K-9 Cop, Nero, gets tooth repaired

“Nero” is a police dog for Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. His handler is Officer Pat Papero. While doing bite work one day in late September, Nero suffered a bad fracture of his right upper canine tooth. The fracture extended well beneath the gum line. When a police dog loses a canine, it’s like a an officer losing a hand. Therefore, Nero underwent a periodontal surgery called an apically repositioned flap to explore the fracture and to reposition the gum line to allow a portion of the root to act as crown. After the periodontal surgery was determined to be successful, a root canal therapy was done on the pulp-exposed tooth. A crown preparation was done and detailed impressions were sent to a special laboratory in California to create a full metal jacket. Nero’s crown was cemented in place today and he will be apprehending perpetrators very soon!







The fracture extended quite a ways under the gum line so a periodontal surgery called an apically repositioned flap was performed to allow part of the root to act as the new crown. Then a root canal therapy, crown preparation, detailed impressions, temporary crown, and finally cementation of the metal crown. It was a total of three anesthesias.

John Lewis, VMD, FAVD, DAVDCJohn Lewis, VMD, FAVD, DAVDC
Dr. John Lewis is the veterinary dentist at NorthStar VETS. He was Assistant Professor of Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and spent 5 years in general practice prior to returning for a residency in dentistry and oral surgery. Dr. Lewis became a fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD) in 2004 and a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) in 2005. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Lewis has served as Associate Director of the Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology, and more recently, as Chief of Surgery. Dr. Lewis’ research interests include oral surgical oncology, maxillofacial fracture repair, maxillofacial reconstruction, new therapies for treatment of feline oral squamous cell carcinoma, and lasers in oral surgery and dentistry. Dr. Lewis is a past President of the American Veterinary Dental Society, and has served as Examination Chair of the AVDC and Credentials Chair of the AVD. Prior to joining NorthStar VETS full-time, Dr. Lewis was the residency director of the world’s first academic residency in Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery at Penn Vet.

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