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Root Canal Therapy or Endodontics
Suborbital Fistula

Fractured teeth are a very common problem in both dogs and cats. Unfortunately most people do not realize that an animal’s teeth are weaker than ours. We have 3mm of enamel on our crown, our pets have only half that thickness! However, they can generate tremendous forces with their jaws. Thus if given either indestructible play toys or allowed to chew on sticks and bones, they may break their teeth. The most common tooth fracture involves their upper 4th premolar or their lower 1st molar.

These are the most important chewing teeth in the animal's mouth. If left untreated a tooth fracture may cause infections that will kill the tooth and destroy the surrounding bone. Once this happens the face usually swells up under the eye and starts to drain from this "suborbital fistula". While this is a severe mouth infection, it can also impact the general health of the animal. In order to prevent problems from developing as a result of fractured teeth, "Root Canal Therapy" should be done to preserve the important chewing function of these teeth.

This involves entering the tooth with small files of increasing diameter and cleaning out the inside infected dead pulp. Once this is done the root canal can be filled with an antibacterial substance that will prevent any further bacteria from leaving the tooth's roots and traveling into the jaw bone and the animal's body. The treated tooth will either receive a composite restorative or a metal jacket crown. Unfortunately, a dead tooth, or a treated root canalled tooth, is more brittle than a living tooth. Thus, your pet should never again receive hard objects that you would consider to hard to chew on!

Fractured 4th PreMolar
Root Canal Treatment

In addition to the back chewing teeth, the upper and lower canine teeth can potentially be traumatized and fractured. For example, these important holding teeth can be damaged by your pet catching rocks, playing "tug of war," or running into objects. Often, due to chronic infections, these teeth can cause abscesses and swellings to develop below the jaw and on the nose area. The lower canine teeth occupy 80% of the lower jaw and therefore if they break it is less traumatic to do a root canal treatment versus trying to extract these teeth. Their retention in the mouth, allows for greater stability of the bite especially when gripping large objects.

Endodontics of Lower Canine Endodontics of Upper Canine
Files are used to clean the inside of the Tooth
Final Filing of the tooth

Gum Disease | Root Canal Therapy | Oral SurgeryOrthodonticsOral CancerCrowns | Radiography