Whether you have evenly distributed spaces or just a middle gap, orthodontic treatment can indeed close these gaps! However, there are several situations that complicate this process.
If you’ve had to have a tooth/teeth pulled due to non-orthodontic reasons, you have several options to fill the remaining space. In some instances you may be a candidate to close the spaces by undergoing orthodontic treatment. This is most likely to be the case for teenagers, as their teeth move faster than adults and there hasn’t been sufficient time for bone loss to occur in the area of the missing tooth. Bone loss, seen as narrowing of the gum ridge, or even low sinuses seen on a panoramic x-ray, will greatly slow, if not hinder altogether, tooth movement. Orthodontic treatment may not be able to reasonably close the spaces from the missing teeth if you do not have certain bite problems. Ask your orthodontist if you are a candidate for closing your extraction spaces!
Many people develop a middle gap, which is commonly hereditary. These gaps are particularly resistant to closing because there may be a small cleft in the the two bones of the upper jaw. Other reasons for this include the gums in that area being thicker and having a strong-pulling or thicker frenum attachment to the gums. These spaces usually take longer to close and are resistant to staying closed, which makes retention extremely important.
Spaces that are distributed throughout your mouth often contribute to bite problems and protruding teeth. Orthodontic treatment closes these spaces while correcting your bite. (Often you are asked to use elastics or “rubber bands” to help these spaces close in the right direction. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions for everything to go smoothly and for your quickest treatment length!)
Set up a consultation with Dr.s Abdoney or Cronauer to find out if any of these “space situations” apply to you!