|Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ’s
|What causes the discoloration of the tooth?
Tooth discoloration is a normal part of aging. As people age, enamel wears down, and teeth take on a duller appearance. Teeth can also become discolored from smoking and heavy consumption of coffee or tea. Other causes of tooth discoloration include side effects of medications (specifically certain antibiotics) used during the developmental phase of the teeth, an individual's genetic makeup, and excessive fluoride consumption (fluorosis, seen in both children and adults). Teeth whitening and veneers offer a cosmetic dentistry solution for people with discolored or dull-looking teeth.
Can anything be done about the gap between my front teeth?
The technical names for a gap between your front teeth are a midline diastema, median diastema or incisal diastema. This can be disguised by reshaping your front teeth with fillings or veneers, or closed using orthodontic braces.
Your dentist probably won't need to do any drilling of your teeth if you decide to have tooth-colored fillings. The fillings are glued onto the sides of your teeth to build out the shape and close the gap. Closing up a gap can make a big difference to your overall appearance, so this could be a good option if you just want to see how it would look. If you decide that it doesn't suit you, tooth-coloured fillings can be removed.
Veneers are coverings made of a ceramic material such as porcelain. They can be made slightly wider than your natural teeth. The ceramic fills the gap when the veneers are cemented onto your teeth. Your teeth may need to be trimmed for the veneers to fit properly. This option involves more dental work and isn't as easy to reverse.
Sometimes it's possible to use orthodontic braces to push the front teeth together. However, it may be that the gap is caused by an unusually thick piece of gum tissue (fraenum) between your front teeth. If this is the case, your teeth are more likely to return to their original position after the braces have been taken off. To prevent this from happening, your orthodontist may recommend removing the fraenum in a small operation (fraenectomy) just before removing the braces. Once you have had the braces taken off, a wire will usually be cemented along the back of your front teeth, where it can't be seen, to stop the gap opening up again.