In this article, we will discuss various treatment options for a gap in upper front teeth, medically known as midline diastema.
What Is Midline Diastema?
Midline diastema is the gap present between the upper front teeth irrespective of spacing present between the lower front teeth.
If the gap present between the upper front teeth is more than 0.5 mm proximally, space is visible between the upper central incisors. Usually, midline diastema is seen in children during mixed dentition period (6 to 12 years), which is also called ugly duckling stage. Generally, the spacing present in the upper front teeth during mixed dentition period closes after the eruption of permanent canine.
Other Reasons for Midline Diastema
Thus, correction of midline diastema will improve the esthetics of an individual and also enhance the smile. It will build confidence, improve wellbeing, and the personality of an individual. Proper teeth alignment is the gateway to perfect smile.
For more information consult a cosmetic dental procedures specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dentist/cosmetic-dental-procedures
Midline diastema does not pose any harm or health risk. It is of cosmetic concern as the majority population does not have such a gap. But an assessment and correction of underlying causative factors are necessary as habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, gum disease, etc., apart from causing midline diastema, further lead to complications.
In children, midline diastema closes naturally once their eruption pattern completes. In adults, apart from esthetic concern, correction of midline diastema is not an essential thing. If there are chances of developing any gum disease or decay due to food entrapment, closure is necessary.
Before treating midline diastema, the causative factor must be corrected. In case of a habit-induced gap, habit breakers (appliances) must be used, and habits must be corrected. In case of high frenal attachment, surgical removal of frenum must be planned either before or after gap closure. Removable appliances like finger springs, labial bows, Hawley’s appliances, fixed orthodontic treatment with braces, crowns, or veneers, and tooth-colored fillings are the available treatment options for midline diastema closure.
Invisible aligners, porcelain veneers or crowns, tooth-colored fillings or composite bonding, and removable appliances can fix midline diastema.
Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are custom-made to hide the gap. It is fixed over the teeth to cover the midline diastema and is one of the best options to fix small gaps. Composite veneers also do a similar job.
Veneers can fix small gaps of 2 mm. The teeth on which the veneers get fixed will be altered to reduce their size. Custom-made veneers are fixed over the prepared tooth to cover the midline diastema.
Though diastema closure is permanent, relapse occurs at times. Prevailing thumb sucking and tongue thrusting habits, failure to use a retention appliance post-treatment, developing gum and periodontal disease can nullify the treatment effect.
Based on the treatment plan, the duration changes. Veneers or crowns can fix midline diastemas within a day as they are placed over the teeth to hide the gap. Composite tooth-colored fillings also close the gap in a single day. Removable orthodontic appliances and fixed orthodontic treatment take between 3 months to 6 months.
With age, the enamel tends to wear away. Teeth can shift their position due to underlying periodontal disease or missing teeth in other parts of the jaw. These changes can cause the teeth gap to progress and widen.
Some diastema runs in families. In that case, they cannot be prevented. But diastemas due to habits can be prevented by correcting the habits at an early age and using habit-breaking appliances. Good oral hygiene practices will prevent teeth gaps in general. Replacing missing teeth in other parts of the jaws also prevents teeth migration and gap formation.
Last reviewed at:
10 Nov 2021 - 2 min read
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