What Are Peg Laterals? Its Causes and Treatment


Our smiles play many roles in our day-to-day lives and throughout our lifetimes as a whole. They influence our interactions with other people, influence how we speak, and can notably impact our self-esteem. When the appearance of our smile is impacted, such as with peg laterals, our confidence and willingness to smile openly can be impacted. Peg laterals occur when the lateral incisors between our front teeth and our canines are smaller than normal. Thankfully, there are treatments for these diminutive teeth that can restore a healthy adult smile.

The Origins Of Peg Laterals And How They’re Treated

Peg laterals are a notably visible oral health concern that stands prominently in the middle of the dental aesthetic zone. This zone is the teeth that are visible when we smile openly. This makes them quite noticeable during our day-to-day activities and can lead those living with them to be reserved with their smiles. Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent the occurrence of peg laterals. Scientists are still studying the biological mechanisms that go into their development. The known factors that influence the likelihood of their appearance:

  • Genetics: Peg laterals have been determined to have a congenital element. This means that they are passed genetically from parent to child. As a result, those with parents who have peg laterals are more likely to develop them themselves.
  • Injury: Missing teeth and jaw fractures may have a role to play. Current data suggests that those with early childhood instances of the above may be more likely to develop peg laterals.
  • Behavioral: Thumbsucking has been shown to be a possible player in the development of peg laterals as well. More research is needed to confirm this, but current studies show some support for it.

Peg laterals are not considered to be a medical concern. As such, their treatment is not often covered by dental insurance. Instead, peg laterals are seen as a cosmetic concern, and their treatment typically requires out-of-pocket expenditures. Some of the possible treatment approaches include:

  • Dental Veneers – This treatment applies a thin cover to your teeth and can serve to be an effective way of concealing their presence. This is most effective when your peg laterals are slightly smaller than the neighboring teeth but still abnormally so.
  • Dental Crowns – Crowns are one of the most beneficial forms of treatment for them. These dental restorations cover the entire surface of the tooth. This creates the form and function of natural teeth that can last for many years.

Your dentist may have other suggestions for how to approach treating peg laterals.

Address Your Peg Laterals With Your Dentist Today

There are no medical or oral health implications to having peg laterals. However, treating them can help you feel better about your smile and to share it more confidently. Start by contacting your dentist and asking about the treatment options they have available. They’ll bring you in for an assessment and consultation and help you come up with a treatment plan that is appropriate for your case. Don’t wait to build that beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of; call now!

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Dr. Jeannie Molato, DMD – Top Dentist in Bakersfield, CA

The art and science of dentistry has become my career’s passion. I can utilize my artistic passion and skill to give my patients smiles they have always dreamed of. I am also able to relieve my patients of their pain and discomfort, restore function to better their quality of life and educate the patients how to take care and maintain their oral health.