I have peg teeth on my left and right incisors. Also, the left tooth sticks out a little farther than my other teeth. I am self-conscious about my small teeth and do not smile for pictures. Is bonding enough to correct them, or will I need additional treatment? Thank you. Brielle from Spokane, WA
Thank you for choosing Dr. Delaune’s office for your question. Dr. Delaune would need to examine and x-ray your teeth to determine your treatment options, but we will discuss treatment in general.
What Are Peg Lateral Teeth?
Peg lateral teeth are lateral incisors located next to the central incisors (center front teeth). According to the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, peg laterals affect about two percent of the U.S. population. More women than men have small, misshaped lateral incisors. What cosmetic dentistry treatment can correct peg laterals?
What Are the Treatment Options for Peg Laterals?
Treatment options for peg lateral teeth may include cosmetic bonding, contouring, orthodontic treatment, porcelain crowns, or porcelain veneers. A dentist will examine your teeth and gums and x-ray them to evaluate their health and position. Your case may require one or more of these treatments:
- Cosmetic bonding – A cosmetic dentist can blend composite to match the color and translucence of your natural teeth. Bonding is not as stain resistant and durable as porcelain veneers. The dentist will clean and lightly etch the tooth before applying a bonding agent to it. Afterward, the dentist will shape the composite to lengthen your small teeth. After hardening and further shaping your tooth, the dentist will polish it. Your lengthened teeth will seamlessly blend with your natural teeth. If you take diligent care of your teeth, the bonding can last ten years or more.
- Gum contouring – Gum contouring is an option if it will not expose tooth roots and create sensitivity in your teeth. At times, dentists use gum contouring with porcelain veneers. A dental laser can shorten your gumline around your lateral incisors so they appear longer.
- Orthodontic treatment – If your lateral incisors have not fully erupted or if they are not in the correct position, a cosmetic dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment.
- Porcelain crowns – Dental crowns can cover peg lateral incisors. Your dentist may recommend crowns if your teeth are weak or otherwise unhealthy. Crowns require aggressive tooth preparation, so cosmetic dentists use them as a last option for restoring teeth. A dental ceramist can manipulate ceramic crowns to match your natural teeth.
- Porcelain veneers – After preparing the fronts of your lateral incisors, a dentist can apply custom-made porcelain shells to them. Veneers are stain resistant and can last 15 years or longer if you take care of them and get regular maintenance from a cosmetic dentist.
Whether a dentist restores your peg laterals with porcelain veneers or another cosmetic dentistry treatment, the aesthetics and durability depend on the skill of your cosmetic dentist. We recommend scheduling consultations with two advanced cosmetic dentists to discuss and compare your options.
Dr. Duane Delaune, a Metairie, Louisiana, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.