A germinated tooth grows in malformed so that the singular tooth looks like two teeth fused together and separated by a deep cleft. Unlike dental fusion, which happens when two teeth join together and gives one less tooth in the jaw, germination provides an extra tooth in the row. When the germinated tooth is a second molar, the molar teeth in the rear of the mouth can become tightly packed together.
There are a few potential general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry treatments for a germinated second molar. The exact treatment will depend on how much room the extra tooth is taking up and the current condition of the affected tooth and its neighboring molar.
Root Canal and Dental Crown
A germinated tooth has one pulp canal, which is the lowermost section of the root canal, but two upper pulp chambers. If the pulp inside one or both of those chambers has become damaged or infected, your dentist will want to conduct a root canal procedure before continuing with any other sort of treatment short of extraction. A dentist likely won't bother to conduct a root canal procedure on a tooth that will need to be extracted anyway.
The root canal procedure involves the dentist drilling access holes above the affected pulp chamber or chambers then scraping out the damaged or infected pulp material. If the germinated tooth is undersized and isn't crowding the neighboring tooth, the dentist can then apply a porcelain and metal dental crown to close the holes and create the look of one tooth. Porcelain is the more natural looking option for crown materials but the grinding nature of molar teeth requires the strong backbone of metal to ensure the crown doesn't chip or wear down prematurely.
Dental Shaving and Dental Crown
If the germinated tooth is overly large but otherwise healthy, your dentist might decide to trim down the tooth's shape using dental shaving. The procedure involves the use of handheld drills and dental tools to wear down the exterior dentin until the germinated tooth is slightly smaller than a normal molar.
Why slightly smaller? The dentist will still want to place a dental crown over the tooth, which will add bulk, because the shaving will eradicate most or all of the enamel layer and leave the tooth vulnerable to damage and infection.
Extraction and Dental Implant
An overly large germinated tooth, or one that has suffered irreversible damage, will be scheduled for extraction. But you also want to line up a dental replacement before the extraction or you could quickly wind up with new bite issues. The loss of the second molar can cause the first molar to shift backwards into that space. The loss can also create bone and tissue erosion due to the loss of the natural tooth's friction.
A dental implant, which starts with the implantation of a metal root in a canal in the jawbone, offers one of the most stable dental replacement options. The root will also provide the friction needed to keep the bone and tissue healthy.
For more information, contact a dentist, like Bonnie S Marshall.