Cusp of Carabelli

The Carabelli cusp is an additional tubercle on the first maxillary molars. It is situated at the mesiopalatal site of the tooth. It is an additional anatomical structure and cannot be found on every first molar – only some of the people has it. The cusp of Carabelli is heritable anatomical structure. Around 80% of the Europeans have the Carabelli cusp on their first molars. In 1842  the Hungarian dentist Georg Carabelli described it in the dental literature.

Carabelli cusp details

The Carabelli tubercle is situated at the mesiopalatal surface of the upper first permanent molars. It is symmetrically present on both sides of the upper jaw. The presence of the additional cusp is of high importance to the anthropologists since it is a heritable feature. It can be used to follow and compare various populations. If the gene is homozygotic then the size of the Carabelli cusp is close to the other tubercles. If the gene is heterozygotic at the mesiopalatal surface we can observe a small groove, ridge, pit or furrow.