What Are Peg Lateral Teeth? Definition, Cause, and Treatment

Peg Laterals Shown On X-Ray

Next to your front teeth, or central incisors, are a pair of smaller incisors known as the lateral incisors. When these teeth are significantly smaller than the central incisors and cause an aesthetic concern, they are known as peg laterals. While some patients may experience these on both sides of their mouth, it’s possible to only occur on one side. Peg laterals don’t have any negative oral health implications for the patient. However, they are often considered to be embarrassing by those living with them. Thankfully, there are treatments available to address them.

What Causes Peg Laterals, And How To Treat Them

The underlying causes of peg laterals are not fully known. They seem to occur most frequently in those with a family history of peg laterals or who have experienced some form of injury as a child. However, it’s also possible for them to occur as a seemingly random developmental anomaly. What’s important to know is that there is no known possible way to prevent peg laterals. Sometimes these small teeth aren’t adult teeth. Instead, they are baby teeth that never fell out because no adult tooth formed beneath them.

One unfortunate fact about peg laterals is that they are not considered to be a medical concern. This means that patients often won’t be able to cover their treatment with dental insurance. Instead, they’ll have to pay out of pocket to address them. Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available that can provide effective results when used for peg laterals.

Peg Lateral Treatment Options:

  • Dental Crowns – One of the most popular treatment options for peg laterals is dental crowns. These restorations can provide full coverage of the peg lateral. They wrap around the material of the tooth, providing protection, stability, and function for the tooth and the patient.
  • Dental Veneers – Another popular option is dental veneers. Dental veneers can provide treatment for multiple minor, aesthetic concerns simultaneously. Further, they’re available in both traditional porcelain and composite resin varieties. Both provide a natural tooth-like appearance and lasting durability, though porcelain has a translucent quality that many patients prefer.
  • Peg Lateral Bondings – If you’ve lost tooth structure, peg lateral bonding can be a good compromise between a crown and veneer. This treatment helps rebuild the structure and add strength to the peg lateral while also improving the overall appearance.

In some cases, the only necessary treatment is the use of orthodontic care. Some patients find that the appearance of their smile improves dramatically by altering the position of the peg lateral.

Speak To Your Dentist To Discuss Your Options

If you’re living with peg laterals and are wondering if there’s a treatment that’ll help you, consult with your dentist. They’ll go over your oral health and discuss your concerns with you. After this, they’ll provide a consultation that will cover the possible treatment options and what kind of results you can expect from them. You don’t have to live with the embarrassment of peg laterals; call today and start your journey to a balanced and beautiful smile.

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Doctor Berg and Granddaughter

Doctor Robert Berg has established himself as the consummate dental professional in Garden City and the surrounding areas. For many years, Dr. Berg has been honored as a top dentist by the Consumer Research Council, America’s Top Dentists, and New York Top Dentists. He was also named as the best dental practice in Garden City by the Garden City Merchants Association.