Root Canal Therapy is a common treatment for endodontic disease or disease that affects the tissues inside the tooth, commonly referred to as the pulp. It has a very high success rate for relieving pain, preventing further infection and preserving a tooth that might otherwise require extraction.
These vital tissues inside a tooth can become diseased either because they have become infected through exposure to the bacteria in the oral cavity or because they have died as a result of trauma. In people, the most common source of pulp exposure and infection is cavities. In dogs, caries (cavities) are rare and tooth fracture is the most common cause of pulp exposure. Just like in people, pulp exposure results in pain and sensitivity and needs to be addressed. Even though our pets may not show us obvious signs of pain like crying or dropping food, the exposure of the nerve is always painful and requires treatment. Teeth that are discolored but not fractured may have experienced sufficient concussive force to kill the blood supply to the tooth and can also require root canal therapy.
A fractured tooth with pulp exposure
Fractured tooth following standard root canal placement
Root canal with final restoration