Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Dentistry (clipping / filing)

Contributor(s): Susanna Penman, Simon Girling, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Overgrown incisors and/or cheek teeth need to be kept at the correct length to allow the mouth to close, to attempt to restore a functional occlusion, to prevent soft tissue trauma and to prevent teeth from being caught on external objects, eg water bottle, wire netting.
  • Must identify cause of dental overgrowth (hereditary or acquired) as this affects prognosis and therefore treatment.

Nail clippers, wire cutters and other such instruments should not be used to cut teeth as they result in jagged edges which lacerate soft tissues, longitudinal fractures of teeth and pulpal exposure, causing apical abscesses and unnecessary pain.

Uses

Print-off the owner factsheets Caring for your rabbit before and after surgery and Feeding your rabbit to give to your clients.

Advantages

  • As long as diet rectified simultaneously Nutrition: correcting the diet, may be able to restore normal occlusion.
  • Prevents soft tissue trauma.
  • Many rabbits will tolerate incisor trimming with a dental burr without sedation.

Disadvantages

  • May require sedation/anesthesia to perform humanely and accurately.
  • Cost.
  • Needs to be repeated every 4-6 weeks if teeth continue to grow and fail to occlude.
  • Rabbit often in poor bodily condition exacerbating danger of procedure.
  • May carry poor prognosis resulting in euthanasia Euthanasia even after many dental procedures.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Capello V (2016) Intraoral treatment of dental disease in pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 19 (3), 783-798 PubMed.
  • Meredith A (2007) Rabbit dentistry. Euro J Comp Anim Pract 17 (1), 55-62.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1998) Pet rabbits. Part 4. Looking after their teeth. Vet Pract Nurse Winter, 4-8.
  • Crossley D A (1997) Clinical aspects of lagomorph dental anatomy - the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). J Vet Dent 12, 137-140 PubMed.
  • Gorrel E C (1997) Humane dentistry. JSAP 38, 31 (Letter).
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1997) Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of dental disease in pet rabbits. In Pract 19 (8), 407-421 VetMedResource.
  • Gorrel E C (1996) Teeth trimming in rabbits and rodents. Vet Rec 139, 528 (Letter) PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1996) Calcium deficiency, diet and dental disease in pet rabbits. Vet Rec 139, 567-571 PubMed.
  • Crossley D A (1995) Dental disease in rabbits. Vet Rec 137 (15), 384 (Letter) PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1995) A review of clinical conditions in pet rabbits associated with their teeth. Vet Rec 137, 341-346 PubMed.
  • Brown S A (1992) Surgical removal of incisors in the rabbit. J Small Anim Exotic Med 1, 150-153.
  • Lobprise H B (1991) Dental and oral disease in lagomorphs. J Vet Dent 8 (2), 11-17 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Harcourt-Brown F (2013) Treatment of dental problems: principles and options. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 349-369.
  • Capello V & Lennox A M (2012) Small Mammal Dentistry. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier, USA. pp 452-471.
  • Crossley D A & Penman S (1995) Eds Manual of Small Animal Dentistry. 2nd edn. BSAVA, UK.


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