Tooth extractions may be necessary to relieve pain and allow your dog to achieve optimal oral health. Here, our Kent vets discuss everything pet owners should know about tooth extractions for dogs.
Canine Tooth Extractions
Dogs sometimes need one or more teeth surgically removed (extracted) by a veterinarian. Extractions can go as deep as the roots or may stop at removing the dental crown (the portion of the tooth that's visible above the gums).
Why Tooth Extractions Are Necessary
If a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it's important to remove it to prevent infection from setting in - and your dog from suffering subsequent pain due to the dead tooth. Dog tooth extractions are often needed for the animal to live pain-free and achieve ideal oral health.
Your Dog's Tooth Extraction Procedure
Each of your dog's teeth is held in his or her mouth by roots. As many as three roots may be holding an individual tooth in place. All roots must be removed to correctly fully extract a tooth.
Your dog will be under the effects of anesthesia during his or her dental surgery. Our veterinarians practice stringent surgical protocols while operating on our patients.
To check how healthy the roots of your dog's teeth are, the vet may need to take an X-ray or perform a CT scan. Large teeth - those with multiple roots - are split using a high-speed dental drill so that every fragment of the tooth has only one root attached to it. Smaller teeth that have a single tooth root can be removed in their entirety without this extra step.
Complications due to veterinary tooth extractions are rare. Complications that do happen typically belong to a few categories: dental cavities that have not healed fully, remnants of teeth that have been removed, and damage to the jaw bone are all potential areas of complications that may occur during a dog tooth extraction.
Your Dog's Recovery From a Tooth Extraction
Recovery following a tooth extraction procedure should be relatively quick, and you should be able to take your pet home on the same day as the procedure. While there may be traces of blood in their saliva, no significant bleeding should occur. If there is, contact your vet immediately.
Our Kent vets recommend avoiding feeding your dog hard foods for a while until the area heals. If your dog eats primarily hard kibble, it can be softened in water before you serve it to them. For similar reasons, we also recommend that you avoid playing tug-of-war until your dog has fully recovered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.