Family and General Dentistry Indianapolis
Not everyone is born with a perfect set of teeth. Teeth come in all different shapes and sizes. However, some teeth can grow abnormally. One such tooth abnormality is a Leong's premolar.
What is a Leong's premolar?
A Leong's premolar is a premolar with an extra cusp on the top surface of the tooth. A Leong’s molar will look like there is an extra tiny tooth growing on top of your tooth. It is also known as an evaginated tooth and is common among people of oriental descent.
A Leong's premolar may consist entirely of dentine, enamel, and pulp which is very fragile and is prone to fracturing. If the extra portion fractures, the pulp inside can easily become infected or even result in abscess formation. When this happens, it can only be removed through a root canal procedure.
What should you do if you have a Leong's premolar?
1. Strengthening the projected portion
Your dentist can reinforce the fragile cusp with dental material. Although this will prove to be helpful for some, the second option is usually the better one.
2. Removing the projected portion
Your dentist may opt to gradually shave off the projected portion over a period of a few months. This will allow tertiary dentin to form over the tooth.
Another option is to completely remove the cusp and put a filling inside the exposed portion in order to protect the pulp. The filling will then be sealed off with bonding material.
How can I prevent Leong's premolar?
The best way to prevent Leong's premolar is having your children visit a dentist or orthodontist at 6 or 7 years of age. At this age, some of your child's permanent teeth have started growing, including the premolars.
Early detection is key with a Leong's premolar because a fractured cusp often goes unnoticed. It is only when your child experiences pain that the exposed pulp is detected, and by this time, your child may need to undergo treatment.