Awkward teeth spacing and solutions that can help address them

Gaps between teeth are very common, often developed as permanent teeth emerge in the overcrowded mouth of a child. They can occur due to thumb-sucking, missing or undersized teeth, or periodontal disease causing teeth to fall out.

The presence of gaps between teeth is quite common. They can develop for a variety of reasons; for instance thumb-sucking in children, missing teeth or small size teeth in kids or adults, as well as periodontal disease in adults could be the reason behind the formation of gaps.

Issues like these can cause spacing that results in areas where food particles are easily trapped. Gaps also mean that the bite is misaligned, which may cause chipping to the front of teeth or damage to the tops. The aesthetic issues can cause individuals to feel a lack of self-confidence for lacking a perfect smile.

Once these spaces and gaps have been created in the mouth, they can cause several issues, ranging from food impaction between teeth to misalignment of teeth leading to esthetic and functional issues alike.

Some spacing cases can be fixed with dental bonding, a biocompatible resin that can be made the same color as the neighboring teeth and shaped to fit the gap. This material can also be sculpted to change misshapen teeth or those that are too small.

Depending on the cause and etiology of the gaps and spacing, it can be addressed with different methods. Composite/bonding material can be used to fill in the gap while matching the shade of the teeth; this could be in the form of a chairside veneer if it’s a front tooth that has the issue or a filling done to a back tooth for example. Sometimes composite is not the solution though and ceramics should be used to address the issue; this could be in the form of veneers for instance. And sometimes, crowns are to be used which are an extended form of veneers to address bigger gaping and spacing issues.

If a gap is due to one or more teeth missing due to poor oral hygiene or an accident, the best replacement is a dental implant. By being anchored into the jawbone, this prevents the natural process of neighboring teeth leaning to fill the gap and eventually resulting in misalignment of the bite and the loss of other teeth. Dentures, by contrast, have to be readjusted about every five years as the jawbone gradually erodes.

And if the gap is quite large, it may require replacements that would involve implants, bridge or partial dentures for instance. The most complex way to treat gaps is orthodontics or straightening crooked teeth gradually. Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces because there are no dietary restrictions, since it uses nearly invisible removable plastic trays or aligners that are removed before eating. This also makes cleaning teeth much easier. The process is also quicker than conventional braces, often less than six months compared to 2-3 years. Soothing Dental uses several advanced technologies to speed up orthodontic treatment, including Accelerdent, a mouthpiece that loosens the bone around the teeth being moved, Orthopulse, a mouthpiece that stimulates cell turnover, and Propel, a procedure done in the office.

And sometimes, instead of using materials to close a gap, can do orthodontics (braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign) to close gaps. Depending on the case, one might be a better candidate for clear aligners vs braces, and vice versa. Either way, there are acceleration methods that can be utilized in order to expedite the orthodontics process such as Acceledent, Propel or OrthoPulse.

If you have a crooked smile, set an appointment for a full dental exam to explore your best options.

If you have a smile that is undesired and you want to improve it, we’d be glad to help you navigate the solutions appropriate for your oral health and unique smile. Make an appointment for a consultation.

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