Pet Tooth Restorations
What is it?
Veterinary dental radiology is a handy tool in diagnosing disease in the pet's nasal/oral region. In cases of facial swelling or chronic nasal discharge, veterinary dental radiographs can greatly assist diagnosis and treatment planning. At VDS, we use a digital sensor system that requires less radiation than other forms of imaging.
Causes for Restoration
The most common reasons for restorations in dogs are tooth fractures, enamel hypoplasia, and cavities. Treating tooth defects in pets is similar to treating cavities in you and me. We utilize only non-toxic, esthetic filling materials. The most common one is called composite, a reinforced plastic that is approximately the same color as the tooth.
Procedure and Treatment
- Step 1: Before filling, a dental radiograph is exposed to determine the extent of the defect and if there is root canal involvement. A root canal procedure is necessary prior to restoration if there is root canal involvement.
- Step 2: The diseased tooth structure is next removed using a high-speed dental bur (drill). During this procedure, the defect is shaped to accept the filling. Next, the defect is filled. The new materials are hardened (cured) by light in less than 1 minute. This decreases anesthesia time and allows the pet to use the tooth almost immediately.
- Step 3: Finally, the restoration is finished and smoothed to decrease plaque retention and subsequent periodontal (gum) disease. Ideally, the tooth is returned to its natural shape and appearance.
- Step 4: If the damage is severe, a crown may be recommended.