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Root Canal vs. Extraction
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Root Canal vs. Extraction

My 2 year old, 8lb. pomeranian/ poodle mix chipped his upper molar this past weekend on a nylabone.  I took him to the vet today and they said that the pulp is exposed and it will need to be extracted or have a root canal.  He is not having any problems eating or drinking.  The vet said that I cannot wait, but need to act relatively fast in having something done about the tooth.  Extraction is significantly cheaper, but they said will be pretty tough as the tooth is healthy and he is so young with large roots.

Any thoughts on extraction vs. root canal?

Thoughts on waiting to have anything done until there is an issue?

Thanks in advance!
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462827_tn?1333172552
My experience is mostly the same as Margot's.....All Rescues, various ages, many dental problems over the years.....We have had everything from broken, chipped, rotten & falling out of their heads when they arrived, to missing to begin with.....I have had some have 11 extractions at a time......I use to be conservative with teeth, but no longer...It's not worth the risk! I have them pulled, period!

Now, like Margot said, if this is a show dog or IMO a Working Canine Officer, then a root canal would be the best option for different reasons...However, for a beloved Pet, pull the tooth....

I feel that this:   "but they said will be pretty tough as the tooth is healthy and he is so young with large roots.", is a scare tactic and it's unfair to put you in this position...This is all about money!

I (Again like Margot) Have some that need yearly dentals & some that need every 3 years & some that can go 5-6......

We like Raw Chicken necks to chew on, here.....I have had really good luck with a product call PetzLife Oral Gel.....At least go here: www.petzlife.com & read about it......I like the gel, not the spray...We do however, brush teeth here about 2-3 times a week.......

So, I too agree, you made the right decision.....One other thing: If you can afford to, please request that Pre-Anesthetic bloodwork be preformed before the extraction....Most Vets do this as standard procedure, but some do not....This really is important to do if you can.....You then will have all bases covered....Good luck to you and your little one......Come back with updates and let us know how everything went......Take care, Karla




12 Comments Post a Comment
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974371_tn?1364538460
Hard call but you do need to do something as this can cause the dog pain and get infected.  Did the vet mention a metal crown also?  Many dogs do fine with teeth missing.  Your budget may factor into your decision as the root canal and possible crown would be much more expensive.  Yes, the extraction would be harder on a healthy tooth with healthy roots.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the response.  Looks like the root canal would be on the upwards of $1,000 which is not going to be an option for my husband and I.  

Anyone know or have experience with the long term effects of tartar build up on a dog after tooth extraction?
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462827_tn?1333172552
Unfortunately, I have too much experience!  You need to have it extracted, the root canal is ridiculous! The long term effect of tarter buildup is death!!!!

When they pull the tooth, they should clean the rest of the teeth...That is common practice.....This is considered a doggie dental w/extraction......

Long term tarter without periodic cleanings leads to dental disease...Not only is it painful, the rest of the teeth start falling out as the gums recede....Once the untreated Bacteria  from the Dental  Disease enters the blood stream, it starts damaging the organs (Particularly the Heart).....Ends up damaging the heart valves which leads to Congestive Heart Failure....Heart Failure leads to death....

85% Of All dogs have some sort of Dental Disease by the age of 3 years old......Toy breeds are the worse.......I'm getting bad vibes about your Vet!  He should have explained all of this.......Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you Misfits for the response and helpful information!  I was getting the same vibe from my vet and went to another highly recommended Dr. in the area for a second opinion.  He said to consider putting a cement sealant over the tooth, however when I discussed this with the dental specialist that wanted to do a root canal, she said absolutely not.  If doing this when pulp is exposed (which there is) we would be just covering bacteria and my dog would still feel pain.  Any thoughts on this?  I am now thoroughly confused...

