I asked my dentist about how I can close my tooth gap on my front teeth. It has always bothered me. He said we could do it with porcelain veneers. The price was a bit higher than I was expecting. Is that the typical way to solve this problem or do I have other options?
You have a few options here. If the only thing you were wanting to change about your teeth is the gap, then I would consider porcelain veneers a major overtreatment. Veneers are designed for people who want a complete smile makeover. They can change anything and everything about your teeth, including the shape, size, and color. It is the procedure people use to get that Hollywood Smile.
That did not sound to me like what you needed. In that case, you have two much more affordable options. Your first is to simply use dental bonding. This uses a composite resin that the dentist will place and sculpt between the two teeth to fill in and close the gap. It does take an expert cosmetic dentist to do this well because it has to be done freehand, so I would not just let any dentist do that.
Another option is Invisalign (pictured above). This is the modern way of straightening teeth. Instead of metal wires and brackets that traditional braces use, this uses clear aligners, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. It also has a hidden benefit where the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This means you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay with the procedure your dentist suggested.
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I have a gap between my two front teeth that has always bothered me. Can I get porcelain veneers to fix it?
Lori Ann W. – Wyoming
While you can get porcelain veneers to fix it, that is a pricey way to go…unless, there were other things you wanted to fix about your smile. Porcelain veneers can fix the shape, size, and color of your teeth. If you’re interested in a smile makeover, then porcelain veneers are an excellent choice and can give you a stunning smile. Though, it will be imortant to go to a highly skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist.
If you just want to fix the tooth gap, my suggestion would be to use dental bonding. It’s a much more affordable treatment and will look just like your natural teeth.
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I have a tooth gap that is a little over 1/2 a centimeter. My dentist said he can fix it with dental bonding. How will that fix it? Wouldn’t that make my teeth really wide? Will that look attractive and I just can’t picture it?
Rhianna L. – Newark, NJ
Over 1/2 a centimeter is quite a large gap. In fact, you can fit a small tooth in that size space. Unless your teeth are unnaturally narrow, I don’t think adding in that much structure will make your teeth look normal.
Tooth bonding (or dental bonding) is generally a good way to close a tooth gap, but it has to be a small gap. I’m not sure your dentist is the one to do it. You seem to have more of a sense of aesthetics than he or she does. That isn’t a good sign.
You don’t want your basic family dentist to do serious cosmetic procedures. These take additional post-graduate training. You also want someone who has an artistic eye. If you’re serious about closing your gap, I’d look into Invisalign. It will actually close the gap and almost any dentist can perform this.
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If I have a large tooth gap. i measured it and it looks like it is a little over half a centimeter. if I wanted to treat that would it be better to do lumineers, dental bonding, or something else?
Eric S.- Philadelphia
Which treatment you use will depend in part about how you feel about your teeth in general. Are you happy with the shape and color of your teeth, but just want to fix the gap? Do you want to fix your gap and whiten? Or do you not like anything about your teeth and want a complete smile makeover? The only thing you mentioned that I would definitively say no to is the dental bonding. It is just too large a gap for that to be an attractive solution.
If you’re happy with your teeth and just want to fix the gap, then I would recommend Invisalign. These will straighten your teeth in less than half the time of traditional braces. The best part is the aligners are invisible. Even at a conversational distance people will not be able to tell you are wearing them. It is also possible to do teeth whitening at the same time.
However, if there are other things, such as the size and shape of your teeth, that you want to change, then you might want to consider porcelain veneers. I know you mentioned Lumineers. I don’t know if you are aware that they are just a brand of porcelain veneers. Most expert cosmetic dentists are not happy with the quality of their product. Let me give you a word of caution. A gap the size you mentioned is large enough to fit another tooth into. Because of this, if you choose any type of porcelain veneers you had really better make sure you are going to an expert cosmetic dentist. I wouldn’t go to anyone who wasn’t accredited (which is different from just a member) by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Only about the top 1% of dentists reach the level of accreditation. They’ll be able to handle a complicated case like yours.
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