On average, 2% of the UK population have agenesis of the permanent maxillary lateral incisors. Reopening the space for restorative replacement or closing the space and subsequent reshaping of the canine depends on a number of factors. Among these are the aesthetics of the canines, level of the smile line, gingival architecture and occlusion. Joint orthodontic and restorative planning to determine the appropriateness of space opening or space closing, with a discussion of these in context with the expectations of the patient/parent, is important before commencing treatment. Despite advances in materials and techniques within both restorative and orthodontic specialties resulting in improvements in the aesthetic outcomes of hypodontia cases, the management of patient/parent expectations is key to overall success. This paper details the contemporary restorative–orthodontic treatment options for the management of missing lateral incisors, the orthodontic biomechanics and restorative approaches involved in treatment.