What Are Peg Laterals? Its Causes and Treatment

Peg Lateral Incisors shown on X-Ray Scan

Our smiles are an essential part of our health, and for those with under-developed adult teeth, it can pose problems later on in life, increasing the risk of decay and tooth loss. Your lateral incisors play a vital role in the appearance of your smile and thus require a great deal of attention. For dentists, if the lateral incisors are underdeveloped, they are referred to as peg laterals and need to be treated. 

What Causes Peg Laterals To Develop and How Are They Treated? 

Peg laterals refer to underdeveloped lateral incisors between the upper central incisor and upper canine teeth. Because they sit along the front of the mouth, they can become highly noticeable and even embarrassing for some people.

Currently, researchers are still determining what causes peg laterals to develop. Some factors that cause peg laterals include: 

  • Genetics: Many factors related to our DNA can cause misalignments and, in some cases, peg laterals. More or less, people can inherit peg laterals from their parents if their parents have the same condition.
  • Environment: Some environmental factors, such as jaw fractures, missing teeth, and even childhood thumbsucking, may lead to peg laterals from baby teeth to primary adult teeth. 

In a mouth full of adult teeth, the peg incisors will look abnormally small, and while they don’t cause any problems with your oral health, many people get treated for peg laterals to improve their appearance and confidence. Some treatments people have to treat peg laterals include: 

  • Dental Veneers – Because porcelain veneers are bonded to the tooth’s surface, they can correct almost any imperfection. They’re considered an excellent option for peg laterals and help cover the tooth’s small appearance. 
  • Dental Crowns – Dental crowns can cover the entire tooth and replace it completely for extremely small peg laterals. Because they act as a cap, they provide more support and protection teeth. 
  • Peg Lateral Bondings – Bonding treatments can help reshape the lateral incisor and restore it to a more natural, realistic shape. Bonding is considered the best option if you need more tooth structure and cannot afford other restorative options. Plus, as a direct restoration, they can easily be performed in just one visit. 
  • Dental Bridges – Bridges can be an excellent choice for those with multiple peg laterals – using the same technology as dental crowns, bridges help connect multiple fake teeth by using your natural teeth or crowns as an intricate support system. 

Give Yourself Back a Beautiful Smile Today!

Having peg laterals isn’t a cause for concern – it is quite normal to have smaller teeth inside your smile. But if you’ve been struggling with an unattractive smile for years, the best place to go for treatment is to your primary dentist. They’ll be able to provide you with the treatment options you need to have an aesthetically-pleasing, beautiful smile that’s truly yours. Make sure to schedule an appointment soon and tackle signs of unhealthy teeth early on so you can have a smile that lasts for life.