment is restored, and this therapy enhances facial expression and smile. Regardless of what caused the gap, treatment builds healthy dental condition and overall wellbeing.

Q - Is treatment to fill a tooth gap painful?

A - For all treatments, sedative options are available to help patients relax before and during dental procedure. If teeth are reshaped or if root canal treatment is necessary before inserting dental implants, local anaesthetic will be administered to prevent pain. All procedures are delivered pain-free and in sympathetic treatment for patient care.

Any symptoms and post-treatment sensations will be explained to you by our resident dentist before dental procedure. Post-procedure care and prescriptions will be available if discomfort is felt after the local anaesthetic wears off. Our resident dentist will also show you how to care for

your teeth and mouth after restoration.

Q - Are there any risks to filling tooth gaps?

A - All treatments have risks depending on the overall health of patients, disclosure of medical history and medications, success of prior treatments, the type of procedure with equipment and materials used, and the skill of the dental practitioner.

Any risks will be explained to you after examination when you have received diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The dental techniques used are in operation world-wide and have been tried and tested for results to reduce risks associated with treatment.

Q - Should gaps between teeth be left?

A - Although gaps between teeth can be left, it does depend on how the gap affects overall tooth alignment and facial symmetry that can also impact speech and eating. Sometimes gaps between teeth can reduce self-esteem because the person avoids smiling so that others cannot see the gap, chooses not to speak because of pronunciation difficulties, or only eats certain foods because of chewing discomfort caused by the gap.

Filling a tooth gap can build confidence that allows healthy relationship and occupational development. It also depends if the gap was caused by a rotten or damaged tooth that has fallen out and if treatment for decay or gum disease is necessary. On examination and discussion of your dental history, our resident dentist will provide you with a diagnosis and recommendations so that you can make an informed decision whether or not to have a gap between your teeth closed.

Q - What is involved in the procedure to fill a tooth gap?

A - The type of treatment to close the gap that is recommended by our resident dentist and approved by you will dictate the kind of procedure used to fill the gap, such as braces, veneers, orthodontic surgery, dental implants or cosmetic bonding. Each procedure is different for these treatments and matches patient-specific diagnosis that will be explained to you by our resident dentist. Feel free to bring questions with you to your appointment.

Preparatory Treatment

Initially, your tooth structure will be examined and either radiographs (X-rays) or scans will be taken or your tooth and gum structure will be mapped using CEREC technology. These X-rays, scans or CEREC maps will provide the dental technicians with specifications to custom design the dental treatment product you need. Some dentist still use dental putty to create an impression of your teeth. In all procedures, the teeth are prepared for hygiene and to protect against decay or gum disease as part of the specific dental treatment.

Types of Treatment Procedures

With standard metal braces, and also Lingual braces, arch wires link brackets that attach to the teeth. The difference is that Lingual braces fit to the inside of the teeth and are unseen. With Invisalign braces, the aligners are transparent and also unseen.

Accelerated orthodontic surgery combines Lingual braces with periodontal surgery to give patients a timely smile makeover that boosts their dental health, appearance and confidence. In cosmetic bonding, an acrylic-type resin is used to fill and shape the tooth, then polished to resemble your natural teeth. Veneers are made from dental composite or porcelain, and Lumineers from Cerinate ceramics, that are durable and designed to cover, protect, and enhance the look of your natural teeth.

Dental Implants involve either root canal therapy to disinfect the tooth root(s) or preparation of the gums before a porcelain crown is fitted to a titanium implant post that acts as a tooth root, or a crown can be attached to an existing prepared tooth. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth attached to a pontic that is anchored between crowns on neighbouring teeth.

Q - Are there special post-treatment requirements for tooth care?

A - Our resident dentist will show you how to care for your teeth before and after treatment so that you gain better oral health and comfort after treatment. Usually, gentle brushing around the treated site according to recommended tooth brushing techniques and softly rinsing with warm salt water initially is advised.

If a tooth has been extracted or lost, care should be taken not to burst the blood filled sack in the tooth gap that can be very painful. All these conditions and care routines will be discussed with you so that you can feel confident that you are doing what is right for your teeth and mouth.

Q - How will my appearance change if tooth gaps are filled?

A - Filling a tooth gap can change tooth structure and alignment that supports your facial expressions and gives you a more natural looking smile. Not only will your dental health be treated, but your teeth will look a more natural white colour that is aesthetically pleasing and builds confidence when smiling and meeting people.

Q - What costs can be expected for treating tooth gaps?

A- The cost of filling a tooth gap really depends on patient-specific dental and overall health, what treatment procedures are recommended, the type of materials and techniques used, the skill of the dental practitioner, and the cost-plans of the dental practice or clinic. Dental insurance can also help to reduce costs of dental care. Our resident dentist will discuss costs with you after examination and will explain payment options to you so that your dental care can be affordable.

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