What is it?
Bonded Sealants are a more effective and straightforward way to treat fractured teeth. Where appropriate, these sealants are applied and can reduce pain, block infections, and smooth the tooth's surface.
Why you may need a bonded sealant
Fractured teeth are a widespread occurrence in our pets, especially large breed dogs. When the nerve is directly exposed, it is called a complicated crown fracture. If your pet has an exposed nerve, this procedure is not indicated. Root canal therapy or extraction are the only options for a tooth with direct pulp exposure.
Teeth fractured without direct pulp exposure are termed uncomplicated crown fractures. In these cases, the enamel is lost, exposing the underlying tooth structure called “dentin.”
Dentin is a living structure and its exposure results in pain (sensitivity) akin to the pain we feel with a deep cavity.
In addition, the root canal system can become infected through small tubes which run from the root canal to the enamel.
Finally, the exposed tooth surface is much rougher than the normal enamel, and therefore plaque and tartar accumulation is enhanced, hastening the onset of periodontal disease.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend a bonded sealant on all fractured teeth without pulp exposure.
Benefits of a bonded sealant
A bonded sealant will:
- Reduce sensitivity and pain
- Block off the pathway for infection
- Smooth the tooth to decrease periodontal disease
Bonded sealants are a relatively easy and inexpensive treatment, described in Dr. Niemiec’s article below.
Prior to performing the sealant, a dental x-ray must be taken to make sure the tooth is not already infected. If root canal infection is seen radiographically, a root canal or extraction is necessary.
- The tooth is smoothed with a fine diamond bur (like extra-fine sandpaper).
- A bonding agent is placed which fills in the dentinal tubules and blocks off the pathway for infection.
- The tooth is further protected with an unfilled resin (similar to clear nail polish).
Bonded Sealants are used to treat these common pet oral health problems
Which are the right treats?
In our experience, these last a long time (at least a year), unless the tooth re-fractures. For this reason, it is critical that you choose the correct chew treats for your pet. Ask the staff at VDS for recommendations.