A root canal for Macey the Border Collie

Macey is a 5 year old Border Collie dog that was referred to see Dr Wayne Fitzgerald for treatment of a broken canine tooth. The canine teeth have a very important function in regards to chewing and support of the jaw so it is important to try and preserve these teeth rather than removing them. Dr Wayne decided that the best course of treatment was to admit Macey into the hospital and perform a root canal on her tooth.

Macey was admitted into the hospital and placed on a warm bed while she was waiting her turn for surgery. Prior to administering her anaesthetic Dr Wayne placed her on an intravenous fluid drip as this would maintain her blood pressure during her anaesthetic as well as support her kidney function by ensuring there was adequate blood flow to them. The intravenous fluids also assisted Macey in excreting the anaesthetic drugs from her system. Nurse Sommer monitored Macey’s vital signs through out her procedure to ensure that all her readings were in the normal ranges.

A root canal involves removing the pulp of the tooth, which contains the nerve supply to the tooth and cleaning the pulp canal so that it can be filled. The pulp canal is then packed tightly with a combination of a cement with a latex substance called gutta percha. The tooth pulp is then sealed off with a restoration (filling). The purpose of performing a root canal is to prevent infection in the bone because the filling and cement will not allow for the growth of bacteria. During the root canal procedure several x-rays are taken to ensure that the pulp has been filled. Then filling the cavity and placing some restoration on the tooth so that the canal is sealed.

Unfortunately Dr Wayne could not permanently fill Macey’s pulp canal as the root continued to bleed and the canal needs to be completely dry before the cement can be packed in. So Dr Wayne applied a temporary filling and Macey will need to revisit so that a permanent filling can be placed.