The second most common ailment of our pet’s oral cavity is fractured teeth. This is inevitably caused by trauma, either trauma from an external source like the bumper of a car or from chewing on things that they should not (bones, rocks, etc.). If a tooth is fractured and there is exposure of the pulp chamber there are only two recommended treatments.
- Root canal therapy (referral surgery from a specialist)
If left untreated these teeth are ticking time bombs. We know they are painful from the pain people experience and at some point they will abscess and we know that this is very painful. If we are proactive and extract or give them a root canal then we avoid the boney changes and pain associated with an abscessed tooth.
The most common cause of broken teeth seen in veterinary medicine is from chewing on things that are too hard. How do we know what is too hard? Dr. Hodges promotes the kneecap rule “If you wouldn’t whack your kneecap with something because it would hurt then you shouldn’t let your pet chew on it”. Our pets do not need to chew on animal bones. They do not help keep the teeth clean, there is a risk of fracturing teeth and bones have the potential to damage the stomach and intestines. There are many treats available that our pets can chew on that will help clean their teeth and are much less likely to cause dental trauma.
Many of the extractions performed at the Sylvan Lake Veterinary Clinic are surgical extractions. This is where a flap of tissue is lifted around the tooth on the buccal or lip side of the tooth. After the tooth is extracted that flap of tissue is sutured back over the defect where the tooth used to be. By closing these extraction sites we reduce healing time and decrease the chance of complications.
Take home notes
- Take away all chew toys for 10 days
- Soft food only for 7 days
- Depending on the location a cone may be required
- A complimentary examination is available on day 7 to check the extraction site is healing well.