Dr Banyard has treated many pets with root canal therapy as she sees many dogs and cats with tooth fractures. Fractures of teeth in dogs and cats is quite common. In a study of a population of feral cats on Marion Island noted dental fractures, mainly complicated crown fractures in 58% of adult cats and 7% of teeth.
The incidence of pulp exposure in one or more teeth has been reported to be 10% in domestic dogs. The upper fourth premolars and the canine teeth are the most often fractured. If the pulp is open to the mouth then the bacteria in the mouth can infect the pulp and over time reach the bottom of the root and then go into the bone around the tooth. From there the bacteria and their toxins (poisons) can get into the blood supply and travel to the rest of the body and affect distant organs such as the liver, kidney and heart. In the area of the tooth root the bone is destroyed and over time the infection will break out the side of the abscess and through the skin under the eye or the lower jaw. In these situations you may see pus draining. In very bad cases of long duration and mostly seen in small breed dogs the jaw bone is so weakened that the lower jaw can fracture. Another place the pus can drain into are the nasal passages and these patients will sneeze or you may see a discharge from their nose.
The two options in these situations is extraction or root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy is used to save a tooth in which the pulp is infected and is 95% successful. The pulp is entered using a small drill bit called a bur. Tiny files and cleansing solutions are used to remove and clean out the pulp cavity inside the tooth. The objective is to remove all diseased tissue and make the canal sterile and to shape the canal so it is ready to be filled. Because these are many passages in the root canal that are impossible to reach with the files and solutions true sterility is not always possible. When the pulp cavity is cleaned very well and has the desired shape, the walls of the canal are coated with a sealer and then an inert material is placed into the canal to completely fill the chamber. The opening to the outside is then filled with a special material called a resin. This is to completely seal the chamber from bacteria from the mouth. The tooth can then be covered with a metal crown to further protect the pulp.
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Dr Banyard's Blog
Our new videos:
Weather Alert: We are closed today until further notice due to freezing rain and hazardous driving conditions. Be safe and stay off the roads until driving conditions are no longer hazardous. We apologize of any inconvenience to you and your pets.
In our newest video we tell you what gum recession is and show you a few tips on how to recognize it.
New Video on You Tube:
New Video on You Tube:
This video shows x-rays of the upper right and left molar teeth at the back of the mouth in this dog. These teeth are hidden from view so this is very easily missed by pet owners.
This series of 3 short videos shows what the vet sees in the oral exam. Remember that now all the disease is seen. X-rays are needed to see how severe the problem is.
Do you ever wonder about how often your pet needs to have a professional teeth clean? You are not alone. Here is the answer and reasons why.
New video on You Tube:
This is for people who need a few ideas on how to best start out brushing their pet's teeth. For further information watch Dr Banyard's other videos on you tube, 'Dentistry for Pet Owners 101' and 'Professional teeth clean in a dog: Parts 1 to 7'.
24/7 emergency service is very costly to MediCare and no less costly to veterinarians. The following Emergency clinics are best equipped for your pet's emergency needs. For after hour emergency service please call:
1. Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley
Hours: Open 24/7
#306-6325 204th Street,
Langley, B.C. Canada V2Y 3B3
2. Abbotsford Valley Animal Emergency Clinic
Hours: Monday to Saturday 5pm to 8:00 am, Sunday and weekends 24hours
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