Examination of the Rare Labial Talon Cusp on Human Anterior Teeth

Main Article Content

C. Lee
S. E. Burnett
C. G. Turner II


The labial talon cusp, a triangular ridge of enamel near the midline of anterior teeth, has been observed in archaeological remains and modern dental patients. The purpose of our report is to describe new cases in order to provide better estimates of its frequency, symmetry, teeth involved, and geographic occurrence. This research was initiated after a labial talon cusp was found in a Caddo cranium curated in the Texas Archaeological Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Subsequently, we identified additional examples resulting in the total of eight new cases presented here. Five cases were identified in the Native American Pima dental casts from the A. A. Dahlberg collection at Arizona State University. Two of the Pima cases were found in a systematic analysis of 1,835 dental casts for a population frequency of 0.11%. Additional cases were identified in Ainu and Anasazi skeletal material. Including these new finds, 15 cases of labial talon cusp are now known including Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese, Australians, and Europeans. Six cases are maxillary and nine are mandibular. Known maxillary cases are unilateral, while 55.6% of the mandibular cases are bilateral. All anterior teeth appear to be affected, but there is no recorded instance of an affected mandibular canine.