What are black triangles? Black triangles are gaps which can form between front teeth caused by gum recession.The part of the gum called the papilla that sits between the teeth shrinks back and leaves a triangular shaped space between the teeth.This can happen between upper and lower teeth.
They usually form after gum recession due to gum or periodontal disease or sometimes after orthodontic treatment.
Black triangles look unsightly and are unhygienic as food and plaque can build up there exacerbating any gum disease.Around 30% of adult patients have black triangles and demand for these to be successfully treated is rising.
Studies have shown patients think black triangles are the third worse dental appearance problem behind decay and unsightly crown margins.They are judged to be worse than discoloured or worn teeth.
Unfortunately treating black triangles has been a difficult procedure.Veneering the teeth to reshape them and cover the gaps have been tried but involve removing healthy enamel. Placing white fillings between the teeth to fill the gaps is difficult and often leads to poor results.The fillings chip and discolour as time goes on and overhangs can make them difficult to clean properly which can make the gum situation worse.
Many dentists understandably avoid trying to treat black triangles because of the unsatisfactory nature of treatment.
However there is now a new method which can successfully treat black triangles .This is the Bioclear method.
Bioclear involves using preshaped clear forms which are placed around the teeth.Next the tooth is covered with tooth coloured filling or composite which shapes the tooth perfectly.After polishing the composite is very smooth and looks great.The gaps are filled and can be easily cleaned by the patient.
The papilla is restored to its original position and there is no more food build up in the triangles which helps the gum health.Above is an example of a treated black triangle case in the lower incisors.