Mind the Gap

Dental Implants: a revolution in dentistry

Dental implants have been one of those innovative treatments that have completely revolutionized modern dentistry. Like so many clever inventions, dental implants were discovered by Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon recorded that bone actually is attached to medical grade titanium. This discovery means that your dentist can now restore the gap between teeth by placing one or more dental implants, without interfering with the adjacent teeth. The implant placement arrests the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost as the bone integrates with the implant material to hold it firmly and precisely in place. A porcelain crown is then fitted on top of the implant so that the space is filled by a fixed and permanent prosthesis that looks just like a natural tooth.

In order to achieve the most favorable outcome, we do need to ensure that you are medically and dentally fit and there is sufficient bone quality and quantity to accept the implant. We always recommend that patients who smoke, stop smoking during treatment at least and permanently if at all possible.

Most of the people who have experienced tooth loss from tooth decay, an injury or gum disease explore the option of dental implants.

Mind The Gap

Teeth, they are absolutely necessary for our individual well being; making us look our best when we SMILE. Teeth play a significant role in overall nutrition and general health. Teeth help you to follow a salubrious diet and stay well nourished by preparing the food you eat for swallowing and digestion. People with an appealing smile are happier and suffer less stress than those with a ‘gappy grin’, dentists claim.

Natural teeth that you are born with are free and are the gold standard technology.

However, situations may arise where teeth loss may occur, so what then? Human beings have great acclimatization capabilities and can survive without teeth BUT what about individual happiness?

Why Does It Happen?

There are a number of reasons people have gaps in between their teeth. Some of which include:

Missing teeth.

  • Some people do not get all of their permanent adult teeth. This condition happens when the teeth are still forming before birth. In some cases, you are able to keep your “milk teeth” as long as they remain healthy, but they may be smaller and leave gaps as a result.

Teeth that are too small

  • for the space. If your jaw is much spacious , your teeth may not be large enough to fill it. Your teeth may flare out, causing one or more gaps.

A large labial frenum:

  • Frenum is the small tissue flap that connects your upper lip to your gums. If it grows between your two front teeth either in upper or lower jaw, it may separate the teeth, causing a gap.

Oral habits.

  • Children who use a pacifier or are used to suck their thumbs beyond 4 years of age may develop gaps in their teeth.

Tongue thrusting.

  • If your tongue presses against your upper or lower teeth when you swallow, this can cause gaps in the front teeth over time.

Hereditary causes:

  • Genes play a role in the alignment of your teeth.

The gap may close by itself

In many cases, a gap between the two front teeth in the upper jaw closes by itself. When the milk teeth start to come through (around six to nine months), the front teeth could have a gap and the frenum may be attached low to the gum. By the time the child turns one, the frenum has probably shortened, and more teeth have erupted and closed any gaps. If the adult teeth are gapped, the arrival of the molars (posterior teeth) help to push the front teeth together.

Complications of gapped front teeth

Complications or side effects of gapped front teeth can include:
Self-consciousness – Many people may feel embarrassed and not want to smile.This would affect their social life .

Tooth misalignment – A large gap between the front teeth may not leave enough space for the succeeding teeth to come through. This may cause problems with a person’s bite.

If one or more missing teeth persist for a long period of time. It can bear changes that last forever.

  • Change in biting position of upper and lower teeth
  • Change in chewing pattern
  • Movement of the adjacent teeth into the gap
  • Weakening of gums around the gap

What can I do for gapped teeth?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has done additional study to specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Your orthodontist can discuss with you about your treatment options. They advise you whether treatment is needed and if so, what is the most appropriate age to start that work.

Treatment options may include:

  • Veneers –

A veneer is a form of tooth covering. If the gap is small; veneers that are just a little bit wider than the natural teeth and can be used to cover the gap. Veneers are permanently layered to the tooth surface.

  • Removable appliance

– Removable teeth plate. This helps to move the teeth closer together.

  • Frenectomy

– Surgical removal of the frenum that has caused the gap. This is usually done before the gap is closed by orthodontic treatment.

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