December 10, 2020
Dental care is a very important but often overlooked element of looking after a pet. Nevertheless, our pets need their teeth and mouth to be healthy too. In fact, in some ways, many animals are more reliant on their mouths and teeth than we are. For example, in the absence of arms, dogs and cats can use their teeth to pick up and carry objects and even play games. Dental problems are also just as unpleasant for animals as they are for us, so any issues that affect them can be painful and debilitating. While your vet will support you in doing everything possible to preserve your pet’s oral health and teeth for as long as they can, there are some situations where surgery is necessary to achieve this. And in some cases, tooth extraction is the safest and best option.
There are many reasons why an animal may be referred for oral surgery. Some of the most common include:
Surgery to remove a growth (benign or malignant)
Repairing a fracture to the jaw
Treatment for periodontal disease
Reconstruction of gum tissues damaged by periodontal disease
Soft tissue laceration repairs
Stabilization of avulsed teeth
Reconstruction of the mouth following tumor removal
However, tooth extraction is by far the most common reason for a vet to refer an animal for oral surgery.
There is also a range of reasons why your pet may need a tooth extraction. In most instances, tooth extraction will only be recommended where other treatments have been unsuccessful and/or extraction is the best course of action. Some of the most common reasons for a pet tooth extraction include:
Severe decay or periodontal disease
Overcrowding of the teeth
Retained baby teeth
Odontoclastic resorptive lesions (very painful lesions within the teeth)
An abscessed tooth that cannot be treated
A fractured tooth that cannot be repaired
Loose tooth due to bone loss (normally a result of advanced periodontal disease)
Trauma to the mouth and/or jaw
Ideally, an extraction will be as simple and straightforward as possible, with an instrument called an elevator used to loosen the tooth in the socket before forceps are used to remove it. Teeth with multiple roots usually need to be divided into sections so that each root can be removed individually. Once the tooth has been removed, dissolvable sutures will be used to close the wounds so that they heal.
However, in some cases, it may be necessary for pets to have a surgical tooth extraction, performed by an oral surgeon. In this procedure, a surgical flap is created to allow access to the alveolar bone, which may need to be removed to access the tooth that is to be extracted and its supporting structures.
For more information about pet oral surgery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable veterinary team in Springboro, OH today.