Fractured Teeth

Information below intended for veterinarians.
Some photos may be graphic.

What do these teeth have in common?

Fractured Teeth

Photograph 1 - Fracture extending below the gumline and involving the furcation.

Fractured Teeth

Photograph 2 - Fracture covered with calculus.

Fractured Teeth

Radiograph 1 - Radiograph confirms pulp exposure and root abscess of fractured tooth in Photograph 2.

Fractured Teeth

Photograph 3 - From the outside looking in this tooth appears to have a minimal enamel fracture.

Fractured Teeth

Photograph 4 - When viewed from within the mouth, pulp exposure is evident.

Answer: All the teeth pictured above have been fractured; the pulp has been exposed at some point causing an infection at the apex of the tooth.

Visual examination of a tooth may not reveal pulp exposure at the time the patient presents to your clinic. Calculus may be covering the fracture site, dentin may have provided a reparative seal after injury in an attempt to protect the pulp sealing bacteria within the pulp canal or a fracture may extend below the gumline and exposing the pulp or the furcation of a tooth.

Remember, teeth must not only be examined grossly, periodontal tissues must be probed and radiographs obtained to fully evaluate the health of the tooth.

Teeth found to have evidence of pulp exposure or apical lucency consistent with infection, have only two options for treatment:

  1. Extraction or
  2. Root canal therapy

“Wait and see” is not an option
and not consistent with current standards of care in veterinary medicine!


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