Peg Lateral Incisors

Welcome to Peg Lateral Incisors


Peg lateral teeth, or peg lateral incisors, are terms used to describe a condition where the lateral incisors (the second tooth on either side of the front teeth) are undersized and appear smaller than normal.  This situation occurs when the permanent lateral incisors do not fully develop.  Sometimes, the permanent adult lateral incisor teeth do not develop at all, leaving only the baby teeth (primary or deciduous teeth) in their place.  Although some people refer to these teeth as peg laterals, they are really over retained deciduous teeth.  A true peg lateral incisor is a term reserved for the under-developed adult permanent tooth that erupts after the deciduous tooth has been lost.



Primary teeth erupt and exfoliate, or fall out, during very specific time periods of child development.  Once the primary teeth are lost, permanent teeth can be expected to erupt into the space left by the lost primary teeth.  The chart below shows the time ranges of various tooth eruptions.

Since peg lateral incisors are undersized, many times there will be a space between them and the adjacent teeth (this space normally would have been occupied by a fully developed lateral incisor).  This resultant space causes the alignment of the teeth, and thus the smile, to appear abnormal.  There are several ways to treat and correct this condition.  If the roots are strong but the visible teeth are undersized, the peg lateral incisors can be covered with porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers.  Porcelain veneers are the most common treatment for peg lateral incisors, and require little or no tooth preparation.  A porcelain shell is simply bonded over the smaller peg laterals making the teeth appear normal in size.


If not enough space exists between the central incisors (front teeth) and the canine teeth to accommodate normally sized lateral incisors, space must be created by orthodontic treatment.  Traditional band orthodontic treatment or Invisalign appliances can be used to create the necessary space.

If the peg lateral incisor has a very small root or is an over-retained deciduous tooth (baby tooth) with a partially reabsorbed root, there may not be enough support to hold a free standing restoration such as a porcelain veneer or porcelain crown.  In this situation, there are three possible methods of treatment.  The first method is to support the weak tooth with a splint bar or retainer behind the tooth, joining it to the adjacent teeth on either side of it.  Once the tooth is supported, a porcelain veneer can be placed over the remaining tooth structure to establish the look of a normal sized lateral incisor.


The second method is to remove the weak tooth and replace it with an all porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-gold bridge.  Specific conditions in the mouth determine which of these two materials are to be used.  When the bridge is constructed, the tooth on either side of the space where the peg lateral was is prepared for a crown.  An impression is taken and sent to a dental laboratory, and a final bridge is returned to the dentist and inserted at a second visit.  During the time period while the bridge is being fabricated at the laboratory, a temporary plastic bridge is placed in the mouth to provide function and cosmetic improvement for the missing tooth.  When the final bridge is returned, the temporary plastic bridge is removed and replaced with the permanent porcelain bridge.

The third method is to remove the weak tooth and replace it with a dental implant. Once a tooth is removed, an dental implant is surgically placed in the bone. The implant is allowed to heal for 4 months in order for the surrounding bone to attach itself to the dental implant. This process is referred to as osseointegration. Once this occurs, a custom post (called an abutment) is attached to the implant. Finally, a porcelain crown is placed over the dental implant which replaces the missing lateral incisor.


If you are unhappy with the way your smile looks because of peg lateral incisors or over-retained deciduous teeth, now there is hope. To schedule your complimentary consultation with one of the most experienced dentists in Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, call... 


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Fix your Peg Lateral Incisors at the beautiful Kurpis Cosmetic Dentistry treatment center located in Ridgewood New Jersey. Dr Kurpis has been serving patients from New Jersey NJ, Manhattan NYC New York, CT Connecticut, Long Island, and around the world for over 35 years.

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