That Quirky Lateral
We always focus on the central incisors a lot in any restorative plan. We should, because they are important. But what would the central be without a beautiful lateral along his side? The central is the serious one, the oldest sibling, the heir to the throne, whereas the lateral can be a bit less responsible, more adventurous and creative. The quirky one. Slightly rotated? No problem. Not symmetrical with the other lateral? No problem. Slightly different color? No problem. In fact: if you are restoring a lateral, make sure to add some quirkiness. A few key points though: in general a lateral is approximately 1,5mm shorter than the central incisor. In width the central incisor crown is approximately 2 mm wider. The mean width/length ratio of the maxillary lateral is on average 0.8. In shape the lateral can have a square or more round form. The incisal edge in the round lateral form sometimes can be seen with a almost cuspid like tip in the middle. The lateral from the opposite side can be inspiration but absolute symmetry is not mandatory. The embrasures in the maxillary anterior region open up more from central to premolar. The angles of the lateral therefore are more rounded off than the angles of the central. The distal angle of the lateral is more rounded off than the mesial angle.
In this case a young adult patient had fallen four years ago and had suffered an enamel-dentin fracture without pulp involvement on the lateral incisor #12. The tooth had been restored with a direct composite in emergency. Patient would like to have the tooth restored in a more natural way. Direct composite was the material chosen for re-treatment. A minimally invasive choice in a relatively young patient.
To answer the original question: but what would the central be without a beautiful lateral along his side? Or: what would a smile be without a lateral full of character? Incomplete to say the least.
The use of composite to restore gives us the freedom to simulate in a minimally invasive way as precisely as possible any kind of natural structure. To complete a smile again.
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