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What is Tooth Removal?

Whilst many canine dental problems can be solved with a proper cleaning of the mouth, sometimes a more drastic solution is required to ensure the dog's wellbeing. Surgical removal of a tooth is usually seen as a last resort after all other treatment methods have been found ineffective.

Tooth Removal Procedure in Dogs

A general anesthetic is required before surgery can proceed. The vet will then assess the root structure of the tooth using ultrasound imaging in order to plan the extraction. The tooth is usually pulled out by pulling back the gums and using a drill to dislodge the root from its mooring in the jawbone. An incision along the base of the gums may be required to assist in this. Once freed from the jawbone, the tooth can be pulled out and any root fragments removed with tweezers. The final step is to suture the wound closed and apply gauze to stem the bleeding. The procedure should usually take no more than an hour in total.

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Efficacy of Tooth Removal in Dogs

By extracting the entirety of the affected tooth, surgical removal will usually eliminate the problem altogether (although antibiotics will be required in the event of infection). Whilst other teeth may be at risk of developing similar problems (especially if the dog has poor dental health in general), the vet will almost certainly go over some preventative options with the owner.

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Tooth Removal Recovery in Dogs

Following surgery, the dog will require a regular dosage of painkillers due to the fact that several nerve endings will have been severed during the procedure. In the hours immediately after the operation, it will be necessary to pack the area of the mouth affected with gauze in order to mitigate the bleeding. Furthermore, owners should monitor their dog over the next few weeks to make sure that they are recovering properly. Warning signs include wincing and continued bleeding (caused by the wound opening up again), as well as facial swelling (which is indicative of an infection). There will be a couple of follow-up visits required in order for the vet to check that the incision is healing properly and to remove sutures. All told, the healing process should take approximately a month to complete.

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Cost of Tooth Removal in Dogs

The price of tooth extraction can cost anywhere between $500 and $800. The cost of the procedure fluctuates depending on the overall health of the individual dog and the potential complexity of the required removal.

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Dog Tooth Removal Considerations

Whilst a tooth extraction is a relatively quick and straightforward operation, there are a couple of aspects that may give some dog owners pause for thought. The first is the necessity of general anesthetic - something that can be especially dangerous to older dogs (who are also the most likely to require the operation). Second is the question of whether extraction is appropriate in their specific case. Whilst it may appear to be the most decisive way in which to deal with an infected tooth, owners should look to antibiotics and dental treatments as a primary mode of care before moving for extraction.

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Tooth Removal Prevention in Dogs

Although some types of infections (such as those incurred from injuries) are unforeseeable, maintaining a good standard of dental health in your dog will prevent the most common conditions that precipitate tooth extraction. Ensuring that your animal eats good quality food and receives a regular dental cleaning will prevent the buildup of harmful grime and bacteria in the mouth, saving them from the pain of tooth decay and infection. 

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Tooth Removal Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Beagle

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

My dog recently has 11 teeth extracted. It’s two weeks later and now she is breathing heavily and seems to be struggling to get a breath. Why would this be ?

Aug. 11, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question . I'm sorry that she is having these troubles. Without being able to see her, it is hard to say what might be going on, it sounds like it is possible that she may have some sort of infection or congestion in her nasal passages, if some of those teeth were on the upper part of her mouth. It would probably be best to have a recirc with your veterinarian, as they can look at her, see what might be causing this problem, and get her any medication she needs so that she is more comfortable again. I hope that all goes well for her and she feels better soon.

Aug. 11, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Bleeding From Tooth Removal

My dog got her top very back molar pulled the morning of 8/5/2020. When I picked her up in the afternoon she had some light to moderate bleeding. The night of 8/5/2020 I believe she pulled her stitches drinking her first little glass of water. Since then she has had a lot of bleeding, every time the blood clots up, the clot comes out of her mouth with more bleeding until it clots up again. I took her back to the vet, the morning of 8/6/2020. I showed him pictures and he said she was fine. It is now 11p, 8/6/2020, the clots won't stop coming out and I feel the bleeding is excessive.

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Since I cannot see her, or know if the bleeding is excessive, it may be best to follow up with your veterinarian again. She may need to go back under an anesthetic and have sutures put into that area if she is bleeding excessively, and she may have a bleeding disorder, that they may want to test for. I hope that she is okay.

Aug. 7, 2020

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Yorkshire Terrier

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lose Bottom Tooth

Wondering how much to get a tooth pulled. And if you Can just get the tooth pulled... without getting X-rays and everything else with it.

July 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, Your dog would most likely have to be sedated unless the tooth was just about to fall out and could be easily pulled. Many vets will want to give your dog antibiotics if it is infected and pain medication. Your vet can give you the cost of this procedure. It will most like run $100 to $300+ depending on what needs to be done and what is included.

July 9, 2020

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BooBoo

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Yorkshire Terrier

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7 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Tooth Decay, Cyst On Lip

Hello, Our 7 year old yorkie has some tooth decay and will need surgery to have some teeth removed. I have read some of our great dental advice here so my questions for the most part have been answered so thank you ! The one thing that I would like to know is whether we should have to switch to soft foods only going forward or can he continue to eat his tiny nibble hard food ? Oh another question, will his tongue definitely hang out of his mouth if he has no front teeth or does it depend on dog ? Sorry that is two questions. Thanks for your help.

