Mulberry molars are smaller than typical first molars and have rounded dentine where a typical molar would have cusps. The teeth, which are a symptom of congenital syphilis, typically have healthy roots, interior pulp, and dentin. The misshaping comes from a problem with the formation of the enamel when the tooth is growing.
While mulberry molars don't require any treatment, you might want to have the tooth treated by a cosmetic dentistry specialist to improve the appearance. Severe cusp deformities might involve more thorough treatments from a general dentist.
There are a few different ways a cosmetic dentist can cover an exterior abnormality on a tooth. Veneers and bonds both cover the front of the tooth and require the dentist to file down a great deal of natural dentin so that the tooth can support the veneer or bond and its bonding agent. But a mulberry tooth has healthy dentin so you don't want to lose dentin to cover the cusp deformity.
A dental crown allows the dentist to maintain most of your existing dentin while still covering the cusp. The artificial tooth shell can be crafted of natural looking porcelain or the more durable combination of porcelain with metal backing.
The dental crown is typically the go-to treatment for a mulberry tooth that doesn't have any other damage. But if the cusp deformity is severe or the tooth has suffered a great deal of damage due to trauma or decay, the dentist might want to extract the tooth and install a dental replacement.
A dental bridge includes two dental crowns that are bonded to the natural teeth on each side of the extracted mulberry tooth. A full artificial tooth is attached to the interior side of each crown so that the crowns form a support or bridge.
The bridge is a more affordable option than dental implants and is also reversible should you decide to pursue implant treatment in the future. On the downside, a bridge isn't a viable option if the natural teeth on either side of the extraction site are damaged or missing.
The downside of extracting a tooth is that the loss causes the underlying jawbone to quickly deteriorate. A dental implant, which features a jawbone-supported root, provides the same type of jawbone promoting friction that a natural tooth root provides. And the stability of the tooth root provides a more natural feel while chewing.
For more information and options, talk with a dental clinic in your area, such as Dr. LeRoy Horton of Affordable Dental Care and Implant Centers.