By Dr. Reem Stephanos

What is a Diastema?

A “diastema” is an area of extra space between two or more teeth. The two front teeth of the upper jaw area is where diastema is most frequently seen. Many children experience diastema as primary teeth fall out, though in most cases these spaces close when the permanent teeth erupt.

Diastemas may also be caused by a tooth size discrepancy, missing teeth or an oversized labial frenum, the tissue that extends from the inside of the lip to the gum tissue where the upper two front teeth are located. Secondary reasons involve oral alignment issues such as an overjet or protrusion of the teeth.1

What are My Treatment Options?

Once your dentist or orthodontist has determined the reason for your diastema, a treatment plan will be discussed. Options may include:

  • Keep the diastema.
  • Orthodontic treatment to move the teeth and close the diastema.
  • Use porcelainveneers, very thin pieces of porcelain bonded to the outside of the teeth.
  • Crown and bridge work or replacement of teeth with implants (adults only).

If you have an oversized labial frenum, you may be referred to a periodontist for an oral consultation and procedure called a frenectomy. This procedure involves cutting the frenum and then repositioning to allow for more flexibility. If the frenectomy is conducted on a child, the space may close by itself. If it is a teenager or adult, the space may need to be closed with braces. A consultation with your orthodontist is essential to determine which option is the right option to treatment for you.


Dr. Reem Stephanos is an orthodontist at Danville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. She loves working with all ages: children, teenagers and adults, to create beautiful, straight, and healthy smiles. She uses all types of braces, including traditional, metal, clear and Invisalign braces. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, cooking, decorating and being active in the community through church and her mother’s club.