Aug. 24, 2018

BooBoo's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

We’re happy you have gotten most of your answers from the website. If there is pain whilst eating, you should switch to a wet food until you see your Veterinarian; but if dental work is done, there should be no reason not to feed dry food if BooBoo has enough teeth. The tongue shouldn’t hang out if all front teeth are removed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 24, 2018

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Guinnie

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

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13 Years

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Fair severity

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Has Symptoms

Swelling

My large breed dog is 13. After a few minutes chewing on her raw bone marrow, her cheek swelled up. Vet and Specialist said she would need to do an extraction of the tooth with the abscess (no swelling currently) and most likely several other teeth that looks chipped and smaller ones in front that are dead and slightly infected, He also thinks the other side will swell as well at one point. My dog doesn't appear to be in any pain, breath smells fine. I'm afraid at 13 to have to put her through anesthesia. Her recent blood work last month came back clean, thyroid test also was fine. A year and a half ago she came down with an autoimmune disease and it was a very long and difficult recovery but she is doing well. (Still don't know what caused it) She eats well, exercises daily, and although she is more fragile and arthritic at age 13, overall she appears to be in good health (no meds). I worry if this is something that should be done and how risky it is. I would do this procedure with a specialist and not a regular vet. He said he would only keep her under anesthesia for no more than 1 hour. That sounds really long to me. She is so important to me and wonder how necessary it is to put her through this? I also have yet to find any info online where a dog didn't have a extraction done after a tooth abscess.

Aug. 15, 2018

Guinnie's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Any suitability for general anaesthesia is down to the Veterinarian performing the procedure; whilst Guinnie is a senior dog and past the breed average life expectancy, if she is otherwise in good health and has been cleared for anaesthesia by your Veterinarian there should be few concerns on your side. However, if the dental extractions are not done an abscess can get larger, destroy bone and cause other complications if it cannot be medically managed; your Veterinarian would be able to tell you more. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 15, 2018

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Mimi

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Miniature Pinscher

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12 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Groggy, Sleepy, Whimpering, Pain

My baby, 12 yo Min pin (about 13-14 pounds) had 2 dental procedures in the past 6 months. 6 months ago he had his left Canine removed and yesterday we went back and removed 4 bottom front teeth that was lose and bad smelling. Thank god everything went well and he is doing good! He was taking Gabapentin for the 1st extraction, now he is taking 1/4 Tramadol for every 8 hours. He still has some foul smell in his mouth but it has been only 2 days since the 2nd extraction. In the past i have his teeth professionally cleaned. 3 times. None anesthetic. Now, i learned that dental extraction can be risky, costly, i brush my dogs teeth everyday! its very important. I do feed my dogs soft food also. Just food for dogs. Its better for small dogs. And i dont let my small dogs play with hard toys due to dental fracture.

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Dave

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Miniature Pinscher

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10 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Licking
Increased Appetite

My dog Dave (7lbs) had 10 teeth removed today. He was not lethargic afterwards, but I could tell he was in pain. I have been monitoring him all day and trying to do whatever I can to make him comfortable. He went into the vet at 8am and I was able to pick him up at 1pm. We got home around 2 and I fed him a small meal of soft dog food and beef broth. I wasn't expecting it, but he had a big appetite. I fed him another small meal of soft dog food (half of a 3.5oz cup) a couple hours later (half a He was surprisingly still hungry and kept "asking" for food. I fed him some more a few hours later (the other half of the 3.5oz cup) The amount he had today was around the same as he has on a normal day, maybe a little more. I just remembered the vet said to feed him half the amount I normally would. Is it okay that I fed him more? He seems fine, but I still feel bad because I didn't follow the vets orders. Thank you

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Buster

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Peekapoo

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14 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Tooth Pain
Tooth Infection

My 14 year old baby has an infected tooth. About a year ago we had blood work done to make sure he was healthy enough to have this teeth cleaned and bad teeth removed. Everything came back normal and healthy. When they put him under anesthesia his heart rate dropped dramatically and they almost lost him. The quickly woke him up and he wasn’t able to have his teeth work done. His teeth have gotten worse and his breath smells horrible (due to the infection). We took him to a cardiologist and he was diagnosed with an AV block. He was tested to see if this certain type of medicine would help raise his heart rate while he was under, he was only a partial responder. They are too worried to put him under so we started him on antibiotics every 3 weeks. The first round worked great. His breath got instantly better. Now he has finished his second round of antibiotics and not even a day after finishing his breath is bad again and i can tell he needs that tooth removed badly. I’m terrified of losing him to this dumb tooth infection, but he can’t be put under and the antibiotics aren’t helping. PLEASE HELP, I’m begging anyone for advice. I’m desperate. I’m willing to pay any price to help him get better.

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Hercules

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Cane Corso Italiano

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen In Pain

My fur baby has been to Noah’s Ark Animal Clinic and has already had 2 surgeries due to an abscess and infected bone. He has been on antibiotics for almost 4 months. The surgeries or antibiotics has not worked for him. We are 2 months out for his last surgery and 2 days ago we wake up and his face is swollen with it looks like green pus coming from where the surgeries took place. Someone please help me. I just want my guy to feel better and be back to his happy self again

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Murphy

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Hanging tree cowdog

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19 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Broken Incisors, Rotting Tooth

My new adoption has a dental procedure appointment tomorrow. I noticed his incisors were rotten, I have only had him for two months. While waiting for the procedure day to come, one of his incisors has broken at the root.. keep in mind it's also rotten. I worked as a vet technician for nearly eight years but it has been seven since I've worked in a clinic. I can not remember how easy it is going to be to get these two incisors removed. Do you think this is going to be a complicated removal?

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