Abnormal, Anomylous or Defective Pet Teeth
Abnormal, anomalous or defective pet teeth are sometimes encountered in veterinary practice. One or several teeth may be involved and the concern may be for esthetic, functional, patient comfort or a combination of these issues. Crown or root abnormalities may lead to pulp infection, inflammation (pulpitis) and death of the tooth. Systemic spread of dental and periodontal infections can lead to more serious consequences. The cause of the problem is difficult to determine in most cases.
More technical discussion here: Amelogenesis imperfecta
Diagnosis of abnormal pet teeth.
Visual inspection, tactile evaluation using an explorer probe and periodontal probing may offer a working diagnosis. These evaluations must be followed up with dental radiography. Veterinary Dental radiography is fundamental to the diagnosis of abnormal pet teeth. It is particularly helpful to compare dental radiographs of the abnormal tooth to adjacent teeth and to the same tooth on the contralateral (other) side.
Treatment for abnormal pet teeth.
Abnormal pet teeth may or may not be clinically significant. Pet teeth with structural problems may lead to dental or periodontal disease. The treatment plan must be formulated based on the diagnosis and long term prognosis.
Enamel is a non-living dental structure. Enamel has no blood or nerve supply and is considered insensitive. Enamel also does not heal because it is non-living. Enamel defects expose dentin. Dentin has blood and nerve supply and is very sensitive. Dentin also has some ability to repair. Treatment planing for animals with enamel defects must take into consideration: pain, infection and the strategic importance of the teeth. Each case is considered on an individual basis. Treatment options include: restoration, crown therapy or .
Enamel defects are a common presentation and are often restored. These defects can be repaired however, prior to restorative procedures, the teeth must be evaluated for endodontic and periodontal health. Teeth that demonstrate periapical pathology must be treated by root canal therapy prior to restoring the enamel defects. Restoration of defects of the occlusal areas offer a poor long term prognosis due to occlusal forces. Crown therapy or dental extraction should be considered.
Clinical cases of abnormal pet teeth;
Partially erupted or unerupted teeth with enamel defects.
This dog had three partially erupted incisor teeth with substantial enamel defects. They emerged from the gingiva and failed to completely erupt (dental radiograph above). Comparison of the affected incisor teeth to the adjacent contralateral teeth demonstrates substantial differences in size and radiographic density!
Photo 1 Photo 2
Each tooth was missing enamel and appeared discolored due to dentin exposure and calculus build up.
These incisor teeth (crowns) also appeared smaller than their counterpart incisors on the opposite side.
Photo 3 Photo 4
All three incisors were shaped abnormally and had a "mottled" appearance. Photos 2 and 3 are lingual views (inside the mouth orientation) and Photo 4 was a facial (outside of the mouth) view. Linear (vertical) enamel defects were evident on the third incisor (left) and multifocal (patchy) enamel defects were present circumferentially on the first and second (right and middle) incisor teeth. Localized trauma was the most likely cause for the enamel defects, and failure of complete eruption.
Abnormal pet teeth with an abnormal roots.
A malpositioned and malformed tooth
in a young dog.
Notice the curved, dilacerated root on
this unusual tooth.
Deformed root of premolar tooth.
Dental radiograph of extracted, deformed
Fused roots of developing secondary
incisors were diagnosed with dental
radiographs. These radiographs were
taken as a presurgical evaluation for
the extraction of abnormal primary
This was the fused first and second
primary incisor (palatal view).
This was the fused first and second
primary incisor (facial view).
This third premolar has three roots
rather than two. Without dental
radiographs, extraction of this tooth
would be difficult.
Left upper third premolar with three
roots rather than the normal two.
Lower fourth premolar tooth with three
roots rather than the normal number (two).
(Tooth on the far right side).
11 month dog presented with oligodontia (few teeth).
This dog presented with very few teeth
erupted. Dental radiograph demonstrated
severe root dilaceration (root curvature)
that prevented tooth eruption.
Enamel defects of two lower molar teeth.
Enamel defect at the furcation (location
where the two roots diverge under the gingiva).
Mottled enamel defects.
Deformed right upper canine tooth with enamel defects and severe periodontal disease.
Enamel defect and malformed canine tooth.
Severe discorolation of the canine tooth and
one supernumary (extra) premolar tooth.
Periodontal probe demonstrated a deep
defect adjacent to this defective canine tooth.
Purulent discharge was observed from the defect.
Dens Invaginatus or "dens in dente"
Dog Dental Care