To maintain your dog’s overall oral health, regular dental cleaning is a must. However, if your dog’s dental condition cannot be improved by dental cleaning or any other procedure, tooth extraction is your last resort.
Tooth extraction is usually termed as “pulling teeth”. However, tooth extraction, especially for dogs, is not as simple as plucking out teeth. It entails the removal, not only of the tooth itself but also of the roots.
As carnivores, the root structure of a dog’s tooth is more complex. A successful tooth extraction procedure would require the skills of a professional veterinary dental technician.
Overall Cost of A Dog’s Tooth Extraction
Most veterinary clinics offer package pricing for dental cleaning. The fee already includes oral exam and anesthesia which are both needed for the procedure. The fee for extractions is usually considered as an additional charge.
Depending on the clinic, the fee is calculated either per tooth or per the number of time spent on the extraction. Thus, other than the surgery itself, there are some pre-surgery and post-surgery expenses that accompany the cost of tooth extraction for dogs.
Pre-surgery and Surgery
Tooth extraction is only conducted on a tooth that cannot be salvaged by other procedures. To know whether or not the tooth can still be saved, an oral examination has to be conducted on your dog.
This examination is usually offered for free by clinics or as an inclusion in the dental cleaning package.
However, to really know the condition of the tooth under the gumline, digital dental radiographs are being used in dental clinics. Through these, all existing gum and tooth problems will be detected.
The radiograph will be able to reveal underlying problems that were not discovered by the dentist during the physical examination.
Part and parcel of a tooth extraction surgery is the dental cleaning. While your dog is on the sedative, the dentist will perform the polishing and scaling of the dog’s tooth.
If extractions are necessary, then, the surgery will be conducted on the process.
As for the costs, Helping Hands Veterinary Clinic based in Virginia offers 2 different packages involving dental care. If you would want to get your dog’s teeth extracted without using a radiograph, the veterinary clinic has a package for $285. The cost already includes cleaning and the cost to pull dog’s teeth.
As stated in its website, it will extract teeth which it deemed as decayed or loose after conducting a physical examination. The amount payable is already fixed irrespective of the number of the tooth that will be extracted.
Another package offered by the Helping Hands Clinic is the dental care package with X-ray. Since this package includes the use of a radiograph, the cost is higher at $685, compared to the first one.
The dental radiograph will be beneficial in diagnosing the problems and in ensuring that they are addressed.
Another example is Paws, a dental clinic based in Atlanta, which offers a pet dental cleaning service for only $195. The package already includes the pre-dental exam, full dental cleaning, minor extractions, pain medication, and antibiotics. However, the clinic only caters single-rooted and loose tooth extractions.
Basing on its price, Paws seem to only conduct nonsurgical extraction on either a single-rooted or a loose tooth. More complicated conditions would require a surgical extraction and would, therefore, cost more.
Most dental clinics based in the US do not post price estimations on their websites. The reason behind this is that they want to specifically assess the case of your dog before giving you the total cost.
After the anesthesia administered by the dentist wears off, your dog will most probably feel some pain. For this, clinics prescribe some antibiotics or pain medications.
After surgery, it is advised to put your dog in a soft or canned, food diet. If not, reduce the amount of food that you serve to your dog. This will help lessen the pain and discomfort caused by the extraction.
Also, watch out for bleeding whenever you feed your dog. Minimal bleeding is normal. However, if you have noticed that the bleeding is excessive, you would have to contact the dentist who conducted the surgery.
Additionally, make sure to keep any hard toy or object away from your dog a few days after the extraction. This is to avoid the dog from chewing on anything that might put pressure on the extraction site.
Two Kinds of Tooth Extraction
Generally, the goal of a tooth extraction is to separate the tooth from the alveolus or the tooth socket, including the roots. This is only possible through the breaking of the periodontal ligaments which are the tiny fibers connecting the roots to the alveolus.
Depending on the case, severing the connection between the roots and the alveolus may be done nonsurgically and surgically. Under both methods, the procedure always ends with the suturing of the extraction site to prevent any unwanted infection.
- Simple (nonsurgical)
Simple or nonsurgical tooth extraction can only be utilized in removing single-rooted teeth. This includes the incisors, first premolars, deciduous canines, and mandibular third molars.
In a simple extraction, the periodontal ligament will be stretched using a dental elevator after incising the gingival attachments. A gentle twist and hold technique is utilized in maneuvering the dental elevator.
Surgical extraction is resorted to in cases involving multi-rooted teeth. This is applicable in removing canines and certain large incisors and also in retrieving root tips.
This method is also preferred when dealing with normal healthy teeth, excess, and abnormal teeth.
First, a surgical flap is created in order to reach the alveolar bone. Then, high-speed drills are used in order to expose the roots.
The surgery also requires the use of dental luxators, elevators, and extraction forceps.
Some Dental Conditions That Require Tooth Extraction
- Advanced Periodontal Disease
This is caused by the build-up of bacteria in the plaque. If left untreated, it can cause inflammation.
Over time, the inflammation would lead to bone loss, and consequently, to the loss of the supporting structures around the root of the tooth.
This is characterized by swollen and ulcerated gums, lips and tongue. Major problems may arise once the bacteria reach the bloodstream and spreads to other parts of the body.
- Abscessed tooth
It is a severe infection occurring around the root of the tooth; usually caused by broken or traumatized tooth. It may cause your dog to eat on one side of the mouth or to pull away when its head is touched.
This refers to the misalignment of the dog’s teeth. This condition would make it difficult for your dog to pick up and chew its food. This may also lead to mouth injuries, periodontal disease, soft tissue defects, and fractures.
- Persistent deciduous tooth
This occurs when baby teeth do not fall out when they are scheduled to. With this condition, two teeth occupy the same spot at the same time.
- Dead (non-vital) teeth
This is usually manifested by way of sudden discoloration of the tooth. This can lead to bone loss, severe pain, and abscess.