As far as tarter buildup when extracting, does cleaning once a year take care of this?
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974371_tn?1364538460
Karla probably has more experience with this than I do.  Most of my experience is with my own dogs, fosters and show dog community.  I do know people that have gone to a lot of expense having dental work on their dogs, amazing what people will do on their show dogs.  I do know some of these procedures have worked and some only temporarily.  I have had many dogs who have had tooth extractions and do just fine.  Some of the Greyhounds that come off the tracks have major dental problems and often need a number of teeth extracted.  Some breeds are more prone to plaque build up than others.  Most of my own dogs get yearly cleanings and some didn't need them that often.  Giving a dog a Ntlebone, raw beef bones, raw turkey necks can all help keep the tartar build up down.  I think each dog needs to be evaluated regarding their dental health.  You can also do daily brushings yourself with toothpaste made for " dogs".  Even rubbing the gums with a damp terry cloth will help the gums.
You have to make the decision but, if it were me, I would have it pulled and soon.
Hard decisions, I know
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you!  All of the information and personal experience is very helpful.  We will be making an appointment to have the tooth extracted.
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974371_tn?1364538460
Waiting to see if Karla chimes in but I agree with your decision.
Thanks for keeping us posted
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462827_tn?1333172552
My experience is mostly the same as Margot's.....All Rescues, various ages, many dental problems over the years.....We have had everything from broken, chipped, rotten & falling out of their heads when they arrived, to missing to begin with.....I have had some have 11 extractions at a time......I use to be conservative with teeth, but no longer...It's not worth the risk! I have them pulled, period!

Now, like Margot said, if this is a show dog or IMO a Working Canine Officer, then a root canal would be the best option for different reasons...However, for a beloved Pet, pull the tooth....

I feel that this:   "but they said will be pretty tough as the tooth is healthy and he is so young with large roots.", is a scare tactic and it's unfair to put you in this position...This is all about money!

I (Again like Margot) Have some that need yearly dentals & some that need every 3 years & some that can go 5-6......

We like Raw Chicken necks to chew on, here.....I have had really good luck with a product call PetzLife Oral Gel.....At least go here: www.petzlife.com & read about it......I like the gel, not the spray...We do however, brush teeth here about 2-3 times a week.......

So, I too agree, you made the right decision.....One other thing: If you can afford to, please request that Pre-Anesthetic bloodwork be preformed before the extraction....Most Vets do this as standard procedure, but some do not....This really is important to do if you can.....You then will have all bases covered....Good luck to you and your little one......Come back with updates and let us know how everything went......Take care, Karla




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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for all the very helpful information; you both have answered a lot of my questions.  We will definitely be doing the pre-anesthetic blood work and I will look into the oral gel mentioned.  Making the appointment for my pup today!
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4388276_tn?1353850779
I have been searching for help in making the decision for my pitty that I rescued 3 years ago. She is now approximately 5 yrs. She has a possible cracked upper 4th molar. She has had two abcesses within the past 2 months. She is now on her second round of antibiotics.I was presented with a bill of 600 including bloodwork, cleaning, etc.My vet says that they make the bloodwork optional for dogs under 7. I had planned to opt out of the bloodwork, since she is 5, and I want to opt out of the cleaning because her teeth look pretty clean to me. My vet has agreed that it would be fine. I got the estimate down to 300. After reading your post I'm having second thoughts. I have 4 dogs and 1 cat and just spent 2000 on my lab for a spleen removal due to internal bleeding. I love my babies and want the best for them, but at the same time I'm not rich. I trust my vet because before taking my lab to him, I tried cutting cost and went to another cheaper vet and she told me she had liver cancer and would be dead in a few days. Thank God I got a second opion. I would appreciate your advice on this tooth thing. Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was wondering what you did about your dog's tooth...I have the same problem and don't know whether to pull or fix it???
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Avatar_f_tn
I personally would not have a root canal done on one of my dogs, because my dogs have done fine with extractions when necessary.  If one of my dogs broke a tooth, I would have it extracted.  I would not "wait and see," and I would not do fancy-schmancy veterinary dentistry.  A tooth with exposed pulp is a slow-motion disaster.  You are only waiting for something bad to happen.  Same with abcesses.  Get it out.  
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