Vital pulp therapy is a specialty-level endodontic procedure designed to keep a young tooth alive and maturing once a tooth pulp is acutely exposed. This intervention is recommended for dogs 6 to 16 months of age, and is performed within 48 hours of tooth injury. While not as widely known as other dental treatments, vital pulp therapy serves as a valuable intervention to preserve tooth vitality, alleviate pain, and prevent the need for tooth extraction in puppies and young dogs.
One of the primary benefits of vital pulp therapy is its capacity to preserve a young dog’s natural teeth. Rather than opting for tooth extraction, which may be considered as a more conventional approach, vital pulp therapy aims to save the tooth by treating the affected pulp tissue. By removing the damaged or infected pulp and applying medicaments to promote healing, the tooth can be preserved, maintaining the integrity of the dog’s natural dentition. This helps to prevent issues associated with tooth loss, such as misalignment, difficulty chewing, and subsequent oral health complications.
Vital pulp therapy plays a significant role in relieving pain and discomfort experienced by dogs. Dental pain can greatly impact a dog’s quality of life, leading to behavioral changes, reduced appetite, and overall lethargy. By addressing the underlying cause of pain, vital pulp therapy eliminates infection or inflammation within the pulp chamber, providing relief and restoring comfort. This allows dogs to regain their normal eating habits, exhibit improved energy levels, and engage in daily activities without the burden of dental discomfort.
By preserving the natural teeth, vital pulp therapy contributes to maintaining optimal oral health in dogs. Preserving the tooth’s structure through vital pulp therapy enables dogs to continue using it for effective plaque reduction during chewing activities, catching and picking up objects, maintaining the tongue and saliva within the mouth, and more. Successfully treated teeth remain alive and functional over a pets’ lifetime.
If your young dog experiences an acute tooth injury, please call our office or have your veterinarian reach out to us for immediate care whenever possible.