Restoring Gaps & Spaces

In dentistry there are many ways of closing spaces and restoring gaps.

Small spaces can be closed by adding composite (tooth coloured filling material) to the edges of teeth either side of the gap. This is a quick easy and reversible method but is only suitable for small spaces.

An alternative would be to place veneers and these are stronger than composites, but not as reversible. Often we would make models of the teeth: these help to plan the proposed additions which the patient can view before deciding whether to go ahead. Read more about Dental Veneers

Although composite and veneers are straightforward procedures, they can alter the proportions of the treated teeth.

Orthodontic braces can be used to move the teeth together to eliminate spaces and this type of treatment is very useful if teeth are twisted, rotated or generally in the wrong place. Braces only work slowly, so the treatment can be take longer and may be visible when smiling.

Where the space is caused by missing teeth, there are three methods of replacing missing teeth and these are by using a denture, a bridge (fixed or adhesive) or dental implants.

  • Dentures are quick to make and the procedure is not invasive (no drilling of teeth or surgery). Cosmetically they can be made to look very realistic, but a denture does not really feel like a replacement for natural teeth.
  • Bridges generally come in two types, either adhesive or fixed. An adhesive bridge is a replacement tooth made of porcelain and this is glued to the natural teeth either side of the space. They look and feel very much like natural teeth, do not require any drilling, but sometimes the forces that we put between our teeth when chewing or grinding can loosen them. A fixed bridge often requires the tooth either side of the gap to be shaped for a crown. When the dental technician constructs the case, he makes a crown to fit over each shaped tooth and a replacement crown for the space. These crowns are joined together and hence the bridge looks like a row of three teeth joined together. It is firmly cemented onto the teeth. This type of bridge looks and feels very natural, is firmly attached but does involve drilling the adjacent teeth. Read more about Dental Bridges
  • A dental implant is an artificial replacement (made of titanium) for the root of a missing tooth. It can be used to attach a crown to it, to support a bridge (if at least two implants are used) or to retain a denture (two - six implants). It feels almost like a natural tooth and does not involve any treatment to the adjacent teeth. However the treatment usually takes longer than for dentures or bridges. Read more about Dental Implants

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