Is there a way to fill a gap between teeth without using braces?Braces & Invisalign Cosmetic Dentistry
I am aged 60 and I am having pain in my lower teeth. I had a crown fixed in India one year ago. I think it was not done properly, and I now have some gaps between my teeth. Instead of braces, is there any filling that can be done to fill the gaps between my teeth?
Firstly, I hope the pain has been resolved? Drifting of teeth with age is commonly associated with gum disease and the bone levels getting lower. This results in gaps between the teeth which were not previously there. The most important thing is to make sure you see your dentist regularly to ensure good gum health.
With regards to the spacings, here are the various options, depending on the location of the gap and the size
1) Composite bonding - placing tooth-coloured fillings on the sides of the teeth to close up the gaps. This will make the teeth look larger so if you already have broad sized teeth, this option may not look so aesthetic.
2) Crowns/Veneers or other restorative means
3) Using a hawley retainer (a plastic plate with a wire on the outside) or clear aligners to close up the gaps without having to do a filling. These are removable so you need to take it out to eat and when you brush your teeth.
A dentist or orthodontist will be able to advise you better after a clinical assessment of your teeth and bite.
Hope this helps!
Dr Geraldine Lee
As for your question on whether you can have any fillings to fill up the gaps, we have to establish the following basic points.
1) How large are the gaps?
2) Are the gaps between the front teeth or at the back?
3) Are they caused by missing teeth or just small general spacings between your teeth?
There are numerous ways to fill up the gaps between the teeth eg) with prostheses like implants dentures and bridges. Or normal fillings/ veneers/ crowns to mask the gaps.
The final treatment choice would require a proper examination and more complex form of treatment planning with the dentist who would then assess your needs and concerns and try to manage your expectations accordingly. Sometimes braces MAY still be needed in cases.
It sounds like you have 2 issues, one being the pain in your lower teeth and the other being gaps between your teeth after having a new crown made.
There could be several reasons for gaps appearing after a new crown is fitted. The crown could have the bite pressure distributed unevenly, causing tooth drifting. If all the biting contacts are concentrated only on one half of the crown, this can cause orthodontic tooth movement that may result in gaps or even changes in the way you bite.
Adjustment of the bite of the crown may be able to reverse or improve the situation if this is the case. However, trimming the crown surface may cause it to thin out or become perforated, requiring the crown be replaced.
Another significant cause of gaps appearing between the teeth is untreated gum disease (periodontitis) that has caused bone loss around the teeth. When the jawbone resorbs in the gum disease process, this reduces the amount of support and stability for the teeth resulting in drifting, spaces and uneven biting patterns emerging.
It may be possible to fill up gaps between the teeth using filling materials or even splinting loose teeth together, but these solutions tend to only be short term, unless the underlying cause of tooth drifting has been identified and managed.