Geriatric horses have a high prevalence of dental disease, which is a culmination of age-related dental changes and dental disease throughout the life of the horse that may have long-term consequences. Wear abnormalities, diastemata with periodontal disease, pulpitis and endodontic disease, infundibular caries, and equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis become more prevalent with age. Recognition of age-related dental disease at an early stage can help to treat and possibly preserve teeth for longer. With a natural decrease in masticatory efficiency, it is even more important to preserve teeth where possible and prevent any painful dental disease. Regular routine dental examination and maintenance will help to prevent many dental conditions such as wear disorders and possibly secondary diastemata. Successful treatment and management of most dental diseases are possible even in older patients and will ensure that we are able to maintain a high standard of welfare as horses age.
This retrospective clinical study was performed to determine the suitability and success rate of endodontic treatment of equine incisors presenting with apical and periapical disease.
All horses presented to a referral equine dental clinic between March 2013 and December 2019 specifically selected as candidates suitable for endodontic treatment were included in this study.
Initial clinical and radiographic presentation of incisor disorder cases suitable for endodontic treatment were recorded (88 incisors) and follow-up examination for long-term viability (8 months to 5 years) was performed in cases involving 32 incisors in total.
A total of 68 horses with 88 incisors were included in this study for endodontic restorative treatment. Different dental materials were used, with a temporary 3-layered technique using calcium hydroxide apically and temporary cement and resin composite occlusally most commonly used at the first treatment. Complete obturation with resin composite was performed in 48% of the cases requiring second treatments (50 incisors). Follow-up examination involving 32 incisors showed that successful endodontic treatment was achieved in 75% of the teeth treated.
Endodontic treatment of diseased incisors is a viable option in equid patients with a success rate comparable to humans in practice. The use of flowable resin composite as an obturation material has been shown to be successful at either the second treatment or in carefully selected patients at the first treatment.