A talon cusp tooth is a rare dental anomaly that is also known as an eagle’s talon. Although the cause of the talon cusp is unknown, dentists believe it may be a result of genetic as well as environmental factors. However, the onset of a talon cusp tooth is spontaneous, and only a small percentage of individuals have a talon cusp.
How Rare Is A Talon Cusp Tooth?
What Is A Talon Cusp?
A talon cusp is when a cusp-like mass of hard tissue protrudes on a specific area of a tooth, known as the cingulum area, on the mandibular (the lower arch of teeth) or maxillary (the upper arch of teeth) anterior teeth. A talon cusp develops on the surface of crowns prior to calcification. The precise etiology is not clear.
The anterior teeth are the front 12 teeth found in the mouth, comprised of six upper and six lower front teeth. The main function of these teeth is to cut and tear food, which puts them on the front line when we are eating.
Talon Cusps are Rare
This dental anomaly affects up to 8 percent of the population, making it a very rare development. They are able to develop on an individual’s baby teeth but are normally more commonly developed on permanent teeth. In fact, 75 percent of talon cusps develop on permanent teeth. This makes the development of talon cusps on baby teeth even rarer.
To add to the rarity of a talon cusp, it has been found to occur more in men compared to women. As mentioned, they have been found to develop on the lower and upper front teeth. However, the majority of them occur on the upper teeth, in around 92 percent of cases on record. The upper teeth that are at higher risk of developing talon cusps are the incisors. The incisors are the two teeth located on either side of the two front teeth, known as the central incisors. They can develop on the lateral incisors and the canine teeth as well.
Does A Talon Cusp Affect Dental Health?
A talon cusp will develop on the side of the tooth where chewing occurs. If the cusp is small, it will not cause any trouble. In fact, speaking and eating will still be easy and possible.
However, if the cusp is large, it will contribute to dental problems such as gum irritation, cavities, and even injuries to the tongue and lips. When they are larger it also makes it harder for individuals to eat and speak. This makes it important for a dentist to treat the talon in order to avoid any further implications.
How Do You Treat Talon Cusps?
While there are treatments for a talon cusp, treatment depends on its size. Treatment is also dependent on the following factors
- Is pulp inside of it?
- How long the cusp has been left before having it looked at?
- Is the talon causing any other dental issues?
Small cusps generally do not require treatment as they can be gradually ground down over time, creating a smoother surface. If the cusp contains pulp that has become infected, and is larger in size, interfering with chewing and other tasks, then your dentist may recommend endodontic treatment.
Endodontic treatments include procedures such as a root canal. Treatments range from short to long-term, depending on the severity of the talon cusp that an individual has developed.
What Do You Do If You Suspect A Talon Cusp?
As with any dental issue, if you suspect anything may be out of the ordinary and you are experiencing symptoms associated with a talon cusp, it is best to consult with a local dental professional. A local dental professional will be able to quickly identify if an individual has developed a talon cusp. They will then be able to advise you on the necessary treatments in order to resolve the issue. You can also prevent any unknown talon cusps from developing further by having frequent visits to the dentist’s office.
All Smiles Family Dentistry in Omaha, NE
At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we are proud to provide high-quality care to all our patients both young and old thanks to our compassionate and experienced dental team. We offer a clean and comfortable clinic to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Contact All Smiles Family Dentist or schedule an appointment online.