Even if you don’t take your dog to the dentist, your dog still has teeth, right? That means they can get tooth problems just like we do. One of the most common is uncomplicated dental fractures in dogs. As the name suggests, it’s not a big deal but needs treatment.
What are uncomplicated dental fractures?
Tooth fractures are when the tooth starts to crack. These can be hairline cracks in the enamel (enamel infraction), an enamel fracture where there is an actual crack, or even some of the enamel has broken off. It can also be a crown fracture, where the tooth’s dentine gets exposed. This is pretty common in the carnassial tooth of dogs and cats. The word “uncomplicated” comes in because it is treatable.
How does it happen?
Usually, fractured teeth occur from either general wear and tear with age or trauma like an injury. It can also affect or lead to dental disease if not treated.
Symptoms of an Uncomplicated Dental Fracture
If your dog has a dental fracture, it may not eat as much as before due to pain in the mouth. Many dogs, however, do not have any symptoms.
Diagnosis of an Uncomplicated Dental Fracture in Dogs
When you take your dog to a vet dentist, they will o dental X-rays before deciding on treatment; only after seeing the X-rays will they know the treatment plan. The x-ray will show if there is damage to the pulp chamber, tooth root, and more. The severity of the injury distinguishes between uncomplicated fractures and complicated tooth fractures.
Should you get treatment for dental fractures in a dog?
Yes. You might be wondering why. If the dog is in no pain, what does it matter? Well, you’re right. If the fracture is hairline and doesn’t involve any loss of dentin, it may not need treatment – or at least not much. But this is rarely the case.
Even in the case of a minor fracture, a dog will need minimal treatment. The dentist will likely smooth out the fracture’s edges. Then, a resin will be applied over the dentin. This protects the pulp tissue from pulp necrosis, tooth rot, and other problems.
If there is already an infection or cavity due to the fracture, you may have to get your dog a root canal or vital pulp therapy. This is reserved for complicated fractures only. This usually occurs if the pulp has been exposed to bacteria for a long time (more than a few days is considered long!) and the tooth root and even nerves have been infected.
Here are the various…
Treatments and tests that your dog may ultimately have with a tooth fracture:
- Tooth extraction (often done with a root fracture).
- Resin applied.
- Crown or cap.
- Root canal / complete pulpectomy (usually necessary for endodontic disease).
- Partial pulpectomy / vital pulpotomy.
Prognosis of an Uncomplicated Dental Fracture in Dogs
If you get the tooth treated in time, you will likely be able to save the tooth, and your dog will be fine. If not, you may have to extract it, and your dog will live with one less tooth (or more, depending on the injury/trauma). Sometimes, even if you have early treatment options, the tooth cannot be saved. In this case, don’t blame yourself. You did everything you could.
This brings us to…
Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them. If you feel your pet may have uncomplicated dental fractures (or any other health issue), you’ll want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!
An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!
The actual cost depends on the extent of the damage, the number of teeth that need treatment, and which treatment it will need. If, for example, the alveolar bone has also been injured, the procedure got way more complicated—and therefore more expensive—than a simple hairline crack. Let’s talk about hypothetical prices:
- Hairline crack/resin application: $150-300.
- Tooth Extraction: $200-400.
- Root Canal: $300-500+.
- Secondary Jaw Problems (maybe surgery): $800+.
These costs are per tooth. So, if your dog has had a bad accident and needs work on two, three, or four teeth, well, multiply the figure. As you can see, visiting a veterinary dentist can be costly! This is also why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.