He minds the gap
August 27, 2010 4:05 PM   Subscribe

What's the best procedure for fixing gap teeth? And can anyone recommend a good, affordable place in Toronto to get this done?

Friend has gaps between several of his front teeth and wants to get them fixed. His smile looks a bit like this.

Can anyone weigh in with which gap-closing procedures they've tried, and whether the fix was satisfactory, natural-looking, and worth the cost?

Also seeking a dentist in or near Toronto who'll do a nice job at an affordable rate, as friend has no dental coverage. Any suggestions? Is there perhaps a dental school that might have a good rate?

posted by pseudostrabismus to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, link got broken. Friend's teeth look like this.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:06 PM on August 27, 2010

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:12 PM on August 27, 2010

Is there perhaps a dental school that might have a good rate?

University of Toronto

The University of Western Ontario

The only dental schools in Ontario are: UWO (in London, ON) and UofT (right across from the Greyhound station).

An old roomate was a dental student at UWO, while an ex went to UofT. I can't remember how much of a discount they were in relation to a regular dentist, but I know there was a bit of a discount.
posted by calgary at 4:28 PM on August 27, 2010

I had this, although I don't think my front teeth were quite so spacey (it was very noticeable however). The dentist called my eyeteeth 'peg laterals'. We discussed bonding/crowning everything, but that could make my teeth a bit large-looking (also, bonding is not preferred for durability reasons). I mention this because it's a tempting 'quick fix' option that might not end up not being worth it in the long run.

My teeth look totally normal today, but it was about a 2 year process. It was completely worth it. Here is what we did:
First, I had braces on for about 18-24 months. My teeth were perfectly straight, but the orthodontist's goal was to bring my front teeth together in order to make it so little to no bonding would be necessary (he did well, and none was needed). Next, the dentist crowned my peg laterals, first by shaving them down to these scary little points, and then I got fitted for the crowns and had them painted to match my teeth. I have had the crowns almost ten years and they still look great, and very natural looking. Except they ARE black light reflective, but that is almost never an issue.
posted by smalls at 4:32 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

(er... provided they can do the work, the UWO link suggests it'd be 60% of the cost of having it done at a private practice, no idea on UofT).
posted by calgary at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2010

I should also mention that I had no dental coverage at the time. I was 21 years old when I started the process, and just starting out with my career. The orthodontist allowed me to pay on a monthly plan, which was helpful. I think it was important that I chose people who were very good at what they did, especially when it came to the crowns. Every dentist I have visited since has complimented my crowns as some of the better work they have seen. It's not a normal "fix a broken tooth" type of thing - the guy made my entire tooth from scratch.
posted by smalls at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2010

sorry - I just realized that the 'peg laterals' I referred to are not eyeteeth. I'm talking about the guys right next to your two front teeth on either side. I'll stop posting now!
posted by smalls at 4:41 PM on August 27, 2010

I went to a cosmetic dentist to have this done about six or seven years ago. I had a ridiculously good dental plan which paid for everything so I don't know what the cost was.

In any event, the dentist put some sort of synthetic enamel between the two teeth, which bonded to the tooth enamel, i think with an ultraviolet light.

Then she molded the bonded fake tooth psrt to make its profile look natural, and she created a small slot, for a lack of a better word, in the middle of this fake enamel, to accurately reflect that there are two separate front teeth.

Hope this all makes sense.

I recall the whole procedure taking an hour or so and not being at all uncomfortable. But then vie never found being at the dentists uncomfortable, so your mileage may vary, etc.
posted by dfriedman at 5:39 PM on August 27, 2010

I also had bonding done for a gap between my two front teeth. It's not perfect and having two teeth that looked a little wider than the rest takes some getting used to as well. However, it is not very expensive, about $150 a tooth, and lasted about ten years before one of them broke. Took about 30 minutes to fix.

My daughter had a combination treatment for a gap due to a tooth that never came in. She had the two front teeth, but one of the second set was missing and the other one was a little half tooth. The little tooth was pulled and the braces pulled her other teeth forward. Then her canines were bonded to look like front teeth.

When I was considering the options, I was told braces, bonding, or full crowns. I've been satisfied with the bonds.
posted by tamitang at 7:31 PM on August 27, 2010

thirding bonding. I had my diastema closed over 20 years ago and I have had it repaired or touched up a handful of times. Most of the repairs were around Christmastime. Damn those candy canes.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 8:45 PM on August 27, 2010

Oh- one other comment: now I am kind of in a bind when it comes to teeth whitening. Supposedly the bonding doesn't whiten with most methods so I may have to redo it if I ever want to go whiter.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 8:47 PM on August 27, 2010

I had some dental work done at U of T, before mr purl started his job with very good dental benefits. I was very happy with the work done, and prices were significantly lower than private dental clinics, but there are some caveats:

- It is hard to get on their patient roster. I think that new patients are pretty much only added in September - be prepared for a *long* time on hold on their booking line
- If your friend's dental problems are deemed too complex to be treated by a student, they will not be taken on as a client (probably not an issue)
- Appointments typically last several hours, because the student does the work and then it's checked by faculty. Also, the student dentists are only available on particular days based on their own schedules. If your friend is typically very busy during business hours, this is probably not a good option for them
posted by purlgurly at 5:06 PM on August 28, 2010

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