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Southview Dental offers modern treatments to help our patients enjoy a lifetime of beautiful and healthy smiles. Sometimes patients feel concerned about small, misshapen front teeth known as peg laterals.
Patients sometimes visit us with a simple question, “how to fix small teeth?” Thanks to modern dentistry, we can fix peg laterals and create a more symmetrical smile. Before we explore treatment options, we need to explain what peg laterals are and how they affect the appearance of some people’s teeth.
What Are Peg Lateral Incisors?
Sometimes the second tooth on either side of the two front teeth doesn’t develop correctly. The tooth appears smaller and pointier compared to the other permanent teeth. Someone may have this condition in one tooth or on the incisors on both sides of the two front teeth. We often refer to this condition as peg laterals.
Since the upper teeth are most visible, people often feel self-conscious when they have smaller or misshapen teeth. Patients often ask about how to fix small teeth. The answer is normally some type of restorative treatment for this condition.
What Causes Peg Laterals?
Peg Laterals generally have one of two common causes. Causes include:
- Genetics: Like many things, peg laterals often run in the family. Sometimes multiple generations all exhibit a similar growth pattern.
- Developmental issues: For some reason, that particular tooth doesn’t develop correctly. The reason isn’t always clear and is not really that relevant to the treatment.
The patient can not prevent either of these causes since they are not the result of habits or lifestyle. Fortunately, there is a range of peg lateral treatment options that improve the appearance and function of these teeth. If you or a member of your family feel embarrassed about peg laterals, be sure to discuss your feelings with your dentist. Your dentist will then explore which treatment options may suit your needs.
What Are The Peg Lateral Treatment Options? Or How To Fix The Small Teeth?
There are several peg lateral treatment options. The right treatment depends on the situation. The first treatment option is “no treatment” assuming the teeth are otherwise correctly aligned. Peg lateral is often seen as a cosmetic issue so some patients choose to leave it alone. If the appearance isn’t acceptable, there are other treatment options.
First, your dental care professional needs to check whether there is enough space between the teeth to accommodate a full sized tooth. If not, orthodontic care like Invisalign or braces may be the first step. The condition often comes with alignment issues. Sometimes correcting the tooth positioning and alignment fixes the aesthetic issue in mild cases of peg lateral. If not, there are a few other options to improve the appearance of the affected tooth or teeth.
Once adequate space is established, your dentist will discuss how to fix the small teeth or peg laterals. Some peg lateral treatment options include:
- Composite resins/tooth colored fillings – The resin is molded and shaped onto the tooth. This cosmetic treatment method aesthetically fixes chipped teeth, gapped teeth, staining, and peg laterals.
- Porcelain veneers – This is a thin tooth-colored porcelain shell that your dental professional cements over the surface of your tooth. Like composite resins, it can correct the appearance and function of worn enamel, misshapen teeth, chipped teeth, and uneven spacing or alignment of a single tooth.
- Crowns – Dental crowns are a fixed prosthetic cemented to the tooth. Depending on the situation, dentists make crowns from porcelain, ceramic crowns or other materials like metal alloys or acrylic. Crowns may be used to visually lengthen the short tooth for a more symmetrical appearance.
- In some cases, a dental professional may extract the peg lateral and replace it with a more aesthetically pleasing implant.
All three of the previously mentioned options may correct the appearance of peg laterals. As mentioned, these treatment options frequently follow successful orthodontic treatment. The best option varies by the severity of the situation, your budget, your age, and overall dental health.
Before & After
Before Peg Lateral Treatment
After Peg Lateral Treatment
Pros And Cons Of Peg Lateral Treatment
Since peg laterals are often considered cosmetic, you may want to check with your insurance to see whether it is covered. Many plans will not cover the treatment. However, for many patients feeling confident about their smile is well worth the out-of-pocket expense. However, the primary con may be the out-of-pocket expense.
This con is balanced by the feeling of confidence someone receives from a symmetrical, beautiful smile. How the two balance depends on the patient’s personal preference. Composite resins, porcelain veneers, crowns or implants offer attractive options in a range of budgets. Talk with your dental professional about the options to see what best suits your needs and your lifestyle.
Next Steps Regarding How To Fix Small Teeth Or Lateral Pegs
Your first step to treating any dental issue to schedule an appointment with a qualified dental professional. Charlotte area residents trust their smiles to Southview Dentistry. In fact, Charlotte residents voted Southview Dental one of the top dental practices in Charlotte! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.