Root Canals (Endodontics)
At I-20 Animal Medical Center, root canals for dogs and cats are routine procedures. The procedure is almost identical to root canals in humans. When a tooth is broken and the nerve inside the tooth is dead or dying, our veterinary dentists can perform a root canal to save the tooth.
During a root canal, we clean out the inside of a tooth that has infected tissue. Each root has a hollow chamber that goes from the tip of the root to the crown of the tooth. It is the tissue, blood vessels and nerves that live inside the root that get infected. Antibiotics don’t work on this issue since there is no longer blood supply to carry the antibiotic into the tooth where it is needed. Only by taking out all that infected material during a root canal can you restore the tooth to health.
We start by gaining access through a tiny hole in the crown of the tooth. Using a series of small to larger files, we can clean out the entire length of the root and reshape it more optimally for filling. We also use a solution that sterilizes the tooth and kills any remaining bacteria. After the cleaning process, we completely fill the tooth with an inert material to prevent reinfection.
On posterior teeth, we often put a filling in the access hole and finish off the procedure that way. On broken canines, however, we frequently opt for a crown. Crowns give the tooth back its original strength and protect it from future breakage. A strong crown will last for a decade or more in most cases.
Think your pet may need a root canal or other veterinary dental care? Call I-20 Animal Medical Center at 817.962.2696 for a dental consultation.