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A seven year old thoroughbred presented with a tender maxillary swelling that was judged to be associated with the upper left second cheek tooth. No periodontal defects, caries or fractures were found intra-orally.

The root apices were located with the aid of extra-oral markers and digital radiography. Access to the periapical abscess was via a facial flap as an intra-oral approach to perform endodontics to the cheek teeth of herbivores is not possible.

The pulp tissues in the buccal roots were found to be totally necrotic. Root canal treatment was performed following standard endodontic principles from an apical direction. The total length of the pulp cavities was 65 mm. The palatal root apex was covered with healthy bone and it had no communication with the buccal abscess.

The literature suggests that the pulp cavities of equid teeth become separated approximately three years after their eruption. Therefore no attempt was made to treat the apparently healthy palatal root. Apicectomy, gutta percha root fillings accompanied by retrograde amalgam apical seals were placed in the buccal roots.

Initial healing has been excellent with no sign of re-occurrence of the infection. We will keep this page updated of the animalís progress.

Surgery performed with Ian Wright, Reynolds House Referrals, Newmarket.

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