A gap between the front teeth can cause cosmetic concerns for your teenager and, if wide enough, can cause chewing issues. The gap normally forms due to the two front teeth erupting slightly out of position but trauma can also crack one or both teeth and cause the appearance of a gap. If you want to get your child's gap treated, there are a few different ways a dentist can potentially correct the space between your teen's front teeth.
If your teen is on the younger end of the teenage spectrum, the teeth are still growing and positioning so orthodontics can both help close the gap and ensure that no other bite issues occur during this growth stage. Your teen might cringe at the thought of going to school with a mouth full of metal. But Invisalign for teens offers a clear braces alternative.
Clear braces aren't entirely invisible but are much less noticeable than metal braces. The braces come as two trays that fit snugly over the top and lower teeth. Your teen can remove the trays while eating or at night but should leave the trays in as much as possible to speed up the treatment process.
You will need to take your teen back to the orthodontist for several follow-up appointments. The dentist will need to check the progress and craft a new set of trays based on the current status of the teeth.
If your child is towards the later end of the teenage years, the teeth might already be completely in position and set. Orthodontics could work but might prove overkill if the rest of the teeth look fine. The dentist might instead decide to use dental veneers to close the gap.
Dental veneers are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain crafted in a lab and then cemented onto the front of your teen's two front teeth to form a new appearance. The dentist will need to shave down the natural teeth a bit so that the bonding cement will adhere properly.
Did your teen's gap occur due to trauma cracking one or both of the front teeth? The dentist can cover the crack, which likely left internal tooth structures exposed to damage, and correct the gap at the same time. A dental crown can work for both of these needs.
A dental crown is like a thicker veneer that's meant to cover the entire tooth rather than just the front. The teeth still need shaving and a bonding cement but the crown will offer a new attractive and durable outer layer for the tooth. To learn more, contact a company like Braces Inc.