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Born Without Lateral incisors? You have Options For Replacing These Teeth!

Born Without Lateral incisors? You have Options For Replacing These Teeth!

Canine and Lateral incisor is missing on one side and lateral incisor is 'peg' shaped on the other!

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and  ‘peg’ shaped on the other!  Adult canine teeth have not yet erupted.

One of the most common teeth to be missing is the upper lateral incisor.  (The most common missing tooth is one or more of the wisdom teeth)  Because a lateral incisor is in the front of the mouth, it is almost always an aesthetic concern when it is not present.  There are many treatment options to  replace a missing lateral incisor:

  1. The adult canine tooth can be re positioned with orthodontic treatment into the lateral incisor position and then reshaped either with a porcelain veneer, direct bonding, and/or conservative enameloplasty (grinding to reshape the tooth) to make the canine tooth look more like a lateral incisor.
  2. An implant can be placed in the lateral incisor position of enough bone is available to do this.
  3. A cantilever bridge (the tooth adjacent to the missing one is crowned and supports a crown in the place of the missing tooth) can be placed to make it appear as if the  tooth is not missing.
  4. A fixed porcelain bridge can be placed to replace the missing incisor.
  5. A tooth can be bonded between the existing teeth to replace the missing tooth.
  6. A ‘flipper‘ or removable partial denture can be made that replaced the missing tooth.
This patient is missing several front teeth including the lateral incisors which will be replaced by all-porcelain bridges.  The dental laboratory has cut away the tissue on the models to check the margins of this bridge.

This patient is missing several front teeth including the lateral incisors which will be replaced by all-porcelain bridges. The dental laboratory has cut away the tissue on the models to check the margins of this bridge.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these.

  1. When a canine tooth is in the position of a lateral incisor, it may be too large compared to a ‘normal’ lateral incisor. But often it looks great.
  2. An implant in the position of the lateral incisor may look like you grew a new, ideally shaped tooth! An implant may require orthodontic treatment and bone grafting for a successful result.
  3. A cantilever bridge may be the best treatment especially if the tooth supporting the cantilever bridge could benefit from a change in shape as well.  This does involve placing a crown or partial crown on either the canine or the central incisor.
  4. A porcelain bridge may be the best treatment IF the teeth involved in the bridge need treatment as well
  5. A bonded tooth is a very conservative treatment but may be prone to breaking or involve a change in eating habits.
  6. A flipper or removable treatment partial is a very conservative treatment option and can look very aesthetic but may feel artificial.

    A "flipper" or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

    A “flipper” or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

Our office would be happy to review your treatment options!  We want our patients to select the best treatment for their needs – now and in the future!

“Caring For And Enhancing Your Smile” has been our office’s bi-line ever since I opened my practice in Grand Junction, CO.  Our practice philosophy is to restore dental health and comfort as a priority and restore beauty whenever we can along with this! Our office’s phone number is (970) 242-3635. We would love to have you visit our office Facebook page and “Like” us!  www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis, DDS, Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health!

Smile restored with a combination of porcelain veneers and a porcelain cantilever bridge.

Smile restored with a combination of porcelain veneers and a porcelain cantilever bridge.

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and peg shaped on the other!

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and peg shaped on the other!  The right canine has been prepared for a cantilever bridge.