What Can a Veterinary Dentist Do For a Broken Tooth?
If a patient presents to a dental veterinarian soon after a tooth fracture occurs, there are a number of treatment options available.
Firstly – if the fracture dose not enter the pulp cavity – the veterinary dentist may smooth, bond and light cure the fractured tooth surface – that provides a measure of support and protection to the enamel fracture. The vet dentist may place a small layer of dental composite over the fracture site and smooth it down. (like a human filling)
Secondly : If the pulp cavity is exposed - a Vital pulpotomy may be done. This involves removing a small amount of the pulp and then capping the tooth with a composite “filling”. About half a root canal procedure.
For this veterinary dental procedure to be successful we need to see the patient within 48 hrs of the fracture occurring in older pets or with in 2 weeks in younger pets . The reason is so that the pulp will be still be alive and the tooth can potentially be saved.
If the procedure fails, or the capping comes off, root canal treatment or preferably extraction is required.
Thirdly Fractures hat enter the pulp cavity that are older than 2 weeks usually need extraction or in some selected cases root canal therapy is an option.
If the chewing behavior that caused the fracture (ie bones, rocks) persists, the treatment often fails, necessitating extraction.
If a fractured tooth is left, with pulp exposure is left, the pulp will eventually die and become infected, resulting in chronic inflammation, infection and pain. This happens regardless weather the owners is aware of the dental pain of not.