Did you know that 61% of Americans wish they could change things about their smiles? A recent poll conducted by Snow Teeth Whitening and published in the New York Post, found that at least 7 out of 10 Americans are insecure about the way their smile looks. When asked what they would like to change about their smile, one of the top answers was to fix gaps between the teeth.
Luckily, cosmetic dentistry has made it easier than ever for people to make both minor and major changes to the look of their smile. When it comes to eliminating gaps between the teeth, there are a few different options that your dentist may recommend, including:
Veneers are thin shells cemented to the front side of visible teeth in order to improve their appearance. In order for them to fit properly, veneers do require a thin layer of enamel to be removed first. They are a popular cosmetic dental treatment because they can fix a range of cosmetic concerns with a single treatment. When it comes to eliminating gaps, veneers can be fabricated to be slightly larger than your natural teeth so that they extend past your teeth to fill the gap. Since they are made from porcelain, veneers are durable and will last about 10-15 years if cared for properly.
Dental crowns are a type of dental restoration that acts as a tooth-shaped cap cemented over an existing tooth. They are commonly used to restore teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed, however they can also be used as a cosmetic treatment to improve the size, shape, and color of a tooth. Similarly to veneers, crowns can be fabricated slightly larger than natural teeth in order to fill gaps. However, dental crowns require significant enamel modifications since the tooth must be reduced in size to accommodate the placement of a crown. Depending on the type of dental material used, dental crowns can last 10-15 years.
Cosmetic bonding is a minimally invasive technique that uses composite resin to fill in gaps between the teeth. Composite resin is a tooth-colored dental material that is applied to the surface of the tooth and in between the teeth to fill in the gap. It is then hardened into place using a special curing light before being polished to resemble the rest of the tooth. Since composite resin is able to form a strong bond with the enamel, minimal modifications to your natural tooth structure are needed. Additionally, cosmetic bonding is highly affordable. However, composite resin does not last as long as other dental materials and will likely need to be replaced in about 5-7 years.
Orthodontic treatments, like Invisalign, use steady force to encourage gradual tooth movement. Depending on the type of force applied, orthodontics can rotate, shift, or move the teeth into proper alignment. Over the course of orthodontic treatment gaps between the teeth will be eliminated as the teeth and bite become properly aligned. Unlike the other treatments, orthodontic treatment will take much longer. However, it will yield permanent results.
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.