Although my right primary lateral incisor fell out, the permanent one never developed. When I was a teenager, my dentist told me that the tooth behind it would drift into that space, but I still have a half-open space. If my research online is correct, braces, a dental implant, or both would help. And those options may be a challenge because I am 42 years old. I wonder how long it would take to reposition all my upper teeth with braces. A friend mentioned a porcelain veneer, but I think that might look weird and make at least one tooth look too wide. I’m looking for local cosmetic dentists, but what can I expect to hear about my options before I schedule? – Luke from NJ
Thank you for your question.
Treatment for a Missing Lateral Incisor
Most cosmetic dentists would agree that using braces to move the partially drifted canine tooth back into place supports function and aesthetics. Afterward, a dentist can fill the gap with a dental implant. Canine teeth have long, thick roots that absorb horizontal stress when you chew. Repositioning the tooth has these benefits:
- Restore its function of protecting back teeth from horizontal stress
- Prevent complications with other teeth that are affected by unusual stress because the canine tooth is mispositioned
- Avoid challenges of making a canine tooth look like a lateral incisor
Invisalign and a Dental Implant for a Missing Lateral Incisor
Invisalign invisible braces are an option for a missing lateral incisor by realigning your teeth and creating space for a dental implant. Also, Invisalign reduces treatment time by half that of metal braces.
A dental implant is a highly functional, natural-looking option for replacing a missing lateral incisor. Although other options are less expensive, an implant can last a lifetime. You will only need to replace a high-quality crown every ten to fifteen years.
Schedule a consultation with a dentist who has advanced cosmetic and implant dentistry training to discuss your options.