Diastema is an unnaturally large gap between two teeth, especially the front teeth. Having diastema is not exactly a disaster, but there are valid reasons you might want to close up the gap.
Reasons for Treatment
Diastema is primarily not a dental or oral health issue. However, it is sometimes advisable to get rid of the gap due to the following two reasons.
Some people consider a diastema, especially if it is terribly large, to be unattractive. If you are one of those people, then getting rid of your diastema is a way of improving your overall smile. This can help boost your confidence, especially if you have always felt self-conscious about your smile.
In some cases, diastema treatment is not so much about getting rid of the gap, but rather treating the underlying issue. For example, diastema can be caused by tongue thrusting, overgrowth of labial frenum (the fleshy gum between the two front teeth), and even periodontal diseases. In such cases, a wholesome treatment process may get rid of both the diastema and its underlying cause.
There are multiple ways of treating diastema. The severity of the problem and the underlying cause are the top factors that determine the best cause of treatment. Here are some ways dentists use to get rid of diastema.
Orthodontic treatment involves the use of dental appliances, such as braces, to move teeth into specific positions. Orthodontics can help move the front teeth towards each other to close the gap between them.
Veneers are thin pieces of materials, mostly ceramics, which dentists use to cover up the teeth improve dental cosmetics. Veneers increase the bulk of a tooth, which means they can be used to increase the size of the teeth on both sides of the diastema. That way, a previously small diastema can become negligible in size.
If your diastema is caused by an abnormally large labial frenum, then you may need surgery to correct your diastema. In this case, the dentist may first remove the mass between the teeth and then use other treatments, such as orthodontics, to close the gap.
There are two reasons teeth replacement may be the best treatment for your diastema. The first is if the gap is extremely large and can incorporate an extra tooth. The second is if the diastema has been caused by a missing tooth.
Treatment of Underlying Cause
Lastly, treatment for your diastema may also involve the treatment of the underlying problem. For example, if a child has a large gap between their teeth due to thumb or tongue sucking, then the habit needs to be stopped. Otherwise, the gap will just grow back after treatment.
For more information, contact a dentist in your area.