Are you happy with gappy teeth?

in Gap

Question: what do Elton John, Madonna, Condoleezza Rice and Chaucer's fictional The Wife of Bath all have in common?

Answer: they all have (or had) 'Diastema' – a noticeable gap between the two front teeth.

For the likes of Elton John and Madonna, the gap became a bit of a trademark.

But for those of us who don't want to have a gap between their teeth, different types of treatment are available – including porcelain veneers, composite bonding and the clear braces manufactured by Invisalign. London dentist Ethicare has helped many patients seeking these forms of treatment.

Attitudes around the world

Attitudes to gap teeth vary from culture to culture. In Nigeria, gap teeth often signify wisdom, beauty and fertility while in France they are called dents du Bonheur (‘lucky teeth').

The model look

Today, models Lara Stone and Georgia Jagger have taken to the catwalk and won praise for their natural gap-toothed. On America's Next Top Model reality show, a judge controversially suggested that one of the contestants should  even consider a visit to a cosmetic dentist to "exaggerate the gap between her teeth".

Some people don't need to exaggerate the gap – gap teeth can be caused by factors such as tooth size discrepancy and genetics (Mick Jagger's genes might explain Georgia Jagger's Diastema).

Glafcos Tombolis, who runs London dental practice Ethicare with his wife Klaudia, stresses that gap teeth is mostly an aesthetic issue – it doesn't tend to cause patients any dental health problems.

3 ways of reducing the gap

  1. Treatment involving Invisalign Braces is often favoured by Glafcos and his team when they are realigning teeth with gaps between them. As Invisalign Braces are clear, comfortable and easily-removable, you can remove the gaps without having your lifestyle cramped.
  2. Cosmetic porcelain veneers are also a great, reliably predictable way of correcting spacing issues. These veneers are constantly getting thinner, keeping removal of tooth structure to a minimum.
  3. Over the past 20 years, composite bonding has become a viable alternative to braces and veneers when it comes to realigning teeth. Composite bonding works by using white filling material to reducing gaps – one of its many advantages is the ease with which it can be repaired and added to.

To find out how retainers can help gap-reducing treatment and to discover how long treatment typically takes, please read the full version of this article.

 

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James Christie has 1 articles online

James has been an author for four years.

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This article was published on 2011/04/19