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What Are Peg Laterals And How Are They Treated?

What Are Peg Laterals And How Are They Treated?

What Are Peg Laterals And How Are They Treated?

Peg laterals is the term given to a condition called microdontia when it affects the upper front teeth, second in from the centre. There is a term for these teeth because of how common this condition is.

Microdontia occurs when teeth erupt smaller, malformed and pointier in shape. Peg laterals have a genetic link and, therefore, will be more common in families. If a parent has peg laterals, it is recommended that their children be screened with x-rays before the eruption of those teeth.

One or both of the lateral teeth can be affected by this condition. Peg laterals can vary in severity; therefore, the treatment for this condition also varies. If mildly affected, the laterals may be left, while more severely affected teeth require treatment for aesthetic and functional purposes.

Tooth Extraction and Dental Implants

If the teeth are moderate to severely affected by microdontia, the best treatment is extraction and either bridges or implants to fill the spaces. In some cases, the teeth are too small or misshaped to salvage. Extraction can be completed before or after braces to straighten the teeth. Spaces will be left to fit the bridges or implants. Dental implants are the best option for aesthetics and function if moderate to severely affected.

Dental Veneers and Dental Crowns

A covering such as a veneer or crown can be placed on the peg lateral to offer functional support and improved aesthetics. A dental veneer is a porcelain shell bonded to the tooth’s front side, and a crown is a cap covering the entire tooth. More natural tooth structures will need to be removed for the crown, but both procedures require some of the natural teeth to be sanded down. Both dental veneers and dental crowns can change the teeth’ shape, size and colour and will last upwards of 10-20 years if properly cared for.

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding is the last option, the least expensive, and the least permanent. For this procedure, filling material that matches the shade of the natural teeth will be used to bulk up the peg laterals and improve their size and shape. This can be tricky to do with filling material, so that the results won’t be as aesthetically pleasing as with implants, crowns or veneers. Composite bonding also doesn’t offer the same support for the teeth as other options, so there is a higher risk of chips and breaks.

If you have questions about peg laterals, please call us today to schedule an appointment.

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