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Discussion Starter #1
Rocket has 2 slab fractures on his teeth. One tooth is the upper 4th pre molar the other tooth is the M1 directly below the upper tooth. I was quoted $3000 for root canal and $800. What should I do? I really do not want to spend $3000 on my dogs teeth but if I extract these teeth will he miss them? Will my dog use his other teeth on that side if those really big teeth are missing? Has anybody had any experience with this?
 

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I don't have any personal experience on that, but it sounds strange that a tooth would have to be removed just because it's broken. Does it hurt him at all, or is he happy with it even though it's broken?

How old is yor boy?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well he broke them yesterday. He has been in minor pain as it looks. He is only 9 months old.
 

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This is why I constantly say people need to have dedicated savings starting at $3,000 for the dog's emergencies before they go buy a dog. Emergencies happen.

The biggest problem for me is you don't have real trust in your vet. Our vet explains the options and potential problems that could result from different courses of action. what did your vet say would happen if the work they recommend wasn't done? What did they say were the pros and cons of extracting both teeth? If your vet didn't offer the info, you should be asking these questions.

Slab fractures can often be treated with a sealant instead of needing a full root canal, which may not work and results in a dead tooth anyway. I'd ask your vet why this isn't an option for your dog and call some other well recommended vets to see if a sealant is something they would/could do for slab fractures. Cover the exposed nerve endings and you preserve a live tooth without pain.

You have to move quickly on this because your dog is in pain and infections can easily form in the exposed parts of the broken tooth.

Your dog may seem to be in a little pain but dogs will hide a lot of pain before they let it show. Think of the pain a person needing a root canal on one tooth is often in and you have an idea of the pain your dog is in...times 2.

Amen to USMCDoberman on eliminating anything that could cause this to happen again with your dog asap too.
 

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joie de vivre
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I just had a similar experience, though thankfully Tali only chipped her tooth and, upon exam, it was deemed to be a shallow chip and okay as is for now. It was hard to know for sure how bad it was until the vet could look at it because she chipped the interior part of a carnassial. Really hard to get a look at it on the inside and so far back without extra lighting and an extra set of hands to help keep her tongue out of the way.

What I've learned is that if you do want to opt for a root canal to save the tooth you have limited time to decide to do so because that root is dying as we speak and your pup is at risk of infection by having the pulp exposed.

I guess it's really a personal judgement call as to what to do. Personally, I would opt to save the teeth if at all possible. He's young. Ideally, he has many years left during which having those big teeth would be of great benefit to him. If he were 10, I'd probably opt to have one/both/whatever is needed extracted.

Whatever you do...don't leave him in pain. I don't know about you but I've experienced dental pain from complications and accidents and it can be about as intolerable as any pain I've ever experienced (and I've had broken bones, a 3rd degree sprain that put me in a cast, and a concussion). Please don't leave him as is to try to tolerate the pain as that tooth dies. Make a decision and follow through with the treatment. The sooner the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replays. I am leaning towards extraction. What happened was she had a deer antler at a friends house. I have one more question for those who have had an extraction done what does the site look like all healed up? Any more input is greatly appreciated.
 

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I would opt for having the two teeth pulled. You don't say how deep the breaks are, but the teeth are broken. It is only time before both teeth will become infected and if neglected, will abscess. Abscess teeth can erupt out of the side of a dog's face, usually under the eye for the uppers. The lower teeth can infect the jaw bone and/or become a systemic infection. You sound like a concerned pet owner, so I am only pointing out things I have seen with poor dogs that did not get medical care. I can not imagine the pain.
And, to add, we have seen so many dogs with broken teeth with those darn antlers that have to be referred to specialists. 'Just when we were getting over "greenies" and obstructions.

PS: the site is open, stay away from dry grainy foods, feed wet for a short term.
 

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Dogs and cats can do just fine having teeth (even big teeth like carnasals and molars) removed. Many of the small dog breeds have terrible teeth (and some of the herding breeds do as well) and we have many clients whose dogs teeth were in such horrid shape when the "got around" to having them checked that the only treatment was to do full mouth extractions (happens a lot with cats too).

Dogs don't really chew their food--even on raw diets what their jaw/tooth structure for is for to rip meat off bone (or find dead and decaying food) and gulp it down. Ditto for cats. One of our clinic cats who had a full mouth extraction before we acquired him chews up TD (a dental kibble designed to scrape tarter off teeth) as if he still had teeth. It's too big to gulp down whole.

And as far as what it looks like? It's just a hole in the arcade and pink gum showing instead of tooth once it's healed.
 

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I've had several dogs that needed extractions of that same tooth... go for it. He'll be fine. :nicejob:

And also.... my vet says the #1 reason she sees serious carnassial fractures are because of ANTLERS. I'm convinced that every time someone buys an antler for their dog that they put $400 away for the inevitable dental surgery their dog will need. Antlers were the cause of my dogs' carnassial fractures.
 

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Can't imagine why you'd jump for extraction of 2 teeth without even finding out how much a sealant to preserve the teeth would cost in such a young dog. In some cases it can be less than the cost of the extraction leaving live teeth and no pain and swelling from the extractions.

if you jump right to extraction, your dog will have open gum above and below in the same spot. It will hurt every time he chews something sharp that falls into the gap. The teeth on both sides of the extracted teeth are left without the support of the extracted teeth as well.

This is something you should be getting info about from experienced qualified vets that you trust. Vet care has moved far beyond yank it out or wait till it falls off on its own.
 

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I've had several dogs that needed extractions of that same tooth... go for it. He'll be fine. :nicejob:

And also.... my vet says the #1 reason she sees serious carnassial fractures are because of ANTLERS. I'm convinced that every time someone buys an antler for their dog that they put $400 away for the inevitable dental surgery their dog will need. Antlers were the cause of my dogs' carnassial fractures.
I have to agree with the antlers. I have been to 2 different veterinary dental conferences in the last few months and all 3 dental specialists said the same thing.

