Our smiles are a unique part of every one of us. They’re not something we should hide away or something to feel self-conscious about. When you feel a surge of joy, or burst out laughing, worrying about how your teeth look ought to be the last thing on your mind.
Did you know that more than half of Americans feel insecure about their teeth? If that statistic is anything to go by, you can bet people feel similarly about their pearly whites all over the world. If you’re feeling self-conscious about a gap in your teeth and wish you could smile with abandon, you’re in luck. The issue is easily fixed, and in more ways than one!
If you’re interested in how to close a gap in your teeth and which way might work best for you, read on to find out more.
How to Close a Gap in Your Teeth
Feeling self-conscious about ourselves is a draining experience, whatever the cause. The particular problem of worrying over a gap in your teeth can be particularly debilitating, as it’s hard to hide without bringing direct attention to it. Social interactions can be hard to follow or contribute to, as the niggling thoughts about the gap between your teeth are always lurking at the back of your mind.
Laughing or even having an unbroken conversation can become a chore. The need to hide your mouth with a hand or a mug becomes suspicious, and people are likely to pick up on your odd behaviour. The worry of having to reveal insecurity only serves to compound the problem.
Fortunately for us, modern dentistry has become a fine art capable of working all kinds of wonders. There are a few options available to close a gap, so not only can you smile with pride, you’ll get to pick the method you prefer!
Consult Your Dentist
The first thing to do is to book an appointment with your local dentist. Issues with our teeth can be daunting because of their nature and the arcane methods involved in fixing them.
The best course of action to take if you’re worried or curious is to ask questions. Your local dentist will understand perfectly if you have any reservations about the process and will happily answer any questions you might have. Allaying fear is a part of their job, and they’re sure to have heard all your worries many times before.
Ask about your gap and the potential for having it closed to learn more. Your dentist will have a look and depending on your position explain which course of action might be best for you. We’ll outline some of the most popular options so you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
One of the most popular and modern approaches to closing tooth gaps is a system called Invisalign. This consists of a series of transparent removable trays which fit specifically to your individual needs, based directly on the current shape of your teeth and desired result. This option is widely regarded as a less painful, visible, and hassle-free option compared to conventional braces.
Each set of Invisalign retainers changes slightly as your teeth begin to change their orientation. Over time, your teeth will gradually shift into a more desirable position. Typically the entire process can be as quick as only six months, but it’s not uncommon for the process to take a year or longer depending on the individual case.
This orthodontic procedure is especially popular for several reasons. The retainer isn’t bonded to your teeth while they’re gradually rearranged, meaning you’re able to remove the tray for meals and to clean your teeth. The transparent material they’re constructed from is also loved by many for its subtlety, allowing for the gap-closing process to continue without being immediately obvious.
The appearance of teeth can be greatly improved by a skilled dentist with the use of composite bonding resin. Fractures, chips and even gaps can be erased with a strategic application, leaving your teeth looking better than ever. Before application the resin will be matched to the natural colour of your teeth, ensuring whatever work you have done will look as natural as possible without any jarring transitional changes.
Composite bonding is the application of a putty-like substance which becomes permanently bonded to your teeth. In the case of closing a gap, the putty will be applied to both sides, making your teeth appear to meet naturally in the middle. After the putty is hardened with a special light, it’s then reshaped and polished for the final look.
This is a popular choice for many people as it’s a less expensive option compared to veneers and crowns, provides immediate results and takes only a single office visit! The resin is also very durable, lasting upwards of ten years with proper care. If somehow the resin chips or comes loose, repairs are inexpensive and can be done just as quickly as the original bonding.
As long as you have good oral health and gums, veneers offer an excellent choice for those of us looking to improve on our smiles. Porcelain variants are exceptionally resilient to all the daily abuse we put our teeth through and will last up to twenty years when bonded completely to the tooth’s enamel. Composite veneers are also available at around half the cost but typically don’t last as long and are more prone to staining.
Veneers are a permanent option and suitable for a range of cosmetic imperfections including closing up unwanted gaps. They’re a particularly good option for people who have slightly smaller teeth than usual and would like larger-looking teeth as well as having any gaps closed. They’re considerably more expensive than composite bonding, but look much more natural for the price.
Veneers are carefully colour-matched to the shade of the rest of your teeth before being permanently bonded in place. The shape of the veneers will be carefully selected, both to ensure a natural-looking closing of gaps and to ensure a perfect seat on the teeth they’ll be bonded to. When it comes to options that are indiscernible from real teeth, veneers are the perfect choice as they’re indiscernible from the real thing.
In some cases, none of the previously mentioned options are possible. Gaps don’t always exist solely because two teeth aren’t close enough together, trauma or infection can cause teeth to fall out completely. In this case, when there’s no tooth to move or bond material to for shaping, implants are an option worth considering.
The process is done by constructing a foundation for a new faux tooth at the site it was lost. This is typically done by drilling into the jaw bone to secure a metal post on which a tooth can then sit. This solution is often thought of by recipients as a welcome alternative to dentures, as it’s permanent and requires little to no upkeep other than a continued oral health regime.
The metal post will last a lifetime, but the tooth affixed atop will need replacing every ten to fifteen years depending on where in your mouth the replacement was made. While implants are commonly advertised as being permanent, they won’t last forever. Regular checkups are still necessary to ensure everything is seated properly and securely.
The Choice Is Yours!
We live in an age where dental care and knowledge are at their peak, so make the most of it! Although it may sometimes seem scary, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to dentistry. Professional dentists have been practicing their trade for years, honing their craft and making it as straightforward and painless as possible.
Whatever solution you choose, you’ll end up with a smile to be proud of. After a little deliberation concerning which route you prefer, your days of worrying about a gap in your smile will be long behind you. It’s a thought to put a smile on anyone’s face!
If this article helped you to understand the options regarding how to close a gap in your teeth, feel free to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.