If a tusk with a pulp exposure is not treated, in time it will become totally necrotic in the great majority of cases.
Infected tusks should not be ignored and treatment should not be delayed until major symptoms arise. By that time the general condition of the animal may have deteriorated.
Each infected tusk must be assessed very carefully as to what technique should be utilised for its removal. Therapy should be planned well ahead to ensure the greatest degree of predictability.
Tusk extraction requires highly specialised custom-made tools and surgical instruments of various sizes to ensure that the operation is as rapid and predictable as possible. These operations make the greatest demands on the surgeon in the field of veterinary dentistry and more than any other procedure should be avoided by people inexperienced in elephant tusk surgery.
Tusk immediately after fracture with bleeding pulp extruding from the pulp cavity. Repair by local dentist failed within weeks. (Asian bull – 12 years old)
Tusk five months later with pus discharging around the partially vital pulp. Tusk was extracted.
Tusk with a relatively small pulp exposure five months after fracture. (African bull – 20 years old)
Mass of necrotic pulp tissue removed from the tusk during surgery.
Extracted slabs of the tusk which was 76 cm/29 inches long in the maxilla.