Many people say that nature is stronger than nurture, and this is true for patients who develop a diastema, or a space between their front two teeth. Many of our patients come and see us to help them close this space as it affects their speech, and their confidence to smile. In this article we will go over exactly what a diastema is, dental options you have to treat the space, and answering other lingering questions that you may have.
What is a diastema?
By definition, a diastema is a space or gap between two teeth. Whether it is a gap between your front two teeth or a gap between your back teeth, the definition remains the same. It’s common culture to refer to a diastema as the space between the front two teeth, and that’s where most of the cosmetic concerns from patients comes from. Diastema formation seems to be genetic in nature, and can be seen in both children and adults. Most diastemas are caused by a discrepancy between the size of a person’s jaw and their teeth. Also, another cause for diastemas between the top front two incisors is the presence of an overgrown labial frenulum. This soft tissue can push the front two teeth apart causing a space between those teeth.
How is a diastema treated?
You have a few options to close diastema spaces inside your mouth:
- Braces: Traditional braces treatment is the #1 method to close a diastema in the mouth. Your dentist will notify you if he or she recommends traditional braces (which can last up to two years), or a fastbraces treatment that can close your space in as little as six months. Whether it’s with fastbraces or traditional braces that is recommended to you, most teeth spaces are eventually closed with an elastic appliance known as a powerchain. Remember that even with braces, a frenectomy will be required if that is the cause of your diastema opening.
- Invisalign (Clean Aligners): If you are an adult, and do not want traditional metal braces, clear aligners may be a good alternative. These use a set of clear trays to slowly close spaces and gaps inside your mouth. More complicated cases may need to be treated with traditional braces. Check with your orthodontic team to see what their recommendations are.
- Dental bonding: Bonding are similar to tooth fillings except there is no tooth structure removed prior to the placement of the bonding material. Normally, a tooth colored resin composite material is used to close the space between the two teeth. Remember that although this method can work well for small spaces and peg lateral incisors, if your diastema space is too wide, your teeth will look very large and unnatural after the bonding treatment has been completed. Larger diastemas must include a set of dental braces or Invisalign to close the gaps.
- Porcelain Veneers: Another method that can be used to close a diastema is the use of porcelain veneers. Similar to bondings, these work well when the diastema space is small, so that you restoration can look natural. Larger diastemas again will need braces treatment to align them properly and close the gap.
How much does it cost to close a diastema?
This will depend on the treatment that will be recommended by your doctor.
- Fastbraces treatment can cost between $2,000-$4,000. If a frenectomy is also needed in conjunction with your braces you will pay an additional $500
- Expect to pay around $4,500 for Invisalign clear aligners
- Dental bondings are the least expensive method to close diastemas. If your clinician can perform bondings, prices for diastema closure will range between $500-$800
- For porcelain veneers, expect to pay $1,000 per tooth or $2,000 for two teeth to close the diastema
Can my diastema space close naturally?
Unfortunately, since diastema spaces have to do more with genetics and jaw to tooth size discrepancies, these space do not close by themselves. You will need the guidance of a dental professional to close these spaces.
Diastema closure in the greater Houston, TX area
Diastema spaces can be a source of frustration for many people, as it affects their self-confidence both in their personal and professional lives. See a cosmetic dentist about what they recommend about how to correct your diastema space. If you happen to be in the greater Houston, TX area feel free to give our team a call today!