YES! Endodontics for our pets! Root Canal Treatment CAN be performed on dogs AND cats.
This is the option for fractured, injured, and otherwise non-vital teeth that allow pets to KEEP these teeth WITHOUT chronic discomfort/pain. The techniques, materials, and equipment are the same as used in humans –except LONGER. Our pet’s tooth roots are 3-10x longer than our own, so they require specialized or modified equipment. The benefit of a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is that, in addition to the pet keeping their tooth for function, it is also LESS invasive than extraction; this means s much faster recovery! While follow-up is needed, the published success rate for RCT with dogs and cats is 95%!!
Vital Pulp Therapy
The other common endodontic procedure is Vital Pulp Therapy (VPT). As the name implies, this procedure is performed on VITAL teeth that have had pulp tissue (blood vessels and nerves) exposure to keep the tooth VITAL. The reason teeth with pulp exposure REQUIRE treatment is that pulp tissue will become inflamed (pulpitis), which is painful and leads to death of this tissue and thus tooth death (pulp necrosis) if left untreated. The two indications for this procedure are ACUTE pulp exposure from trauma and intentional pulp exposure following a crown reduction procedure for the treatment of traumatic malocclusions. Once the exposed/inflamed pulp is removed, a pulp dressing is laid down to seal the pulp chamber, followed by a two-layer restoration. Follow-up is also required, as the goal of this procedure is to KEEP the tooth vital (in addition to removing pain). This can only be confirmed with dental radiographs to confirm continued dentin deposition (dentinogenesis).