What You Need to Know About Missing Incisors and Canine Substitution in Orthodontics

Some orthodontics cases can be a little trickier than the norm, and when you have a patient who presents with missing lateral incisors, this can definitely leave you feeling unsure. However, this is actually one of the most common types of missing teeth (after the third molars and second premolars). As such, we’ve outlined some key things you should know when tackling these orthodontics cases to help you create the ideal treatment plan.
What to do When the Lateral Incisors are Missing
If you catch a missing incisors case early, you may be able to move the canines into the position of the lateral incisors and use a veneer to reshape the teeth. Another common option is to move the canines back and laterfit an implant as part of the treatment plan.
However, if you leave these cases until later, the teeth will usually move to fit the spaces themselves, which can make it harder to re-open the space. In more mature cases, as a result, you may want to consider recontouring the teeth or getting a veneer. However, ideally, tackle these cases at a younger age to help give the best results from an aesthetic perspective.
Tackling Misshapened (Peg) Laterals
Sometimes, a patient might not be missing their laterals, but they may be misshapen or malformed. Peg laterals are usually a genetic issue, as with missing lateral incisors. You may need to consider bonding or veneers (among other things) as part of the treatment plan to correct the bite.