About Me

Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



Latest Posts

Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

Talon Cusps—Could Your Child Be Affected?

by Jimmy Carter

If your child is experiencing irritation of their cheek, tongue or gums with no immediate apparent cause, it could be that they are suffering from an unusual dental condition referred to as 'talon cusps'.  But what are talon cusps and what can your dentist do to help?  Read on to find out more.

What are talon cusps?

Talon cusps are claw-like growths that can develop at the back of a child's tooth.  The growths are shaped much like an eagle's talon, hence their name.  The teeth most commonly affected by this phenomenon are those at the front of the mouth, i.e., the canines or incisors, and the condition can affect both the top and bottom teeth.


Although they may at first go unnoticed, talon cusps can cause problems as the child's teeth develop and grow.  These issues include

  • a poor bite
  • crowding of the other teeth in the mouth
  • interference with the eruption of other teeth
  • irritation to the gums, tongue and cheeks
  • plaque accumulation between the host tooth and the cusp


Your dentist will probably not treat your child's talon cusps unless they are causing damage to the soft tissues of the mouth or are likely to cause other dental problems as the teeth grow.  If the talon cusp does not contain any pulpy tissue, the dentist may elect to reduce it by grinding it away so that it can't irritate the child's mouth.  

In some cases, a talon cusp may continue to grow until it actually becomes unsightly or begins to cause problems with speech and eating.  In this case, the dentist would probably recommend extraction of the tooth and the cusp.  Alternatively, the dentist could elect to carry out root canal treatment.  This would allow the dentist to grind away the talon cusp once the tooth had settled down after the root canal work, and this would avoid extraction of the host tooth.

If the talon cusp does not present any immediate problems, your dentist will probably just keep an eye on its development during your child's routine six-month check-ups.  During this time, you should ensure that your child's teeth are brushed and flossed properly every day to prevent plaque from building up under the cusp.

In many cases, no dental intervention will be necessary, and the child will grow up with the talon cusps in place and requiring no treatment at all.  However, it could be beneficial for the gap between the talon cusp and the host tooth to be filled-in using a composite resin material.  This would prevent the gap from becoming a food trap, and it would also prohibit the collection of plaque around and behind the cusp that could cause decay.

In conclusion

Talon cusp is an unusual dental condition that affects some children.  If you suspect that your child may have developed a talon cusp, take a trip to the dentist for more information and advice.