Understanding Dog Dental Extractions
A dog tooth extraction is when a tooth is surgically removed by a veterinarian. During the extraction process, your dog will be put under general anesthesia. This keeps them comfortable, prevents them from struggling, and allows our veterinary team to safely complete the extraction.
At New England Veterinary Center & Cancer Care our veterinarians understand that finding out your dog needs dental surgery can be overwhelming, but we'd like to assure you that we are committed to making the extraction process as stress-free as possible for both you and your dog.
If it is determined that your canine companion needs dental surgery, your vet will take the time to walk through each step of the process with you and answer any questions you may have about the procedure or the recovery process. Our goal is to ensure that your experience with our pet hospital is stress-free and efficient.
Why Your Dog May Need Dental Surgery
In most cases, a dog will have to have a tooth removed due to decay or advanced gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth.
After your dog has its diseased tooth or teeth removed, you should speak to your veterinarian about the proper home care for your dog to prevent its other teeth from becoming similarly decayed. You should also be sure to bring your dog in for regular professional dental cleanings and examinations. Good dental care is essential to your pup's oral and overall health.
Besides the common cause of gum disease and decay, your dog may also need a tooth removed for the following reasons:
- Fractured or broken teeth - Broken teeth can lead to painful abscesses and infection.
- Deciduous teeth - Baby teeth that do not fall out on their own may need to be removed.
- Oral tumors - The treatment of tumors may involve the extraction of nearby teeth.
- Orthodontic abnormalities - Just like humans, sometimes dogs have teeth where they don't belong.
What to Expect After Tooth Extraction in Dogs
Teeth all are held into our mouths by roots. In dogs, as many as three roots can be holding an individual tooth. To fully extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.
During your dog's dental surgery they will be under the effects of anesthesia. When they wake up they may be groggy or lethargic for the remainder of the day - this is completely normal.
As the recovery from this procedure is relatively quick, you should be able to bring your pet home on the same day as the procedure. If your pet eats primarily hard kibble, you can soften it in warm water for a few days before serving. You should also avoid playing any tugging games with your dog until their mouth has completely healed, which typically takes around 2 weeks.
You may also notice traces of blood in your dog's saliva. While this is normal, there should not be any significant bleeding. If there is, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Possible Complications of Dog Dental Surgery
If the tissue at the site of your dog's tooth extraction becomes infected you will likely notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bad odor from your dog’s mouth
- Swelling of the lower or upper jawline, or under your pup's eyes
- Refusal to eat
- Runny nose or drooling
- Lack of energy
Even though antibiotics may have been sent home as part of surgery aftercare, you should check in with your dog’s veterinarian if you notice any of the signs listed above.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.