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Chimpanzee

A twenty one year old male chimpanzee suffered trauma to his maxillary canine with pulp exposure and pulp necrosis. The tooth was treated through root canal treatment and it remained symptomless for six years, when it fractured close to the gingival margin.

The possibility of restoring the tooth into function was considered as the animal only had three other teeth remaining in his mouth. On close examination the tooth demonstrated gross root resorption that also destroyed so much alveolar bone that a pathological oro-antral fistula had developed. Extraction of the tooth was mandatory.

The well designed mucoperiosteal flap was essential in closing this defect which was judged to be unpredictable to repair, as postoperative care of the surgical site could not be sustained without frequent immobilisation, which could not be justified.

Everyone was delighted that the fistula healed rapidly without any complication. The animal is managing to eat well with his remaining three teeth.

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