The upper 4th premolars are one of the most common teeth to see fractures in. In fact, I extracted one on a dog today (because of slab fracture).

Radiographs (X-rays) are also very important for assessing the extent of dental disease. Teeth can look perfectly normal on the outside and disease under the gum line/at the root tips.

I have many clients tell me after extraction that they can tell the pet feels so much better -- that they didn't realize how much the diseased or fractured teeth were bothering the pet.

To the OP - good luck in whatever you decide.

More info on fractured teeth:
http://www.dentalvet.com/patients/endodontics/endodontics.htm
 

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Griff had a slab fracture on one of his molars. He did it 3 months after I adopted him in 2008. The big one in the back, of course, with three roots. It cost a little over $700 to extract the tooth (this was 6 years ago). He hasn't had any issues with missing a molar.

If not pulled or treated, slab fractures will abscess and cause an infection that could transfer into the bones. That can sometimes be fatal, and abscesses are extremely painful. I would go with your vet's advice. A dog can function just fine with a missing tooth, but an abscess and bone infection or systemic infection is going to be far more expensive to treat and could result in a dead dog.

Talk to your vet about sealants vs. extraction. My vet did not feel sealants were an option for Griff. He had split the molar from the bottom of the tooth all the way up underneath the gumline. That sucker was fractured... this dog doesn't do anything halfway. He was 3 years old when he did it and had the tooth pulled, and he is 9 now. The vet should evaluate the dog and the fracture (how severe it is) and give you treatment options. Do get a second opinion if what your first vet said doesn't sit right with you.

Do get your dog some painkillers from the vet if you go with the extraction. Griff had to be on soft food for a while, so I made him a mash of boiled chicken, rice, sweet potato, and kibble that had been thoroughly softened with water.
 

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Can't imagine why you'd jump for extraction of 2 teeth without even finding out how much a sealant to preserve the teeth would cost in such a young dog. In some cases it can be less than the cost of the extraction leaving live teeth and no pain and swelling from the extractions.

if you jump right to extraction, your dog will have open gum above and below in the same spot. It will hurt every time he chews something sharp that falls into the gap. The teeth on both sides of the extracted teeth are left without the support of the extracted teeth as well.

This is something you should be getting info about from experienced qualified vets that you trust. Vet care has moved far beyond yank it out or wait till it falls off on its own.
First, the teeth in question can only be fully assessed by taking radiographs under general anesthesia. Only then can truly appropriate therapy be determined.

Second, teeth are not supported by the surrounding teeth. They are supported via their attachment to the bone of the jaw (ligaments).

I'm not sure what you mean by "sealant". If you are referring to a vital pulpotomy it has very limited application.
AVDS - Vital Pulpotomy Information Page - Veterinary Dentistry

If there is pulp exposure, the tooth either needs endodontic therapy or extraction. Also, even if a root canal is performed, the tooth still needs to be radiographed regularly and may still need to be extracted at some point.

There are many dogs with missing premolars (born without them) - in fact, I saw a dog today that was missing 3 premolars - who have no problems chewing. If something is sharp enough to cause pain to the gum, it may do so ANYWHERE in the mouth. If an extraction is done properly, once healed, there should be NO pain in that area.

I agree, veterinary dental care has seen significant advances in recent decades.
 

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I have many clients tell me after extraction that they can tell the pet feels so much better -- that they didn't realize how much the diseased or fractured teeth were bothering the pet.

To the OP - good luck in whatever you decide.

More info on fractured teeth:
Endodontics: Care for the Fractured Tooth
Thank you for your informative educational posts.

We adopted a Senior Poodle, and I noticed he was eating on one side of his mouth. He was fit; he was energetic. Something gave me "that bad feeling." I sent him to a dental specialist, outside of Chicago, for price, and my little dog had an abscessed molar and a rotten crooked little incisor. The DVM pulled both, scaled all his teeth, RX'd a pain med and prophylactic antibiotic. My Senior is doing great and getting too fat!

My Doberman can have raw bones- WITH SUPERVISION- he is a power chewer and I find giving him raw peanut butter in his Kongs gives him equal pleasure. Also, "Bionic" dog toys are very good, but they don't last forever. I found my Dobe throwing up some orange pieces and I should have trashed the toy before he annihilated it. It did last almost 6 mos..
 

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Dexter had a large molar extracted last November. We opted for extraction because while he is young (he turned three in February); he's not involved in bite sports and he also has an auto-immune disease that affects his head/chewing muscles. The worst part of the surgery was his limited ball/toy play after the surgery. We went a little longer than originally planned because it was such a large tooth. We worked together with the vet on that one and wanted to be sure that we didn't rush things and cause any damage to the extraction site.

I'd get a picture for you, but that's a lot easier said than done. It's perfectly smooth and normal looking; just looks like he's missing a tooth. Oh, we also soaked all of his meals for a few weeks to prevent his food from irritating the extraction site.

If Dexter could talk, he would probably tell you that the surgery was no problem at all but it was the limited ball play that made it the worst few weeks of his life. :)
 

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Chloe also has cracked tooth. The vet found the crack during her yearly exam. It does not bother her at all....but she is going back to the vet soon to determine her/my options. The vet said we could do a root canal (if needed) or some other course of action. It will probably be extracted if its too far gone. I had a husky have a tooth pulled and she did fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
thank you eighmie for your pic. Thanks everyone for your very informative posts. At this point I am leaning towards extraction. Has anybody's dog had any major changes after an extraction? Has anybody had any bone loss problems? Everyone who's dog has had an extraction does there extraction site looks like eighmie's? :thanx:
 
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