Did you know that dog tooth extractions are one of the most common veterinary surgical procedures? Extraction of a tooth may be necessary if your dog suffers from periodontal disease or has experienced oral trauma.
Periodontal disease is very common in animals and progresses with age. However, periodontal disease is not limited to senior dogs, at Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery, we have seen periodontitis affect dogs of all ages.
There are other reasons why your dog may need a tooth extracted during their lifetime. Read on to learn more about what to expect after your dog’s tooth extraction procedure.
Reasons Why Dogs Need Tooth Extractions
The number one reason why dogs need tooth extractions is periodontal disease. This condition is caused by a buildup of plaque and calculus (tartar) on the teeth and under the gumline, leading to destruction of the supporting tissues of the teeth, including bone, the periodontal ligament and attached gum tissues. When bacterial infections worsen, they may also extend into deeper tissues, causing painful abscesses.
The longer a diseased tooth remains in the mouth, the worse the infection can get. If the dental problem can’t be treated, extraction will improve your dog’s dental and overall health. After diseased teeth are removed, your dog will be relieved of the infection and any pain from the infection.
Accidents and Other Diseases
Aside from periodontal disease, there are several other reasons why your dog may need a tooth extraction in their lifetime. Your dog might need to get a tooth pulled if:
- The tooth is broken or chipped
- An oral tumor has compromised the tooth
- Fractures of the jaws
- Certain orthodontic abnormalities causing painful contact between the teeth and other structures.
- Abnormal tooth or jaw development
Caring For Your Dog After Tooth Extraction
When performed by a well-trained, board-certified veterinary dentist, the tooth extraction process is relatively routine. There is a chance for difficulty, as each dog is different, and every dog’s mouth is different. However, the prognosis for most dogs undergoing a tooth extraction procedure is very good. Your dog will most likely be able to go home on the same day as the procedure. Prior to having oral surgery done on your pet, you should ask who is going to do the surgery. Believe it or not, some veterinary hospitals allow their nursing staff to do oral surgery. Owners are unknowingly charged doctor surgery fees, but lay staff with no formal training is doing the surgery. In quality facilities, doctors perform all the oral surgery.
Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior
Home care is extremely important after canine tooth extraction. While your dog may be back to acting and eating like their normal selves anywhere from 48-72 hours after the procedure, you should be aware that they have not yet fully healed. You should maintain a close watch on your pup for a few weeks until the sutures have dissolved.
Always Follow Your Vet’s Instructions
Your veterinarian will probably advise you to limit your dog’s activity levels and to feed them softer foods. You can soften dry kibble with water or broth for two weeks following the procedure. You should avoid brushing your dog’s teeth for a few weeks, but Chlorhexidine rinses can be used for homecare until brushing can be resumed.
Finally, be sure to give your dog any prescribed pain medications or antibiotics as instructed by your vet to keep your dog comfortable and help them fight off any potential infections.
Board Certified Veterinary Dentist in Bozeman, MT
If you think your dog needs a tooth extraction, we can help. Dr. Tony Woodward is the only board-certified veterinary dentist in Montana and he has decades of experience in providing dental care to dogs like yours. Call us today to schedule an appointment.