I Have Peg Laterals? Is That Bad? What Are My Options?
Small sized lateral incisors
What are Peg Laterals?
The term “Peg lateral” refers to an anomaly affecting the upper lateral incisors which causes these teeth to be abnormally small in size or even ‘pointy’ compared to their usual more rectangular shape. Peg laterals may occur on just one or on both sides of a patient’s mouth. When these incisors do not grow to their full size, the appearance is affected and these teeth are small and ‘peg-shaped’ hence the term Peg Laterals. These teeth are in a very noticeable location at the front of a person’s smile. The upper or maxillary lateral incisors are the front teeth between the upper central incisors and the upper canine teeth. Because these teeth are right in front, this can be a very noticeable and possibly even embarrassing condition. Luckily we have a very conservative treatment to correct this condition.
Peg Lateral incisor – left side
Lateral incisor developed very small
Many good options are available to treat peg laterals.
We may treat peg laterals using direct bonding with tooth colored materials on the front and sides of the small tooth to give it a more natural appearance. Another alternative treatment for peg laterals is Porcelain veneers. This conservative treatment would be a more permanent and usually more aesthetic option.
Do peg laterals have to be treated?
No! Treatment of peg laterals is usually considered ‘cosmetic’ and not a ‘necessary’ procedure covered by dental insurance, however this treatment will improve the appearance of these lateral incisors, and can boost the self confidence that comes from having a more aesthetic smile!
Restoring peg laterals can make a big difference in the appearance of a smile!
Peg lateral incisors and central incisors restored with conservative porcelain veneers.
Conservative porcelain veneer to restore a peg lateral.
Conservative porcelain veneer restoration on the lateral incisor
What Causes Peg Laterals?
There are two primary causes of peg laterals, both of which are beyond your control. These are as follows:
Genetics: there seems to be a genetic component to this condition. Some people with peg laterals have parents who had the same condition.
Developmental anomaly: Sometimes the teeth just do not form correctly.
Some people are genetically missing the adult lateral incisors so the primary or baby lateral incisors remain in the position of the adult lateral incisors. In a mouthful of full-sized adult teeth the baby lateral incisors will look abnormally small.
Our office would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your teeth! We would be happy to offer you treatment options for your peg laterals or any other cosmetic concerns.
Peg Lateral Treatment Options:
Right and left peg lateral incisors – note the discolored bonded restoration covering the corner of the left central incisor.
Anterior teeth have been restored with porcelain veners
(1) cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored materials
(2) Porcelain veneers
(3) Orthodontic treatment may be needed to position these teeth ideally for either of the above two options. We work with many talented orthodontists to assist us when necessary for a more ideal result for you!
Sometimes the only treatment needed is to re position the peg laterals with orthodontic treatment or a removable appliance. Our office will let you know what options are available and help you determine what is best for you.
Canine and Lateral incisor is missing on one side and lateral incisor is ‘peg’ shaped on the other!
Smile restored with a combination of porcelain veneers and a porcelain cantilever bridge.
Our office would be happy to tell you about what is going on in your mouth in as much detail as you would like. We are located in Grand Junction, Colorado. Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love for you to ‘like’ us on our office’s Facebook page! Please find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.
As always, yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis, DDS
Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health