Endodontic disease: Remove the source of infection - DVM
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Endodontic disease: Remove the source of infection
Root-canal therapy remains an important alternative to extraction; offers clients a choice


DVM InFocus



Figure 6: Follow-up six to 12 months later with a radiograph to determine the success of the root-canal procedure.
After filling the root canal, the fracture site (and access hole openings if created) are sealed with restorative compounds. If evidence of active periapical infection is present, post-operative antibiotics are indicated. A follow-up radiograph should be obtained six to 12 months later to determine the success of the root-canal procedure. (See Figures 5, 6.)

The other option available for treatment of endodontic disease is extraction. (See related story) With extraction, the source of the infection is removed, but so is the tooth. However, as pets are becoming more a part of the family, owners are requesting the best option for their animal family members. Root-canal therapy should always be offered as an option.

•Summary A complete oral examination should be a part of every visit to the veterinarian. In addition to the examination, a thorough history should be obtained, including oral issues. If a non-vital tooth is discovered, the two options should be discussed with the owner. Root-canal therapy always should be offered as an alternative to extraction. If the owners decline root-canal therapy, then extraction is performed. These are the only two options. Leaving the tooth in the mouth and ignoring the chronic infection is not an option.

Dr. Matson is a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and a fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. Dr. Matson operates a referral dentistry practice, Eastside Veterinary Dentistry. The referral practice is part of Hollywood Hill Animal Hospital in Woodinville, Wash., http://www.hollywoodhillanimalhospital.com/. Matson graduated from Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1985.He can be reached via e-mail at:
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Source: DVM InFocus,
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