If one of your teeth is small and shaped like a cone, you may have a peg tooth. Peg teeth occur when your adult teeth don't develop enough, resulting in them being smaller than the rest of your teeth. They don't cause any oral health concerns — you just need to make sure to brush and floss the gaps on either side of the peg tooth, since food can easily become stuck in the large space.
Unfortunately, peg teeth can be a major cosmetic issue due to the fact that their small size and conical shape are very noticeable when you smile. Thankfully, there are a few treatment options available that can help your peg teeth blend in with the rest of your normal teeth. To learn more about the treatment options for peg teeth, read on.
Bonding is the quickest and least invasive way to correct a peg tooth. During the procedure, a dentist will apply a resin to your tooth that makes it appear thicker with a normal shape. After the resin is applied, your dentist will shine a laser or ultraviolet light on the tooth in order to make the resin harden and bond to the tooth. One advantage of bonding is that it doesn't require your peg tooth to be filed down to create space for a veneer or crown, which helps preserve your natural tooth structure.
The main downside of bonding is that the cosmetic results are based on the skill of the dentist — they need to expertly shape the resin in order to make your peg tooth appear normal. If you decide that bonding would be a good option to correct your peg tooth, it's a good idea to have it performed by a prosthodontist. Prosthodontists receive extra training after dental school in the cosmetic correction of dental issues, so they'll have more experience shaping resin during the bonding process.
A dental veneer is a thin piece of porcelain or ceramic that's bonded to the front portion of your natural tooth. The veneer is created in a lab-based on pictures of your teeth, so it will have a similar color to your natural teeth and a shape that helps the peg tooth blend in with the rest of your smile. Veneers are more durable than the hardened resin used during dental bonding, so they'll typically last longer when compared to bonding. However, they do require some of the front portions of your peg tooth to be filed away in order to create some space for the veneer, and this will permanently change the appearance of your natural tooth underneath the veneer.
Dental crowns are similar to veneers. They're created in a lab-based on your smile and can be made from porcelain or ceramic. The difference between crowns and veneers is that a crown surrounds your entire tooth, and a veneer only covers the front portion. The extra material helps to make them more durable than veneers, but more of your natural tooth will need to be filed away in order to provide space for the crown. Crowns can sometimes be the best choice to correct the shape of a peg tooth when a veneer isn't able to cover all of the visible areas — since a crown surrounds the whole tooth, it's able to change the entire shape of the tooth rather than just the front surface.
If you have a peg tooth and you want to have its appearance corrected so that it isn't visible when you smile, schedule an appointment with a prosthodontist in your area. Prosthodontist care is specialized in making your teeth appear normal, which makes it the perfect choice for correcting a peg tooth. A prosthodontist will be able to work with you to find the best treatment for your peg tooth, whether it's bonding, veneers, or crowns.Share