Root Canal Therapy for Dogs and Cats

Endodontics refers to the treatment of the pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth. Indications include fractured teeth with pulp exposure, non-vital teeth, and teeth that need to be shortened due to malocclusion. Endodontic procedures are used as an alternative to extraction, allowing the tooth to remain in the mouth. Not every tooth is a good candidate for endodontic treatment, so we use diagnostic imaging to help us make that determination.

Broken teeth need to be treated immediately. A tooth that has been broken less than 48 hours can potentially be saved with a procedure called a “Vital Pulpotomy.” After 48 hours, treatment options are root canal therapy or extraction. Since our pet friends rely heavily on their teeth, saving them is a better (when possible) and less painful option and root canal therapy is a way to save the tooth.   Leaving a broken tooth with pulp exposure in the mouth without treatment causes prolonged oral pain and tooth root abscesses. A discolored tooth is highly likely a dead tooth.  92% of all discolored teeth are non-vital (dead). Saving these teeth via root canal therapy is highly recommended for teeth that are deemed strategic teeth (all 4 canine teeth, maxillary 4th premolars, and mandibular 1st molar teeth). A crown restoration onto a root canaled tooth is usually recommended to protect the tooth from further injury and to protect the root canaled tooth structure.