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To assess the frequency of clinical and radiographic evidence of inflammation (ie, evidence of inflammation) associated with retained tooth root fragments (RTRFs) in dogs and to determine whether evidence of inflammation was affected by RTRF length and position within the alveolar bone.


148 RTRFs in 66 dogs.


For each dog, demographic information was recorded, and full-mouth radiographs were obtained and reviewed for RTRFs. For each RTRF, the length of the fragment was measured on intraoral radiographic images, and its location and position relative to the alveolar bone margin were recorded. The presence or absence of evidence of inflammation in association with each RTRF was also recorded. Descriptive data were generated. Generalized linear mixed models were used to identify factors associated with evidence of inflammation around RTRFs.


81 of 148 (54.7%) RTRFs had evidence of inflammation. For every 1-mm increase in RTRF length, the odds of inflammation increased by 17% (OR, 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 1.34; P = 0.009). Odds of inflammation for RTRFs that protruded from the alveolar bone margin were 2.98 (95% CI, 1.02 to 8.72; P = 0.046) and 7.58 (95% CI, 1.98 to 29.08; P = 0.001) times those for RTRFs that were buried and level with the alveolar bone margin, respectively. Tooth root fragment length was a poor predictor of inflammation.


Results indicated that most RTRFs were associated with evidence of inflammation and supported the current recommendation for extraction of RTRFs whenever feasible.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association