Food accumulation in interproximal dental spaces facilitates bacterial colonization that incites periodontal disease, including marginal gingivitis, plaque accumulation, periodontitis, and localized alveolar bone loss that may eventually require dental extraction. We report three cases of severe interproximal Eucalyptus spp. retention in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) at the San Diego Zoo. Premise™ trimodal composite (Kerr Corporation, Orange, CA, USA) was used in these cases to eliminate open and enlarged interproximal contact spaces where debris accumulation was observed.1 Following removal of the partially masticated leaf material, the interproximal surfaces of the teeth were conventionally prepared with a course diamond burr, cleaned, and acid etched prior to the placement of a composite restoration that eliminated the interproximal defect. One case required minor crown contour alteration utilizing traditional dental cavity preparation techniques to increase the functional stability and retention of the composite prosthesis within the interproximal space. Aesthetically, the prosthesis replicates normal tooth coloration and appearance. Our observations indicate the prosthesis wears at a similar rate to captive koala teeth while preventing interproximal accumulation of masticated leaf material. A dental onlay bridge-like prosthesis using the Premise™ trimodal composite is a successful method to prevent interproximal Eucalyptus spp. accumulation in koalas. Repair or replacement of this prosthetic device may be required, so it should be examined visually and radiographically on a routine basis.
1. Kerr Corporation. 2013. Premise™ Universal Nanofilled Composite. www.kerrdental.com/kerrdental-composites-premise-2. Accessed 12 March 2013.