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Veterinary Dentistry Dental Case

Veterinary Dentistry Today September 2012


What is your tentative diagnosis on the left maxillary first molar in this eighteen month old labrador retreiver dog?

An occlusal pit is present in the central portion of the left maxillary first molar (tooth 209) Occlusal pit.


What will confirm the tentative diagnosis?

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    A dental explorer can be used to facilitate tactile recognition of occlusal pits and fissures. If a pit is present the explorer sticks or drops into the defect. Like pits, fissures may also create abnormal food and plaque retentive surfaces on the enamel.


What can be done for treatment of pits or fissures?

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    Removal of any surface defects with a white stone on a water-cooled, high speed handpiece followed by placement of a pit and fissure sealant may prevent development of caries. Early caries lesions may be present within pits indicated by a sticky or gritty feel when probed with an explorer. More advanced lesions may be visually rough and discolored.

    If caries lesions are present, a traditional cavity preparation is done using a round or pear shaped carbide or diamond bur, bonding and placement of a compactable or highly filled composite. The restoration is completed by smoothing, polishing and application of a bonded sealant. A crown or inlay may be considered in some cases.

    Cavity preparation of early caries likely resulting from an untreated occlusal pit or the right maxillary first molar (tooth 109)

    Finished restoration of early caries on tooth 109.

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