Dental Feature: Root Canal Therapy for Dens Invaginatus

Picture of Dog  

Breed: Havanese

Dens Invaginatus and Enamel Hypoplasia

Small dogs' teeth don't always have space in the mouth to erupt as they should. X-rays of this seven-month-old Havanese revealed Dens Invaginatus—a tooth growing within his left mandibular canine tooth. He was also exhibiting severe disease on the outside of the tooth, which was affecting the overall health of the mouth.

Left mandibular canine

X-ray revealing dental hard tissue within the tooth

Dens Invaginatus (also called Dens en dente) is a malformation of teeth resulting from an infolding of the tooth during development. The malformation shows many variations, from slight infolding to exposed pulp, which can result in pulp necrosis.

The dog's owner was given treatment options of extracting the tooth or trying to save it and chose to try to save the tooth. The first step was to protect the tooth and stop the advancement of enamel hypoplasia by applying a light cured acrylic bonding. The tooth was then allowed to mature for two months to thicken the dentin walls.

Light cured acrylic bonding applied to the areas without enamel

X-ray showing increased amount of dentin compared to previous X-ray (confirming tooth vitality)

Appearance of canine tooth two months later

X-ray two months later showing continued tooth maturation

Once the tooth had matured, root canal therapy was performed and a crown was placed on the tooth for protection. The dog is currently undergoing follow-up exams and his prognosis is excellent.

Root canal therapy

Crown preparation

Crown restoration

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