Do you have small, pointy teeth on either side of your front teeth? Good news: you’re (probably) not a vampire.
Those small teeth are called peg teeth. The condition is caused when adult teeth don’t develop normally – or at all. In some cases, a peg tooth may be a baby tooth that was never replaced by a permanent tooth. In other cases, typically when the tooth is noticeably pointy and is cone-shaped, it’s a hereditary condition.
From a dental standpoint, peg teeth typically don’t cause oral health problems such as a misaligned bite or shifting the position of other teeth. Occasionally another tooth will erupt underneath – or even inside of – a peg tooth. If the peg tooth or surrounding teeth are painful or sensitive, or if your gums are tender or sore, check in with your dentist. He or she will probably x-ray your teeth to see if there are any structural problems that are causing the discomfort.
Usually though, peg teeth tend to be a cosmetic issue. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your smile, ask your dentist what treatments are available to enhance the appearance of your teeth.
Depending on the shape and size of your peg teeth, a dentist can use composite resins, porcelain veneers, or dental crowns to remodel your smile.
Resins, sometimes called “dental bonding,” are often used to restore chipped teeth. Your dentist will apply a tooth-colored composite material made of plastic resin and glass to your peg teeth to build up their size until they match your other teeth. The composite starts out as a liquid, which your dentist paints on to your broken tooth and then hardens with a curing light. Several layers of this material are often applied to give your tooth the right translucency and shape. The process is painless, and local anesthesia is not usually needed. The bonding material is fairly durable, but can chip off over time. Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions closely to keep your bonded teeth intact and healthy.
Veneers are super-thin coverings affixed to the front surface of your tooth. It’s a more complicated and permanent restoration than bonding. First, your dentist will shape and prepare your peg teeth using a dental drill. Next, a model of the affected tooth and the teeth around it is made, using a putty-like impression material, or with a handheld digital scanner. The veneer will likely be made by a dental lab, though some dentists can make veneers right in the office. If a lab is involved, your dentist will place a temporary veneer on your tooth while you wait for your permanent veneer to be made. The veneer covers your teeth, creating the appearance of a normally-sized tooth. Veneers tend to be pretty resilient, but they can chip and fall off – especially if the underlying tooth suffers from decay, is damaged or is very small.
Crowns are more complex than resins or veneers. A crown for a peg tooth will cover much or all of the existing tooth. Your tooth will be reshaped so the cap will fit properly, and a local anesthetic is usually necessary for your comfort. After the tooth- is prepared, the dentist will make a model of your bite, send it to the lab that is making your crown, and give you a temporary crown until your permanent crown is made. Dental crowns are extremely lifelike and strong, resistant to stains, and can be expected to last for years.
The cost of dental treatment varies according to the dentist you see – a cosmetic specialist will have higher fees than a general dentist, for example. Costs may also be higher in big cities. And your oral health in general and the condition of the peg teeth you wish to repair will also determine the fee you pay.
Generally speaking, bonding costs $150-400 per tooth, porcelain veneers cost $950 to $2,500 per tooth, and a crown will cost $600-$750.
Unfortunately, unless your peg teeth need to be fixed for oral health issues – your bite is being affected, or you can’t chew or speak properly, etc. – chances are the procedure will be classified as cosmetic. And most dental insurance policies do not cover cosmetic procedures.
But you can get your peg teeth fixed, at a price you can afford, with a dental savings plan. While not every dental savings plan covers cosmetic care, many plans do. And with a dental savings plan, you can reduce the cost of dental treatment by 10%-60%. Plans are accepted by a nationwide network of thousands of dentists.
To find out more about dental savings plans, or to find the plan that fits your specific dental care needs, visit dentalplans.com or call 844-239-7928.
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