Understanding Leong's Premolars (LP)

Your Guide to Understanding Leong's Premolars (LP) in children, a special type of premolar with an extra “horn” on the biting surface.

Your guide to understanding Leong’s Premolars

Figure 1. White boxes and arrows highlight the premolars and their location

A person has an average of 8 premolars in the adult set of teeth.

Leong’s premolars are a special type of premolar with an extra “horn” on the biting surface. Dentists call it a “tubercle”. 7 in 100 students1 in Singapore have been found to have Leong’s premolars.

Figure 2. Black arrows highlight the tubercles on Leong's Premolars

This tubercle may break off soon after the tooth erupts because of chewing forces. When it breaks off, the nerve of the tooth is exposed to bacteria in the mouth. This may lead to a nerve infection and may require root canal treatment of the young tooth.

Management of the Leong’s Premolar

To protect the tubercle and the nerve in the tooth, a protective filling is placed over and around the tubercle of a healthy Leong’s premolar.

If the Leong’s premolar becomes very painful and sensitive or a swelling develops close to the tooth, this is indicative of a nerve infection. A root canal treatment or a tooth extraction may then be necessary.

Root Canal Treatment

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1 Data derived from dental records in the Student Dental Centre.

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