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Veterinary Dentistry Dental Case

Dentigerous Cysts in Dogs

Dentigerous cysts in dogs are a relatively common finding and are seen when teeth
fail to erupt normally and remain in the bone.  A dentigerous cyst is an odontogenic cyst which means that it is
derived from tissue that is responsible for forming the tooth.  A missing tooth is the first indication that a
cyst may be present. Dental radiography should always be performed when unexplained missing teeth are detected.
 Dentigerous cysts may also occur in cats but are recognized less commonly than in dogs.

Dentigerous Cysts in Dogs

This 18 month-old Golden Retriever presented for a missing right mandibular canine
tooth (404), 3rd incisor (403), and 2nd incisor (402) What is the most likely radiographic finding?

An unerupted canine tooth


Question: What additional findings are present radiographically?

Answer: Two abnormal tooth structures (impacted teeth 402 and 403) can be identified
rostral to the impacted canine (404) crown. Linear lucencies are present dorsal and ventral to the canine tooth

Question: What is the course of action?

Answer: ​The unerupted (e.g., impacted) tooth structures are at risk for odontogenic
cyst (e.g., dentigerous cyst) formation and surgical extraction of all unerupted tooth structures and
elimination of any cystic tissue is the treatment of choice.


A lateral approach ventral to the mucogingival line within the vestibular mucosa was
utilized as shown. A #4 round bur was used to carefully remove vestibular bone to outline the canine tooth. An
elevator was used to carefully extract the canine tooth.

Question: What abnormal finding do you see in the post extraction radiograph?


Answer: An additional abnormal tooth structure is present mesial to the ​right
mandibular first premolar (405)​


All three abnormal tooth structures were removed. Cyst material is seen here, adhered
to the larger tooth remnant post removal.


4-0 monocryl was used to close the defect utilizing a simple interrupted pattern.


An elizabethan collar was placed to eliminate the possibility of self trauma that
could result in dehiscence. The histopath diagnosis was dentigerous cyst.

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