When Shilo split a slab of enamel off his right upper canine tooth, the tooth had to either come out or have a restoration done. We chose the latter option because that way he got to keep a good healthy tooth and if worst came to worst an extraction could still be done if necessary as our second option.

You can’t leave a major tooth like that with the dentine tissue (under the normal enamel layer) exposed. This is because dentine, unlike enamel, is porous and bacterial infections can get directly into the pulp canal of the tooth, through the dentine. If this happens, the next thing you get is an abscess in the root of the tooth up in the jaw bone of the face. So it has to either have the enamel layer restored, or it has to come out.

It is actually easier to repair an upper canine, than it is to extract one. There is about twice as much tooth in the jaw than there is in the mouth. A significant amount of jaw bone has to be removed before the root of the tooth is even accessible – So Shilo got a restoration done… And it was a beauty… I was so pleased with that job. It was such a nice colour/texture match you could hardly see where the patch in fact was. I even think it may have been stronger than his original tooth.

To tell the whole story, I have to admit that silly old Shilo subsequently broke the whole tooth right off at the gum line. He got it caught in the fence would you believe.