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    When discussing missing lateral incisors, we refer to someone without their side front teeth, either on the upper or lower jaw. This can happen for various reasons; they were born without it, or it might be due to an injury or dental problem. So, if someone has missing lateral incisors, there are a few options to fill that gap.

    What Causes Missing Lateral Incisors?

    The exact cause of absent lateral incisors varies from person to person. Some general reasons for the absence of lateral incisors include:

    • Genetic Factors: Some individuals can have congenital tooth abnormalities. It can be a part of your genetic makeup. If someone in the family has faced the same situation, it is hereditary.
    • Developmental Issues: During the dental developmental phase, teeth bud formation can be disrupted. This can trigger the absence of missing lateral incisors. This can be due to genetic mutations or anything that impacts tooth formation in the early stages.
    • Environmental Factors: External factors like exposure to certain drugs, toxins, or infections during pregnancy can result in dental abnormalities. They include missing teeth. Environmental influences can interfere with normal tooth formation in the fetus.
    • Medical Conditions: Medical conditions, syndromes, or disorders can be associated with missing incisors. Such conditions can be ectodermal dysplasia and cleft lip and palate.
    • Trauma or Injury: Trauma or injury to the mouth or jaw during early childhood or adolescence can affect tooth development and cause the absence of lateral incisors.
    • Dental Anomalies: There are cases where individuals can have variations in the number and position of teeth. The absence of lateral incisors can be part of such dental anomalies.

    Missing Lateral Incisors Treatment Options

    Dentistry is flooded with options to make up for tooth developmental problems. The following treatment options can address your concern:

    1. Canine Substitution
      Most of the people think orthodontic treatments can’t work for missing teeth. Braces and Invisalign can effectively push your central incisors to fill the gap left by your lateral incisors. This method is called canine substitution. Braces also clear up sufficient space for dental bridges or implants.
    2. Dental Implants
      Your dentist can use dental implants that are crafted to look exactly like the missing lateral incisors. A surgery is performed to place implant posts in your upper jaw to support the artificial teeth. Dental implants prevent teeth from moving and forming gaps.
    3. Resin-Boded Bridge
      Wing lateral bridges can work as a solution for the absence of lateral incisors. It includes a crown similar to a lateral tooth and a tiny material attached to the back of the central incisor to retain the new tooth. This bridge mimics the real tooth closely. Therefore, it is one of the most visually appealing alternatives.

    Final Remarks

    If you are putting off the replacement of missing lateral incisors, thinking it’s only a cosmetic concern. It can also cause other health issues, such as gum disease, jaw pain, speech difficulties, and digestive problems.

    Contact our oral surgeon, Dr. Azhar, at Pasadena Oral Surgery for dental implants. A dental implant is the most realistic option, whether you are missing a molar or a lateral incisor. Call us at (281) 299-0053 to book an appointment.

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