Do you have a little gap between your two front teeth? The technical term for that gap is "diastema." Some people, like the actress Anna Paquin, think it makes their smile look unique. However, not everyone finds the look attractive. If it bothers you, consider one of these options:
If the gap in your teeth is less than 3.5mm wide, gap bands can be an effective and inexpensive solution. Gap bands are essentially specially designed rubber or synthetic bands designed to pull teeth closer together. Worn only at night, they gradually correct the gap in your teeth in a matter of days or weeks (depending on the size of the gap). You can purchase non-latex bands for $20-$30 per 100.
The long-term effects of the bands aren't known and can be painful, particularly if they move the teeth too quickly. While you don't need a prescription for these bands, you may want to check with your dentist first before you use them to make sure that it won't pull any of your other teeth out of alignment.
Another technique that's sometimes used to fix diastema is the direct application of composite resins. This technique has the advantage of being non-invasive, painless, and quick to do. The composite materials used today can easily be matched to the color of the surrounding teeth and shaped by hand to provide a natural appearance. In addition, the materials generally have an optical fluorescence that mimics that of natural teeth.
A disadvantage of resin bonding is that, because the resin is shaped by hand, it requires considerable skill on the part of the dental professional doing the bonding. That tends to make the procedure expensive. It isn't unusual for bonding to cost between $100-$400 per tooth.
There are a couple of ways that veneers can be done. To apply traditional porcelain veneers, the dental professional has to shave down the enamel on each tooth that's about to be covered. The veneers are then applied with a type of dental cement. The damage done to the natural teeth in this process isn't reversible, which means that the veneers can't be removed unless they are replaced with new veneers or some other cosmetic treatment.
There are more modern versions of veneers that are somewhat thinner in nature. These can sometimes be placed without having to shave down the enamel on the teeth, which makes them an attractive option.
Regular veneers cost around $1,100 per tooth. The thinner version usually costs about an additional $200 per tooth. Either way, a disadvantage to both is that some people find the extra thickness on their front teeth uncomfortable. It can also affect your speech patterns and make it harder to keep your gum line free of bacteria.
If the gap in your smile bothers you, there are options. For more information, contact Elgazzar Dentistry or a similar location.