What to Do if You See a Broken Pet Tooth

A broken dog tooth

A broken dog tooth, note the dark stained area at the front of the tooth.

type of broken dog tooth

A slab fracture of the upper carnassial, a particular type of broken dog tooth. Note the exposed root canal.

Broken dog teeth (and cat teeth) should be assessed by your vet as soon as they are noticed. If the fracture is fairly small and does not expose the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth) there is a reasonable chance the tooth will survive. However, such teeth should be monitored closely as infection through the exposed dentine, or inflammation resulting from the injury may still cause the tooth to die in the following weeks. Sealing the exposed dentine can help protect the tooth
from infection, this is a quick procedure and is done under anaesthesia.

Teeth with exposed pulp will become infected and die if left untreated. In some cases, particularly in young animals with a very recent fracture, the tooth can be saved by a procedure called vital pulpotomy. However, in most cases root canal therapy or extraction are the best options. Doing nothing (‘wait and see’) is not a fair option for the animal as chronic
infection of the tooth and jaw will invariably occur.

Please comment on your cat or dog with a broken tooth below – we love to hear from people.

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