What are Peg Laterals?

Quite often, the factors that influence the quality of our smile have nothing to do with cavities, gum disease, or eating too much candy. Sometimes our smiles miss the mark of perfection because of the shape, position, or alignment of the teeth.

The shape of each tooth is determined even before it grows through the gums, and sometimes, various biologic factors can cause the teeth to take on irregular shapes. Certain teeth, like the upper lateral incisors are commonly found to be misshapen. This occurs so frequently that your Walnut Creek dentist can readily identify the teeth as “peg laterals”.

These teeth, located on either side of the two front teeth, can be identified by their slender peg-like appearance. Peg laterals can be healthy enough and minimally functional, but they often present an unwanted cosmetic challenge. They are sometimes mistaken for baby teeth, and they can certainly interrupt an otherwise attractive smile. The cause of the interesting shape is not always known, but it’s a characteristic that tends to genetic or inherited.

Since peg laterals are generally not proportionately sized in comparison to the neighboring teeth, many patients seek out cosmetic dentistry options to improve the look.

Porcelain veneers and crowns can be bonded to the front teeth in sets of two, four, or six, to improve symmetry and balance in your smile. Veneers provide a cosmetic improvement by covering the front surfaces of the teeth, while crowns provide full coverage on all sides to improve the appearance as well as the strength of the front teeth. Both options are permanent restorations that can be beautifully shaped and shaded to fit your smile perfectly.

The shape or size of the teeth that you were born with shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying a more attractive smile.

To find out more, call to schedule an appointment to discuss cosmetic dentistry in Walnut Creek today.