I am going to an endodontist today to see about a tooth that has been bugging me. My regular dentist cannot figure out if it is cracked, infected… or if I’ve just been grinding. In any event, it will probably need a root canal, he says. I have several root canals already.
For me, I’ve always thought of root canals as a great thing! Pain gone. But… per this article, I’m now not so sure….
Anyway, then I started to think about any poor horses with teeth issues. OMHorsegods. I could not imagine the pain of a bad tooth PLUS a bit in my mouth. Oy. I was in such pain last week, I couldn’t sleep. I cannot imagine what a riding horse with teeth issues must endure – or any horse with teeth issues, for that matter.
ROOT CANALS FOR HORSES.
I remember once, I was at UC Davis, and they were showing me root canal surgery for a race horse. The horse was very valuable and lately he was miserable in a bit… except the equine dentist couldn’t see any issues. Finally, he had an MRI at UC Davis and a major tooth infection was uncovered.
Instead of pulling the tooth, they gave it a root canal, which I found amazing (My Dad was a dentist and I worked with him when I was young, so I find this stuff fascinating). I heard that the horse recovered and continued his career.
However, the equine root canal was a big procedure – at that time, maybe 15 years ago.
Since then, I think they have perfected the procedure on horses, but I’m not sure that root canals are better than plain extractions – I say that because most vets would rather pull the tooth and treat the infection for good so as to not allow any infection to potentially still harbor itself in that tooth root.
And, as we all know, it is way less expensive to do an extraction than a root canal.
Still, I find it interesting… and I wonder if anyone has had a root canal performed for their equine?…
AN EXAMPLE OF AN EQUINE ROOT CANAL.
I took the below pic and description from The Equine Dental Clinic Ltd
Endodontics in horses? – saving teeth and keeping the mouth functional..
Often when faced with dental disease such as a root abscess (septic pulpitis, or infection of the pulp system inside the tooth) the easy solution is to extract or ‘pull’ the tooth – not always straightforward but actually with modern techniques and young horses such as this one it is uncomplicated and simple with good techniques and equipment.
This dressage mare (Roxanne), at age 5yrs (in 2011) had such an abscess of the 106, which I extracted. Since then she has had root / pulp infections with abscesses of the 107, 109, and a fractured 108 also with pulp infection, facial swellings, sinus problems. These times though, we opted for root canal therapy (endodontics) instead of extraction – starting in 2012. She featured in a 2012 edition of Horse and Hound having won 7 competitions in a row after her first root canal. Now, 5 years on, she still has all of those teeth, and you can see the fillings in the pulp canals sealing the endodontic material inside and taking the place of the original dentine of the pulp canals. It’s not been all plain sailing, and her owners have been very patient and willing to treat any problems as they arose. Today was a routine check and rasp, and she seems as happy as ever. We are really careful over case selection for endodontic treatment, and they are not all successful, but it was great to see her today with all the teeth (bar the extracted 106) in good working order!
(She’s had multiple follow up x-rays and CT for assessment of progress over the years)
I’VE BEEN THINKING ALOT ABOUT ROOT CANALS…
If anyone out there is contemplating a root canal, here is an article that interested me…
Root Canal: Dangerous or Just Misunderstood?
Katie Wells 141 Comments Updated: April 5, 2019 This post contains affiliate links
Root canals are a controversial topic in the dental world (if you didn’t know!). I’ve always had a fascination with studying oral health, and while I’m glad to have never needed a root canal (or an alternative), I felt it was good to research them and be prepared in case I ever did.
Many dentists consider the root canal—a dental procedure to treat deep dental cavities—to be a safe procedure, while other research has shown that root canals may allow dangerous bacteria to grow in the mouth and the rest of the body.
To read more, click here.
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