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 dog's tooth is usually seen as a last resort after all other treatment methods have been found ineffective. When a vet advises a tooth is removed, it is because they know it is the best thing for the patient.
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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 oral x-rays 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. The final step is to suture the wound closed. The procedure should usually take no more than an hour in total.
Efficacy of Tooth Removal in Dogs
By extracting the entirety of the affected tooth, surgical removal of a dog's tooth 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.
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. 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 may be 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. Sutures should dissolve with time and the vet will check to ensure this has happened.. All told, the healing process should take approximately two weeks to complete.
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, their size and the potential complexity of the required tooth or teeth 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) or those with underlying health issues. Second is the question of whether extraction is appropriate in their specific case. Remember though, an extraction will only be advised by a vet when they feel it is in your dog' best interest. If your vet has told you your dog needs an extraction, the longer the tooth is left in their mouth, the higher the risk of significant infection and chronic pain.
Tooth Removal Prevention in Dogs
Although some types of infections (such as those incurred from injuries or foreign bodies) 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 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.