It is common for patients to have undersized lateral incisors that leads to cosmetic dentistry problems and even TMJ pain. The cosmetic dental problem can be corrected by using porcelain veneers or dental bonding. Undersized lateral incisors create the appearance of misproportioned teeth and often make the smile appear unproportional. The case below shows how undersized lateral incisors were corrected with custom shaded porcelain veneers to correct size and proportions of these teeth. These veneers were custom shaded as well to mimic the natural teeth in shade, anatomy, luster, and proportions.
As for TMJ problems, what often happens is orthodontically, the teeth are moved to close all spaces. When undersized laterals are present and the teeth are moved together, this makes less room for the lower teeth to engage in the upper teeth and forces the jaw joint backwards. When this happens, TMJ problems such as muscle pain, joint pain, or wear can occur on the front teeth. It is estimated that somewhere between 20-30% of individuals have undersized laterals. On cases that we have with orthodontics, our treatment plans include leaving the correct amount of spaces on these teeth so as to allow for correct upper and lower jaw/teeth relationships.