Dens evaginatus, also called talon cusp, happens when a tooth grows in with an extra peak on or behind the tooth. The condition doesn't always cause problems and can be left untreated in many cases. But if the cusp is causing bite issues, mouth pain, or cosmetic concerns, there are some dental treatments that can help.
Here are treatment options to discuss during your next visit to a family dentist (such as one from Dentistry in Streetsville).
Your dentist can eliminate the extra cusp by filing it away using automated dental tools. The process should be as painless as a filling and mostly consist of pressure and noise.
The cusp can sometimes have its own root canal and in that case your dentist might want to start with a root canal procedure. Your dentist will drill into the top of the cusp, use a tool to clean out any nerves or blood cells inside the pulp, and then sear the far end of the canal closed. This will allow the dentist to file off the cusp without causing any nerve pain.
Is your primary concern with the extra cusp how it looks in your mouth? There are a few different cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help eliminate or cover an extra cusp.
A dental crown is useful if there is pre-existing surface damage on the tooth and the extra cusp is snug to the rest of the tooth. Your dentist will custom-craft a tooth-colored shell that can fit down over the surface of the tooth. The tooth will be filed slightly to bond the crown so your dentist can use that chance to even out the cusp with the rest of the tooth without removing it completely.
Note that a crown can't vastly change the appearance of a tooth, nor can it cover a cusp that sticks out far from the main tooth. Crowns already make an existing tooth slightly larger so you don't want to use an even larger crown to try and cover a protruding cusp.
If the extra cusp is severely noticeable and the tooth has other cosmetic or structural issues, your dentist might recommend veneers.
Veneers also involve a custom-crafted, tooth-colored shell that goes over a filed tooth. But veneers, unlike crowns, involve filing down the tooth until it is basically a nub containing the root canal. The veneer shell is then bonded over and around that nub to create an entirely new shape of tooth.
Consult your dentist to determine your personal treatment options. Specific issues or concerns with your tooth can greatly change the recommended course of treatment.