If you have gaps between the teeth, the condition is referred to as diastema. Sometimes diastema is harmless and only considered a cosmetic concern. In some cases, however, gaps and spaces can lead to oral health issues, such as gum disease.
There are several treatment options that can eliminate spaces and improve your smile. Invisalign® is a popular, discreet alternative to metal braces. This system is highly effective for treating all types of orthodontic issues, including gapped teeth. Here, Cathedral City, CA, dentist Bruno Lemay, discusses Invisalign for gaps and explains what patients can expect during treatment at Desert Dental Alternatives.
Why Do I Have Gapped Teeth?
Diastema can occur for several different reasons. If you have a large gap between your two front teeth, it is probably due to a problem with your frenulum attachment. The frenulum is the small piece of tissue that joins the lips and gum tissue. In some cases, this tissue is attached either too high or too low. This can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue, which pushes the teeth apart.
Other causes of diastema include small teeth, a large jaw, or other genetic factors. Habits formed in childhood may also be to blame, including thumb-sucking or prolonged bottle use. These behaviors place pressure against the front teeth and can cause them to separate over time.
Do I Need to Correct Gapped Teeth?
While most patients dislike gaps between their teeth, some may want to leave their smile as it is. Our dental team in Cathedral City recommends closing spaces if they are affecting your oral health.
Spaces can cause tartar, food particles, and other debris to become lodged in the pockets around the teeth. Left untreated, gapped teeth can lead to cavities and gum disease. During an appointment at Desert Dental Alternatives, we can recommend the appropriate treatment for you.
How Does Invisalign Correct Gaps?
Traditionally, metal braces were used to close down gaps in the smile. Today, Invisalign is a popular discreet alternative to braces. This treatment option can address many of the same misalignment issues, including gapped teeth. Best of all, Invisalign accomplishes the desired results using clear, removable trays.
If you are a candidate for Invisalign, impressions will be taken of your teeth. These are used to create a series of aligners.
Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks before switching them out for the next set. Invisalign must be worn for at least 22 hours every day. The trays should only be removed when brushing and flossing or at meal times.
Invisalign treatment typically takes about the same amount of time as traditional orthodontics. In most cases, the desired results can be achieved in 18 to 24 months. This timeline varies depending on the specific needs of the patient.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you have gaps in your smile, consider how Invisalign can improve your health and enhance your appearance. To learn more, schedule a visit at Desert Dental Alternatives in Cathedral City, CA. Contact us online anytime or call our office at (760) 324-4450.