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Uncomplicated Dental Fractures in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Even if you don’t take your dog to the dentist, your dog still has teeth, right? That means he or she 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 it does need treatment.

What are uncomplicated dental fractures?

Tooth fractures are when the tooth actually starts to crack. These can be hairline cracks in the enamel (enamel infraction) or an enamel fracture where the is an actual crack or even some of the enamel has broken off. It can also be a crown fracture, where the dentine of the tooth 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 due to trauma like an injury. It can also have to do with or lead to dental disease if not treated.

Symptoms of an Uncomplicated Dental Fracture in Dogs

If your dog has a dental fracture he or she 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, he or she will definitely do dental x-rays before making a decision about treatment. Only after seeing the x-rays will he or she 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 damage 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, then it may not need treatment – or at least not much. But, this is rarely the case.

Usually…

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. The reason for this is to protect the pulp tissue from pulp necrosis, tooth rot and other problems.

Now…

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 normally takes place 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.

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have uncomplicated dental fractures (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!

Because…

The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

Cost

The real 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 whole procedure just got way more complicated—and therefore more expensive—then a simple hairline crack. Let’s talk 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 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 right 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.

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