What do Madonna, Elton John, Condoleeza Rice, 50 Cent and David Letterman all have in common? Here's a clue⸺just imagine these well-known faces as they smile. They all have a dental condition known as diastema, which is nothing more than a prominent gap between their teeth. The gap can vary in width from person-to-person and is usually centred, appearing between the central incisors of the upper jaw. Diastema is a common occurrence, and whether you want to have it altered is entirely a personal matter. You might think that your gap is part of your look, just like the model Lauren Hutton, who refused to have her gap corrected when she was starting out in her career. But if you have diastema and aren't entirely satisfied with the look of your smile, what are your options for shrinking the gap?

Not So Complicated

Such an overhaul of the look of your teeth might seem like a significant undertaking, but it's actually rather straightforward, and any cosmetic dental practice will be able to perform the work. But what work actually needs to be performed? You have two primary options when it comes to correcting your diastema, with the best choice depending largely on your budget.


Dental bonding is generally the least expensive course of action. The dentist adds mass to the edges of your central incisors, which then discreetly increases the surface area of the teeth, reducing the prominence of the gap. The bonding material is usually a composite dental resin, which, when dry, will mimic the look of your natural dental enamel. Though durable, it can be susceptible to discolouration, so be cautious about this method if you're a smoker.


While bonding sculpts the resin directly onto the tooth, you can also have veneers manufactured and cemented into place. The veneers will be minutely larger than the underlying tooth in order to shrink the gap between the teeth. A small amount of dental enamel is removed from the teeth in order to create the best foundation for the veneer to adhere to before the veneer itself is fitted. Veneers can be made from a composite dental resin, although dental porcelain can also be used, and is less likely to discolour. 

Both options are designed to be a long-term solution, although it's possible that the bonding will need to be reapplied if it chips or discolours. Likewise, veneers might also need to be replaced in the event of damage or discolouration. A diastema smile isn't for everyone, but there are certainly options if you ever decide to close the gap.