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  #1  
Old 11-29-2009, 05:02 PM
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Default Doggie Dentistry

Any experience?

I just realized that Bailey has a broken premolar. We're going to the vet tomorrow anyway (follow-up appointment for a recent ear infection), so I'll have an opportunity to bring it up. I'm going to ask about veterinary dental specialists, as I may pursue getting an opinion on a root canal. Unfortunately, a Google search doesn't show much in my area...

I don't know how long this tooth has been broken. I do feed RMBs and I plan to continue to do so (he primarily gets duck necks as well as pork baby back ribs and, recently, lamb breast -- nothing too hard).

LOL, my dog is a money pit!
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:15 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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Armani had a broken tooth a few months back, I did a lot of research on root canals but ended up not going that route for a number of reasons, but even without the tooth he can chew anything and doesnt act like it is an issue at all.

I know how you feel, mine have been huge money pits this year, heres hoping next year is better!
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:23 PM
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Malcolm had a slab fracture of a molar that required extraction. He did it on a Nylabone I think. I'm sure I could have looked into root canals, etc., but honestly couldn't afford it. The extraction was done by my regular vet and it was relatively quick to heal. I think the key as to whether you leave it or remove it has to do with the condition of the nerve and root of the affected tooth.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:37 PM
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Wally (my old Grey) had three dentals while I owned him: during his third he had 17 teeth extracted! That being said, he still ate a whole raw diet up until the day he died, and though the recovery was scary for me, it didn't seem to bother him a bit!

Now Blue has a broken canine. My options are pay a million dollars to do a root canal (ain't gonna happen), have it extracted (ain't gonna happen, we do bitework), or keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get infected and isn't causing him any pain. It's been a year now and he's none worse the wear for his broken tooth.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:44 PM
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My dogs had broken teeth in the past without problems ... if there's no infection and it doesn't bother them , no worry ! ( After vet check of course ).
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:53 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Maggie broke a carnassial molar (big three root molar) about 18 months ago. Our vet gave us some topical stuff to see if we could avoid surgery, but the tooth abcessed, so something had to be done. The root canal was way too expensive for what it would help us gain; after seeing a dental vet, repairing the tooth seemed better than pulling it. $500 and a year later, the repair (similar to a cap) broke off and we were back where we started. I decided that an extraction was a better bet and I've been very happy with my decision for several reasons:

1. After the original repair it was revealed that Maggie could not be allowed to chew anything harder than a dog biscuit. This floored me and immediately made me regret not asked more questions about after effects beforehand, but we dealt with it. Maggie refused to try and chew anything except nylabones stolen from her sister, so I had to put all chew items up and only give them to Z while she was kennelled. Talk about a PITA.

2. Once the repair failed, I gave Maggie chewies again while we waited for our vet appointment. Immediately Maggie seemed to act more bouncy, chipper, etc. instead of the serious dog 24/7 she had been for the year since the repair. All I can think is that the lack of chewing outlets resulted in a fair amount of stress for Maggie.

3. Going with an extraction allowed me to use our regular vet (holistic practice I trust 100%) vs the a$$ of a dental vet we used for the original repair.

4. After the first week post-extraction, Maggie was chewing rawhides with the other dogs and after about 2 weeks she was back to nylabones. Her happy behavior continues to this day and she chews normally sans tooth, though the rawhide chews last a lot longer now lol.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:41 PM
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Thanks so much for your posts, everyone.

My vet has a "wait and see" attitude about it. He said we should keep an eye on it. I asked about infections and pain, and he suggested that I would know about either if it swelled up or he seemed to shy away from chewing on that side.

He also suggested that it would make more sense to do an extraction than a root canal. He said he usually recommends the latter only for dogs that do bite work and "need" their teeth, and that B would be fine without this tooth. (It's a slab fracture of his fourth molar -- from what I've read, it's pretty common.)

In my area, we have vets that have an "interest" in dentistry, but no veterinary dental specialists per se. So, while, wait and see is difficult for me (I want to fix it now!), I'll give it a try.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:27 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Wait and see is a great way to go - just keep an eye out for swelling both on the gums, but also on his face above the affected tooth. Off smells can also be a good indicator of a problem.

Did the vet say anything about whether the pulp was exposed? A superficial fracture can be basically a cosmetic problem, whereas a fracture involving the pulp is more likely to get infected and can be quite painful.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:31 PM
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I think pulp is exposed because I can see a little bit of pink stuff. Which is why I'm concerned about pain and infection. I wish I *knew* whether it was painful.

He did say that the swelling would often be under the eye. Thanks for your description about the other indications of infection.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2009, 05:50 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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trust me, you will know if it is infected.

Armani's got infected and then a few months later abscessed, which is why it was removed.

The first time it got infected, his face swelled up so big... one day he was fine, the next morning I was shocked when I saw him, also when I pressed the swollen area he SCREAMED!

When it abscessed, there was an open, bloody, pussy wound under his eye.
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