When the rostral teeth of horses are fractured, their pulp cavities can become exposed. With time they become infected as other mammalian teeth.
All the adjacent incisors are termed an "arcade" and can be considered as a single functional unit, therefore the loss of a single tooth can cause major repercussions, such as tooth drifting, malocclusion, food packing and secondary periodontal problems.
Because of this the conservation of a damaged tooth whenever possible should be considered. The apical maturity and condition of the pulp tissues in the teeth invariably determines the most appropriate therapy. Whether extraction is mandatory, or if pulp therapy or root filling can offer a predictable, conservative result.
Fractured incisors of a five year-old filly.
Incisal view of the fractures. The vital pulp exposures indicated with arrows.
Radiography demonstrating the varying degrees of maturity of the root canals and apical foraminae.