Fractured or broken teeth in dogs can be a common occurrence. Most often they happen from chewing on hard objects like bones or unsafe chew toys. Whether it’s a small chip or a more severe fracture, your dog is likely in pain. Unfortunately, dogs are very good at hiding their pain as a survival mechanism. This may make the detection of a chipped or broken tooth more difficult for you. The staff at East Valley Animal Hospital want to help you catch a broken tooth before it causes other issues. Here’s what to look for and how to identify different types of broken teeth.
So is A Broken Dog Tooth an Emergency?
Simply put, yes. If your dog has broken a tooth, it should be treated as an emergency. Waiting to treat a fracture, even a minor one, can result in more damage to the tooth and infection. If left untreated, infected broken teeth can cause other systemic issues in the body. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your dog has a broken tooth. If you notice your dog whining when they eat or chew, pulling away if you touch their muzzle, or swelling in or around their mouth, they could have a broken tooth.
Categories of Tooth Fractures in Dogs
There are two main types of fractures that your dog might have when they break a tooth: uncomplicated fractures and complicated fractures. Depending on the severity of the fracture, there are several treatment options to consider. At East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, we treat both complicated and uncomplicated tooth fractures.
- Uncomplicated Crown Fractures
An uncomplicated tooth fracture is defined as a crack or chip in the enamel, which exposes the dentin underneath but does not reach the pulp. When caught early, these types of fractures are easily treated by sealing it. First, your vet will do an oral examination and ensure that there is no evidence of bacterial infection of the pulp. Then, they will smooth down the fracture site and apply a bonding agent. This will seal the exposed dentin. Once this treatment is performed, any pain associated with the fracture should begin to subside.
2. Complicated Crown Fractures
A complicated tooth fracture is one that reaches the pulp of the tooth and always has some degree of infection. If the fracture is caught and treated within the first 48 hours, a less invasive procedure called vital pulp therapy can sometimes be used. With this procedure, the infected pulp is removed, a cement compound is placed over the pulp. Then the remaining cavity is cleaned and filled with a bonding agent and composite restorative material.
When vital pulp therapy is not an option, broken teeth with infected pulp require either a root canal or a complete extraction. Which treatment is best for your dog will depend on the type of fracture, how long the tooth has been fractured, and where the fracture is.
Pet Dental Care in Gilbert Arizona
Dog dental care is large a part of our practice and we pride ourselves in specializing in it. The team at East Valley Animal Hospital has worked closely with the Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists to ensure we are providing the most innovative and safe treatments available in pet dental care. If your dog has broken a tooth, please treat it as an emergency and bring them in for an exam and treatment as soon as possible. If you have other concerns about your dog’s teeth, we would love to meet your pup and prevent a future emergency. To schedule an appointment, call 480-568-2462, or contact us online.
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash