What exactly are dental implants? Is something being layered on your real teeth?

What procedure do you call it to fix a minor gap, or just something to get a straighter prettier smile without harming the appearance of your real teeth if that is possible

Doctor Answers 4

Dental implants and how they work

Please check our extensive information on how implants work in our sites: All about implants, videos, success stories, etc. I think you will find it helpful.

Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Dental Implants vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental implants are used to replace lost or failing teeth that can no longer be salvaged. They consist of a post (root), abutment, and crown, to give the feel and appearance of a real tooth. What you are looking for -- depending on the size of your gap, might be more along the lines of veneers and bonding. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are laid over the surface of the tooth to fix minor to moderate cosmetic defects. Bonding can also round out the appearance of a tooth and help fix minor imperfections, such as chips and cracks. 

You are probably looking more for a veneer or bonding to improve the appearance of your smile, rather than a dental implant.

Parsa T. Zadeh, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Depends on the situation

Simply put; closing of a small gap can be accomplished with bonding, veneers, or moving the teeth with Invisalign. It all depends on many factors surrounding the area, the rest of your mouth and what your desires are for the final outcome.
  Implants are for replacing missing teeth and can be done in a way that you cannot tell the tooth was ever missing. Seeing a highly qualified cosmetic dentist can give you the correct options to allow you to make a proper choice for yourself. Good luck.

John F. Calvert, DDS
Ketchum Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Cosmetic Dentistry options....

Dental implants are different than what you are asking about. A dental implant is placed in the bone to replace a lost tooth. Once the bone and dental implant integrate or become one, a restoration such as a dental crown or denture can be placed over it.

Fixing a minor gap between can be accomplished in multiple ways. 

1. Orthodontics. This can bring your teeth together as well as straighten them out.

2. Dental Bonding. For small gaps, a dentist can use a tooth colored material that is bonded to your teeth. This will close the gap while maintaining form and function.

3. Porcelain  Veneers. These are custom made thin shells of porcelain which will go over your teeth. A small amount of tooth structure will be removed to accomodate the veneers. Veneers can change, color, shape, length, and width of your teeth. These can also be made using dental composite. 

I would recommend seeing a well trained cosmetic dentist for an evaluation as to what would be the best course of action for your smile.

Marielaina Perrone, DDS
Henderson Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.