Maxillary lateral incisor agenesis (MLIA) is a condition that affects both dental esthetics and function in young patients, and represents an important challenge for clinicians. Although several treatment options are available, the mesial repositioning of the canines followed by teeth recontouring into lateral incisors; or space opening/maintenance followed by implant placement have recently emerged as two important treatment approaches. In this article, the current and latest literature has been reviewed in order to summarize the functional and esthetic outcomes obtained with these two forms of
treatment of MLIA patients in recent years. Indications, clinical limitations and the most important parameters to achieve the best possible results with each treatment modality are also discussed. Within the limitations of this review, it is not possible to assert at this point in time that one treatment approach is more advantageous than the other. Long-term followup studies comparing the existing treatment options are still lacking in the literature, and they are necessary to shed some
light on the issue. It is possible, however, to state that adequate multidisciplinary diagnosis and planning are imperative to define the treatment option that will provide the best individual results for patients with MLIA.
Keywords: Agenesis, composite resin, dental agenesis, dental implants, maxillary lateral incisors, orthodontic treatment.