• 2 minute read
Dental extractions are a common veterinary surgical procedure. Whenever possible, vets will try to save an animal’s functional tooth, but there are times when a tooth is so damaged that removing it is the only way to maintain your pet’s optimal oral health and stop pain. Here is an overview of what you can expect if your vet recommends this procedure for your dog or cat.
There are numerous reasons that may necessitate tooth extraction for your pet, including:
Other reasons why your dog or cat might need a tooth pulled include tooth decay, mobility, abscesses, oral tumors, oral trauma, orthodontic abnormalities, retained roots, cysts, and impacted teeth.
Before recommending a dental extraction, your vet will conduct a detailed oral examination with a radiographic assessment. To begin with, your veterinary surgeon will conduct pre-anesthetic bloodwork and physical assessments to determine whether or not your pet qualifies for anesthesia and to customize an anesthetic plan for your pet.
The vet will conduct an oral exam and take x-rays to check for abnormalities below the teeth, such as resorption, cysts, root abscesses, fractures, and impacted teeth. Once the dental radiographs and visual analysis are complete, the veterinarian will recommend the best course of action.
During the procedure, your dog or cat will be under anesthesia. The vet will make incisions to access and carefully remove the affected tooth or teeth. They flush the area to get rid of any debris and the extraction site is closed using absorbable sutures. After the procedure, your vet may apply a sealant to the gap and prescribe a pain reliever and antibiotic.
For most pets, recovery is relatively quick and easy to handle. Your cat or dog will normally be able to return home on the same day as the procedure. Your vet will advise you to feed your dog or cat soft food, make sure their water intake is adequate, restrict their activity, and limit access to chew toys. It can take 48 to 72 hours for your pet to return to their normal activity level and appetite.
Dental care should be considered a core part of your pet’s health. Diligent and consistent care can help prevent the need for a dental extraction, but it’s also important to know when an extraction might be necessary and what to expect with the procedure. If you’re ever concerned about your pet’s oral health, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
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