What Are My Options for Replacing Missing Lateral Incisors?

Missing lateral insicors,teeth have shifted a little after having braces removed and I may not have enough room for implants. I would also like my 2 front teeth & cuspids to be larger and more evenly shaped. Mini implants plus veneers/bonding OR Bridge/crowns best option? I would like to get rid of my partial and restore my smile before my wedding in 9mnths. If implants are indeed a possibility, what "temporary fixes" can be done to improve esthetics and are also economical? Bonded bridge?

Doctor Answers 6

What Are My Options for Replacing Missing Lateral Incisors?

Oftentimes the best and most predictable treatment for congenitally missing lateral incisors is dental implants.  However, in many cases there is not enough room or enough bone to treat. 
In those cases, or in cases where the patient will not do implants, or doesn't have enough time to do implants (treatments can take 6 months or longer), then lingual bonded brdges or fix all porcelain bridges might be the treatment of choice.
Since you don't like the shape of your existing teeth, then doing an all-ceramic fixed bridge (rather than a lingual bonded bridge) would seem to be the treatment of choice.  Today, cosmetic dentists have an amazing porcelain that can be used for the bridge called Emax which is absolutely perfect for situations such as you describe and replacing missing lateral incisors.  It is strong, esthetic and long lasting.
The of course, you could also do the implants and porcelain veneers on your other teeth.

Laguna Niguel Dentist

Options for Replacing Missing teeth

  1. Make sure you have enough room at the roots for 2 implants
  2. Assuming you don't, invisalign will be great for several reasons.  It can expand your arch making room for wider canines and centrals (with veneers or boding at a later date).  You ca bleach while you are in treatment.  Invisalign can take awhile, so you can space out your financial concerns.  You can have 2 "dummy" teeth placed in your aligners to fill the gap during the process.
  3. Once you have created the space, it is important to hold it with either an aligner/retainer or a "flipper" which is like a mini partial denture with 2 dummy teeth on it.
  4. Even with only seven months left, I suggest meeting with your Dentist and seeing if this can work.

A cautionary tale:  A good friend went ahead and placed 6 crowns in a similar situation (this was before we met).  Flash forward 11 years and she deeply regrets her now irreversible decision.  Always good dental advice:  seek the least invasive treatment that will achieve your goals.

Good luck and Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

Madeleinne Zapantis, DMD
Long Island Dentist

Options for missing teeth are

Options for missing teeth are implants and bridges. A photo would be helpful to assess your situation as it seems you have other issues that you like to address. Also when was your orthodontic treatment completed? Did you have a retainer? 

If you like the centrals and canine altered as well, then perhaps a bridge will be a better cosmetic option. However, implants where ever possible are usually best diagnostic option. 


Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

How to Replace Missing Lateral Incisors

Missing lateral incisors, after having orthodontics to open the spaces they should occupy, can be beautifully replaced with implant supported crowns. Sounds like you would ALSO like to veneer your centrals and cuspids, and perhaps 1 or 2 bicuspids on each side, as well. This would get you the truly beautiful, symmetrical, cosmetic smile that you are seeking, as long as the work is done by a well-qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist that listens to what you want. You must communicate all your wishes to your dentist BEFORE starting out, and make sure he is willing to show you other before & after pictures of similar cases that he has done. He should also assure you that you will have a chance to approve the cosmetic look, IN YOUR MOUTH, before permanently inserting anything.

A possible "temporary Fix" that you might want to look into is "Snap-On-Smile". If your dentist is not familiar with it, ask him to call Den-Mat and get more information.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Missing laterals, best options.

Your best option is still implants.  If the space has significantly closed after the braces due to timing of the implant placement It may be wise to go back and move the cuspids and front teeth to make the space.  Theoretically the mini implants are possible but may not give optimal results.  Alternatively you may choose bonded fixed bridge which will involve some preparation of the front teeth and cuspids and the fabrication of porcelain aesthetic bridges that can change the shape of the front teeth and laterals at the same time.

If you still want the implants can do minor orthodontics or Invisalign to regain the space and use a removable temporary or within 9 months maybe an immediate temporary fixed to the implant.

You need to explore your options in detail.


Hope this helps.

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Dental Implants to Replace Missing LAteral Incisors

Dental Implants are the best and most esthetic way to replace missing lateral incisors.  They also have the best longevity.  A bridge would require cutting down your adjacent healthy teeth which compromises their health as well and your gingival and bone health.  Bridges last on average 5-7 years depending on which study you read.  After that, you may require root canals in the crowned teeth and ultimately in the future those teeth will be lost.  This is why dental implants are the standard of care for this issue.  Seek the advice of a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and qualified restoring dentist to discuss your specific case

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.