Are Braces Needed for Gaps Between Teeth?

I want to get caps or veneers but I do not want the spaces. Do I need to get Braces first or can I find a dentist that can make my smile great without the need of braces and eliminate the gaps between the teeth?

Doctor Answers 5

Braces Not Needed Before Veneers

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I would need to see pictures of your teeth to give you an accurate answer, but I can tell you that if the spaces are not real large you could have porcelain veneers place without going through braces first.  Porcelain veneers are great at closing spaces between teeth and the results are fantastic.  The only time that braces are a necessity is when the "gaps" are really large.  If braces are not performed in these cases the teeth will look to wide after veneer placement.  A well trained cosmetic dentist will know if you should have braces first and refer you to one if necessary.  Good luck. 

Braces or veneers

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the answer does depend on your bite, the size of your teeth and the size of the gaps. There are ratios that exist between the widths of the front teeth to give you the right look and the right fit.  This concept is called "tooth size discrepancy" . A good orthodontist or cosmetic dentist should know how to apply this concept for the best results!

Mojdah Akhavan, DDS
San Diego Orthodontist

Treating gaps between front teeth

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The best way to decide whether veneers or braces are the best individual option to close gaps between front teeth is to find a local cosmetic dentist and schedule a cosmetic consultation.  Depending on the size of the gaps, the dentist will offer to take impressions and have a master ceramist fabricate a wax up of what veneers would look like for the patient.  At that point a more informed decision can be made as to which is the more appropriate treatment option.

Daniel Melnick, DDS
Laurel Dentist

Often combining braces and veneers gives a fantastic result

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As previously stated, the spacing needs to be measured and determined if the gaps are small enough for veneers only. Often putting the teeth (and truly the roots) in ideal positions give the best result.

After a diagnostic waxup you can decide for yourself if veneers only would make you happy.

Braces are not always needed for gaps between teeth

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Whether you should get braces or veneers to close or mask your gaps is dependent on how large the gaps are and where they are located. If the gaps are no larger than approximately 2 millimeters or so, you can probably get by without braces and have veneers done to mask the space. If possible, have your dentist provide you with a wax-up on a set of models to give you an idea of what the veneered teeth will look like (make sure the teeth are not too wide). To close your gaps, the veneers have to be made a little wider than your normal tooth to make up for the size of the gap. If the veneer is too wide, it will not look right in relation to your other teeth, especially if it is in the smile zone (one of your front six teeth).

If your gaps are wider than 2 millimeters, then you may want to consider braces to close the spaces or a combination of braces or invisalign and veneers or cosmetic bonding. Using veneers to close large spaces often results in excessively wide teeth that do not appear natural.

Matt T. Walton, DMD
Suwanee Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.