1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 905
Washington, DC 20006
Abrahamian, Teny D.D.S.
4910 Massachusetts Ave Nw #323
Washington, DC, 20016-4382
Deschenes, Raney J D.D.S.
2100 2nd St Sw # 5314
Washington, DC, 20593-0005
Djeu, Stephanie D.D.S.
4545 42nd St Nw # 106
Washington, DC, 20016-4623
Crisafulli, Larry D.D.S.
1779 Church St Nw
Washington, DC, 20036-1379
Gaps between your teeth may be considered by many as unattractive and make you feel self-conscious about your personal appearance. If you have spaces between your teeth, and you want to do something about them, talk to your cosmetic dentist about the latest in orthodontics and other aspects of restorative dentistry. However, before you can make a decision on which cosmetic dentistry treatment is the right one for you, it is important to know what causes spaces between teeth.
Each person is unique, and no one case presents a definitive reason why a space is present. Genetics can play a major role in how teeth form in your mouth. If your parents have spacing between their teeth, it is a good chance that you will also.
Childhood habits largely affect the position of your teeth as well. Breathing mostly through your mouth and sucking on your thumb are examples of habits that will affect the position of your teeth.
Adults can also have habits, like forcing their tongue against their upper teeth or pen biting, that can gradually shift teeth throughout life. When the teeth shift, spacing or even jaw joint pain can occur.
There are four ways to correct the spaces between your teeth. Diagnosing the reason the spaces are present will determine which of the treatments will best suit your needs.
Gaps between teeth can be filled by:
Placing braces on your teeth in order to move them into their correct position is usually the most ideal treatment. Using orthodontics to move the teeth is the most time consuming, but it is also the most beneficial. Orthodontics is used to place teeth so that your bite is in harmony with your smile.
All of the other treatments to fill the spaces, including tooth bonding, dental veneers like Lumineers, and dental crowns, although they are very good treatments, are considered esthetic and functional compromises, and should be discussed with your cosmetic dentist in order to determine which restorative dentistry treatment is best for you.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
A general dentist attends four years of dental school after college and receives training in all areas of dentistry, including fillings, crowns, cleaning teeth, root canals, extracting teeth and much more. At the completion of this training period, a dentist can either go out and open a dental practice or continue on with their education and specialize in any of the above-mentioned areas. For example, an orthodontist is a specialist in braces.
A prosthodontist is a specialist in the restoration and replacement of broken and missing teeth. Their additional training lasts three years. During that time, they are taught in greater detail about both removable and fixed prosthodontics.
Removable Prosthodontics includes replacing missing teeth with appliances that the patients themselves can take in and out of their mouth, such as dentures and partial dentures.
Fixed prosthodontics includes replacing missing and/or broken teeth with restorations that the patient cannot take in and out, such as veneers, dental crowns, bridges and implants.
The most important part of the training is how to restore teeth in a variety of different situations so that the end result is the most esthetic and predictable outcome possible. The types of cases seen in cosmetic dentistry are often more comprehensive and complex in nature. They often involve the combination of crowns and implants or can even be as involved as placing crowns on every tooth in a person's mouth.
To do this, prosthodontists are trained to evaluate all the different aspects of your teeth and mouth. They observe and treat your mouth with regards to:
By evaluating these different areas, the prosthodontist can treat one area of your mouth, but also will determine how other areas will impact the treatment. In essence, a prosthodontist looks at your mouth as a whole, even though there may be only one tooth requiring treatment.
Often times, especially in cases involving multiple and/or missing teeth, the involvement of other specialists and cosmetic dentistry will be needed to help with treatment. These specialists include orthodontists (to straighten or move teeth using braces), periodontists (for gum surgeries and placement of implants), endodontists (root canals) and oral surgeons (for the extraction of teeth and placement of implants). In essence, the prosthodontist acts as the coordinator to help sequence the proper treatment before the final restorations are placed. Often times, treatment can take longer to complete, especially if other specialists are involved. In taking a complete approach, you can be assured that you will end up with the most esthetic and reliable treatment, whether it involves one or all of your teeth.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD