A dog’s broken tooth can be fixed by three procedures: Root canal therapy, Vital pulpotomy, and Extraction. If you see a pulp exposed, then a fractured canine tooth can only be treated by Root canal therapy and Extraction. If the pulp is not exposed, then your dog’s teeth can be treated without performing Root canal surgery.

Is A Broken Dog Tooth An Emergency?

Yes, if your dog has a broken tooth in half, then it is an urgent matter that has to be addressed right away. Delaying to repair a cracked tooth, even if it is not major can lead to further tooth damage and inflammation. If not treated immediately, a broken k9 tooth can become infected, which might lead to additional health problems.

What Does A Broken Dog Tooth Look Like?

Sometimes the enamel and dentin of the cracked tooth at the gum line may chip, and its nerve may get exposed. [1]1

There are five types of tooth fractures in dogs:

  • Enamel fracture: A fracture of the crown whose material gets lost and is limited to its enamel.
  • Uncomplicated crown fracture: A crown fracture that will not expose the pulp.
  • Complicated crown fracture: A crown fracture that will not expose the pulp.
  • Uncomplicated crown-root fracture: A crown and root fracture that will not expose the pulp.
  • Complicated crown-root fracture: A crown and root fracture that will expose the pulp.
  • Root fracture: A fracture that damages the tooth’s root.

Did you Know?

Enamel is a hard cemented coating of teeth.

What To Do If A Dog Chips Tooth?

You should not worry if your dog chipped her tooth, but you should get dental treatment immediately to avoid any more difficulties or problems with your canine’s tooth or general oral health.

External trauma such as being struck by a vehicle or an item or biting on hard things such as bones, or antlers, or non-flexible chew toys are typical reasons for fractured teeth in dogs. The canine (fang) teeth and the top long sharp cheek teeth at the rear of the jaw are the most commonly chipped canine tooth. [2]2

Is A Broken Tooth In Dogs A Problem?

Yes, broken tooth in dogs is a big problem. When a dog’s tooth enamel is fractured leaving the nerve revealed, then the affected tooth gets sensitive to cold, pressure, and heat. However, if the pulp (nerve) gets exposed, then the situation becomes much worse. The tooth’s interior gets clogged with infected material, which finally flows into the jaw through the holes in the root’s tip.

Since the infected germs have a safe concealed spot within the root canal, their body’s immune system, despite having antibiotic therapy, is not able to eliminate the infection. Bacteria escaping the tooth’s tip can grow over time, creating local dental discomfort and infection in several areas of the body whenever your dog chews. [3]3

Note: Dentin is a bony tissue underneath the enamel.

Dog’s Cracked Tooth Symptoms:

  • Chewing food on one side
  • Dropping stuff from the mouth while eating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Swelling of the face
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Shying away from petting
  • Refusing to bite on hard food
  • Refusing to bite on hard toys or treats
  • Anorexia
  • Bloody saliva
  • Pain

Main Categories of Tooth Fractures in Dogs

  1. Uncomplicated tooth fracture
  2. Complicated tooth fracture

1. Uncomplicated Tooth Fracture

An uncomplicated tooth fracture is a breakage or chip in the enamel that uncovers the dentin beneath but can not touch the nerve. Uncomplicated fractures can be quickly repaired by closing the fractured area if discovered early. First, your veterinarian will perform an oral examination to rule out any signs of dentin infection caused by bacteria.

Periodontal radiographs and a complete dental check-up under anesthesia are required to evaluate such crown fractures. [4]4

The first step in the treatment of an uncomplicated crown fracture includes making the fracture area smooth to get rid of a roughened surface that has more plaque. The uncovered dentin is then sealed with the help of bonding material and a little etchant. It will prevent infection and reduce pain caused by the fracture.

A tooth having an uncomplicated fracture that is not repaired might get infected over time. Bacterial infection on the outer side of the dentin can travel to the nerve canal via tiny dentin tubules and produce a permanent nerve infection. [5]5

Once the dentin has become permanently infected, the smoothing/sealing process explained above is no more a suitable treatment option. Only surgical extraction or root canal treatment can effectively cure a tooth with a permanent nerve infection. Any discomfort connected with the fracture should probably fade when this therapy is completed. [6]6 [7]7

2. Complicated Tooth Fracture

A complicated tooth fracture can spread to the nerve of the tooth and is often infected. A less painful treatment known as vital pulp therapy can possibly be performed if the fracture is discovered and repaired during the first 48 hours. This technique involves removing the diseased pulp, placing a cement solution over it, then cleaning and filling the surrounding cavity with the help of bonding material and composite repair material.

Fractured teeth having an infected nerve need either a root canal, which might preserve the tooth, or a total extraction if vital pulp treatment is no longer effective. This procedure permits the tooth to stay healthy and grow, which is very useful in puppies.

Although root canal surgery can be executed on any tooth in your pet’s mouth, but they are most commonly performed on a tooth that is essential. These teeth could be canines, upper 4th premolars (upper carnassial teeth), a lower front tooth (lower carnassial tooth), and upper 3rd incisors. [8]8 [9]9

Of course, every tooth is vital, but strategic teeth are always the most significant in terms of functionality. It is essential to save the tooth denture if possible. Root canal treatment will leave your dog’s tooth with no pain unlike tooth extraction, and it also has a high chance of success. Extracting these teeth is probably not a bad idea, but once a tooth is removed, it is gone for good.

After careful analysis and assessment, your vet will select the right treatment choice for your pet.

Did you Know?

A complicated tooth fracture is performed during the first 48 to 72 hours.

Treatments For Dog’s Broken Teeth

  1. Root Canal Therapy
  2. Vital Pulpotomy
  3. Extraction

1. Root Canal Therapy

The infected tissue within the tooth is removed during root canal treatment. An X-ray of the tooth is used to assess the surrounding structure and ensure that its root is healthy. To avoid further bacterial infection and save the tooth, all the types of equipment that are being used for filling the root canal are cleaned and sterilized. The long-term outcomes of root canal therapy are usually excellent.

During this treatment, the tooth’s blood and pulp supply are removed and replaced with gutta-percha, which is an inactive substance. To keep germs out of the nerve chamber, a sealant is applied over the front hole. Root canals have a great 95% success rate, and in the majority of cases, your dog’s tooth will not have any more issues.

Besides the root canal treatment, crown preparation and insertion might also be considered. Based on the lost area of the crown and your pet’s activities, a metal or tooth-colored crown might be installed after root canal treatment. It does involve a second anesthesia procedure and an extra expense once the crown is produced at another lab (approximately three weeks later). If your dog is in a position to break the same tooth later, this is a wise idea to consider. [10]10

Note: Root canal treatment is more effective than vital pulp therapy.

2. Vital Pulpotomy

In dogs under 18 months of age, vital pulp treatment can be conducted on a freshly broken front tooth. The tooth is kept alive with this therapy. A layer of the pulp is scraped in vital pulp treatment to eliminate surface germs and irritated tissue. To help in further recovery, a medicinal dressing is applied to the freshly exposed pulp. Over the dressing, a protective layer of dental compound is applied.

Teeth that have had vital pulp therapy might need root canal treatment in the future. Pups that are below 18 months of age cannot get a root canal treatment as their teeth are still growing and not completely developed. A vital pulpotomy, on the other hand, helps to maintain the functionality of the damaged tooth and permits it to grow properly and mature, making it stronger. [11]11

It’s important to get follow-up radiographs to check that your pet’s tooth is functioning normally. A vital pulpotomy has a success rate of 75%, which is somewhat less than a root canal. Most dogs, however, maintain a healthy and working tooth with regular visits to the oral department and primary healthcare veterinarians.

3. Extraction

The alternative option is to extract damaged teeth; however, most vets prefer to avoid extracting broken teeth rather than healthy teeth. The removal of the eating teeth of a large breed requires dental surgery, similar to the removal of affected wisdom teeth in humans.

For a dog’s fractured tooth having nerve exposure, extracting the tooth is the last choice. Doctors remove broken teeth if radiographs indicate evidence that a root canal treatment might not be effective, like tooth erosion or a damaged root.

It’s a lot quicker than a root canal treatment or a vital pulpotomy; however, it still involves removing the whole tooth. Follow-up radiographs are not necessary after a successful tooth extraction, but it is important to schedule regular dental examinations to maintain your dog’s teeth and mouth healthy.

If the vet lacks the necessary equipment, instruments, training, expertise, and willingness in delivering advanced dental service, tooth extraction is the only choice. There are instances when the extraction is the greatest therapeutic choice, but there are other situations when extraction exposes the dog to additional complications. The risks linked with tooth extraction are additional damaged teeth, cracked jaws, severe tooth bleeding, and inflammation. A tooth fragment may be trapped in the alveolus or remain in a sinus or other important tissue if an extraction technique fails. The advantage of extraction is that the issue can be solved quickly. [12]12

Did you Know?

Extracting a dog’s broken tooth is the fastest treatment.

What Is The Dog’s Broken Tooth Treatment Cost?

Dental fractures can vary in price based on the breed, type of fracture, and treatment is chosen.

If a big tooth is removed by a general practitioner, a complicated fracture that needs extraction might cost a dog owner between $500 to $1,000.

Root canal treatment in dogs is about the same price as they are in people. It’s normal to pay anything from $1,500 to $3,000 or more. A larger dog’s canine tooth, specifically, may be quite costly. A root canal treatment on anyone’s tooth might cost up to $6,000 based on geographical area.

Complications Of A Fractured Canine Tooth

If a damaged tooth is kept untreated, then complicated tooth fractures could result in a variety of issues. Infections or abscesses can result from dog tooth fractures exposing the pulp cavity, which allows germs from the mouth to enter the pulp canal. This can further cause infections surrounding the tooth root (periapical tooth infections), loss of bone, the formation of an improper connection in between the oral cavity and nasal cavity (oronasal fistula), chronic sinus infections, or jaw fractures if the bottom teeth are affected.

If you suspect your dog has a fractured, chipped, or infected tooth, schedule an appointment with your vet as early as possible. You should also carry your dog in for routine check-ups as well. During a regular checkup, several dental issues might be discovered. Brushing your dog’s teeth and examining their mouth on a daily basis is a good practice to start if you want to detect issues early. Of course, keep an eye on what your dog is biting on and keep hard items away from their teeth. [13]13

Conclusion

It can be a painful experience for both the dog and its owner if your dog has cracked tooth. Therefore, seeking immediate medical treatment, in the beginning, might save your dog’s teeth and cost you less. Aftercare treatment at home is equally important for your dog’s speeding recovery. You must consider feeding your dog soft food for at least two weeks until its mouth completely heals.

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