Does your dog need a tooth extraction? If this is your first experience with pet oral surgery, take a look at what you need to know about canine tooth removal procedures and the recovery process.
Why Does Your Dog Need A Tooth Extraction?
Your dog may need a dental extraction for the same reason that you do. Like humans, dogs can suffer from dental decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Left untreated, decay and infection can weaken the tooth, lead to an abscess, and cause serious pain. An extraction removes the tooth and the infection inside of it. This can relieve discomfort and help to keep your dog healthy.
Along with decay and gum disease, a dog may also need an extraction procedure to treat an injured tooth, deciduous teeth (baby teeth) that won't fall out on their own, orthodontic issues, or oral tumors.
What Happens During Oral Surgery For Pets?
Unlike human tooth extraction, your dog won't sit down in a dentist's chair, open wide, and let the professional pull out their tooth. This type of canine oral surgery may require sedation. Anesthesia makes the procedure painless for your pet and easier for the vet. If sedation isn't given, the vet will inject your dog's mouth with a local anesthetic to eliminate procedure-related pain and distress.
After either sedating your dog or numbing the mouth, the veterinarian can clean the affected area and remove the tooth. The vet may need to surgically create a flap in the gum tissue to extract the entire root. They may also take post-op x-rays of your dog's mouth to make sure that the entire tooth is removed.
How Can You Help Your Dog Recover From Surgery?
If your dog had anesthesia they may seem groggy or tired after the tooth extraction. Stay with your dog to supervise them at home. Don't allow your sleepy, somewhat confused dog to go outside in the yard unattended or walk up and down stairs by themselves.
Your dog may have some pain or sensitivity in the extraction area after the surgery. The vet may prescribe pain medication to use at home. Never give your dog human medication or medication that the vet did not prescribe.
Avoid hard dog treats and crunchy foods after surgery. Instead, choose a softer food to make it less painful for your dog to eat. If your dog refuses to eat or drink water or acts out of character (after the sedation wears off), or if you have any other concerns, contact the vet as soon as possible for a consult.
For more information on pet oral surgery, contact a professional near you.