Dentistry Cases #1 Part 3

0 Comments Posted by tcahvet in Dentistry on Thursday, February 17th, 2011.


For the third part of “Coco’s” treatment we will discuss hemisection.  When a major support tooth has one diseased root this treatment may save the majority of the tooth and maintain it’s function.  The before picture of her lower first molar does not show severe periodontal disease.

Radiograph shows bone loss around root.

As you can see the radiograph (x-ray) shows that there is severe bone loss around the smaller root but the larger root still has full bone support.  Because the larger root is associated with the bulk of the crown we can try to keep a healthy crown.

After Hemisection

To perform a hemisection we do a gum flap and section the crown at a natural division line.  The diseased root is extracted and the socket cleaned and filled with bone graft.  The gum is then closed.  The healthy crown portion has a vital pulpotomy performed to cap the open pulp cavity.  This procedure is one step before a root canal and is frequently done in people.  If done correctly this allows the remaining tooth portion to stay healthy and closed to the outside world.  While the tooth is considered more fragile than a healthy full size tooth, it is still present and functional.  If proper cleaning is done this tooth can be kept for the rest of the life of the dog.

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