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Meet your new BFF!! Horizontal Elevation

dentistry & oral surgery free procedures

This is one the best kept secrets that MUST. BE. SHARED! 

Elevation is the act of stretching the periodontal ligament fibers:

  • Vertical: the winged elevator is used PARALLEL to the long axis of the tooth
    • Stretching fibers circumferentially
  • Horizontal: the winged elevator is used PERPENDICULAR to the long axis
    • Coronal traction of apical fibers

Unlike with vertical elevation where you want to find the perfect fit in elevator size, with horizontal you want to start with the smallest elevator and work up in size.

By placing the winged elevator between the crown-root segments and rotating until the wings engage the tooth, you will get lateral pressure on one segment and the wing will be putting coronal (up/towards the crown) pressure on the other segment.

WHY this is my favourite:

  • This will increase your efficiency: you are stretching the periodontal ligament fibers on two roots at a time, instead of just one at a time.
  • This technique removes the ‘risk’ seen with vertical elevation. If your instrument were to slip (please use a short-stop finger-grip to avoid this) during horizontal elevation, no big trauma; however, with vertical, a slip can have serious consequences.

Join VetHive today to watch real-time videos of Dr. Amy demonstrating this technique! 


Did you find this helpful and want to learn more? We have more articles, live RACE-approved events, exclusive content, and a supportive community waiting for you! Come join us inside VetHive, FREE for two weeks, and experience a community culture like no other!


 About the Author: Amy Thomson, DVM, DAVDC

Dr. Amy Thomson is a dentist and oral surgeon, and completed her residency at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to pursing residency, Amy started her career as a general practitioner. She finds that unique experience helps her provide guidance and knowledge that is helpful and applicable for general practitioners that want to provide the best oral care!


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