No pain, definite gain!

If our vets recommend that your pet needs teeth removed, it’s natural to feel a little worried. Therefore, we’d like to answer some common questions that we receive from owners in this situation.

Why can’t we just leave the tooth?

It is quite common for owners to request that we do not remove their dogs teeth. It can sometimes be hard to appreciate how serious dental issues can be because they remain hidden inside your pets mouth. The removal of teeth is one of our least favourite things to do, especially when in many cases they can be prevented. 

Our vet team will only recommend removal of a tooth if the tooth is broken, diseased, infected or rotten and therefore causing your pet pain and cannot be salvaged. There will also be considerable damage to the surrounding gum which is often why teeth may become loose in the first place. A rotten tooth will eventually also lead to bone damage of the jaw which can be a source of chronic pain.

Pets can be good at masking dental pain, and will generally keep eating unless things get really severe. Many owners are pleasantly surprised when their pet seems even happier after a dental procedure, due to removal of a “hidden” source of chronic pain.

Believe us when we say we would much rather address dental issues before they get to this stage and is why we will strongly recommend a dental clean or treatment early in the process.

 

Will my animal be really sore after a tooth extraction?

Rest assured that your animal will be prescribed several types of effective pain relief suited to their particular dental procedure, which should keep their discomfort to a minimum. Pain relief is generally given:

  • Before the procedure – in the form of a pre-anaesthetic sedation pain relief medication
  • During the procedure – we can perform dental nerve blocks to numb extraction sites for several hours
  • After the procedure – pets are given a second pain relief injection and also sent home afterwards with oral pain relief medication
It is important to remember that this short term pain can be well managed unlike a painful tooth that is not treated at all.
 

Will my pet be able to eat properly after their teeth have been removed?

We would recommend feeding a soft diet such as cubed pieces of meat for the first 4-5 days after your pet has had a tooth removed. Once the extraction site has healed they should be able to return to eating their normal diet. We’ll advise you further specific to your pet’s needs.

We have seen some pets have all their teeth removed and eat much better than when they had painful teeth and gums. They will even eat dry dog food without any teeth as the roof of a cat and dog’s mouth is much harder than ours.

 

Dental Infections, how does this happen?

In most cases where a tooth is diseased and needs removal the surrounding gum and in the worst case the bony socket may also be infected. We will often prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.

 

Tooth Root Abscess, What is it?

A tooth root abscess occurs when the tooth is cracked or broken and the root becomes infected. The infection spreads down to the base of the tooth and causes an abscess within the bone. In some cases the abscess can burst either inside the mouth or outside through the skin. One common area is just below the eye where a swelling and then a draining hole can develop.

Dental X-rays can determine which tooth is effected and in milder cases identify early signs of bone resorption.

 

Dental Specialists

There are a few situations where a dental specialist can help salvage a broken tooth. This can only be possible if the tooth root is healthy and not damaged. When a tooth needs removal the tooth is too diseased to be saved.

 

We hope this helps reassure you about any dental procedures for your pet.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please ask our friendly team!

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