A diastema (a gap between teeth) isn't a dental condition that necessarily requires treatment. For some people, a proportionate gap between two centralised teeth (generally the upper central incisors) can be part of their trademark look. However, a diastema isn't always localised or proportionate. You might have erratic, uneven gaps between your teeth. It's likely that you simply got used to your smile, especially if the placement of your teeth hasn't caused any dental problems. But if you want to close some of those gaps, cosmetic dentistry has a few options for you.
Broadly speaking, diastema is an imbalance between your teeth and jaw. Your dental arch easily accommodated all your teeth, but there was some room to spare. That extra room is now the gaps between your teeth. It's often exclusively a matter of aesthetics, as opposed to affecting the functionality of your bite.
Should diastema be causing any problem with the functionality of your bite and its pattern, your dentist will have raised the issue quite some time ago. When diastema affects the jaw in this way, orthodontic treatment can be recommended to reposition the teeth, which closes any gaps. However, for many people affected by diastema, the problem is strictly cosmetic, meaning treatment is entirely optional.
Cosmetic treatment for diastema becomes more relevant when any gaps between your teeth are uneven or out of proportion to each other. You might have an eye-catching, symmetrical gap between your upper central incisors. However, you might also have gaps of contrasting widths throughout your upper and lower dental arches. How will a dentist correct these gaps?
If you decide to proceed with treatment, it might be limited to the teeth that are visible when you smile (anterior teeth). As mentioned, treatment is optional when these gaps haven't affected the functionality of your bite. As such, treatment for posterior teeth (molars and premolars) may be excessive. Any conspicuous gaps between anterior teeth can easily be minimised, although a combination of treatment options may be best.
Closing the Gaps
Available treatment options include composite dental bonding. This is when a tooth-coloured resin is applied to the edges of teeth, increasing their width. The same effect can be achieved with dental veneers applied to the outward-facing surfaces of your anterior teeth or dental crowns. A combination of these measures may be required to achieve the desired result.
A diastema is a matter of personal preference when it's not affecting the functionality of your bite. If you love the look, then by all means leave it alone. But if those gaps are too conspicuous and are not even, then a cosmetic solution is possible. For more information, contact a cosmetic dentist.