Barnton Dental Spa - Edinburgh

Veneers for a Diastema

A diastema is a gap or space between the teeth and most often refers to the teeth at the front of the mouth. It is a common condition among children and is normally but a stage in normal teeth development. Roughly half of children between six and eight years of age will have a diastema, but this space will often close up as the teeth and mouth develops. However, if the gap does not close of its own accord you may wish to contact a dentist.

What is the cause?

Several factors are related to the growth of a diastema, including:

  • In some cases, a bone between your incisors can have a defect shaped like a ‘W’. This irregular bone structure can be picked up on an X-ray. The defect will stop two teeth from coming into contact.
  • There can sometimes be a bit of extra tissue between two teeth that stops them from touching.
  • The problem can be aggravated if you start biting the lower lip.
  • People who have large tongues can find it starts to push their teeth forward.

How can the gap affect me?

Spaces or gaps between children’s teeth can often be a cause of concern. They can affect children’s speech, potentially leading to difficulties in pronouncing the ‘s’ sound. It can also have an effect on a child’s social behaviour and aesthetics.

How can a dentist help me?

Many new and innovative treatments are available including surgery, orthodontic treatment and restorative procedure. The treatment choices can vary widely and may only be offered to patients following a diagnosis. The dentist will have to examine a patient’s dental and medical history closely, perform clinical examinations and even carry out a tooth size evaluation in some cases.

The dentist will also need to consider what factors are contributing to the problem. These can include vertical tooth overlaps, tooth size, tooth angles, the spacing of teeth and natural development and growth. The best method of treatment will be selected based on the individual patient. It will generally be more important for the cause to be treated rather than just fixing the gap.

How are teeth prepared for the treatment?

The tooth surface will need to be slightly roughened so that there is a greater probability of the enamel bonding with the veneer. A mould will then be taken of the tooth and used to make a veneer made from porcelain. The veneers may be shaped and trimmed a by the dentist to ensure they fit perfectly.

Will there be any pain?

Cold will cause the teeth to be sensitive for a short time after veneer treatment, whether it is used for treating a diastema of other dental problems. Veneers will last for years if they are treated carefully and do not become damaged or chipped.