Treatments and Procedures

Anesthesia | Periodontal Disease | Extractions
Endodontics | Orthodontics | Neoplasia
Trauma | Dysphagia | The Feline Oral Cavity

Extractions are a necessary part of dental care. Hopeless teeth must be removed to establish a healthy mouth. Just because a tooth feels "firm" in the socket does not mean that the tooth is healthy. Dental x-rays reveal which teeth are healthy and which teeth are diseased. This must be done prior to extraction to reveal any underlying disease that has not been discovered. Extractions WILL NOT result in broken jaws if the extractions are done properly. Veterinarians with proper instrumentation and dental x-rays will know the best plan of attack to assure a successful outcome. If the veterinarian is hesitant to extract a tooth because of lack of experience or instrumentation, veterinary oral surgeons are available to perform the procedure successfully.

The principles of extraction include:
  • The top 1/3 of the alveolar bone surrounding the tooth has 2/3 of the holding power
  • Periodontal fibers are not designed to withstand slow continuous torque
  • Multirooted teeth are transformed into single rooted teeth
  • Preservation of gingiva
  • Complete extraction of root confirmed by x-ray
  • Closure of alveolus
The technique includes non-surgical and surgical extractions. Non-surgical extractions are those accomplished with simple elevation and traction. These are usually Stage 5 and 6 periodontally involved teeth. Instrumentation is limited to simple extraction forceps, fingers, or needle holders.

Surgical extraction requires:
  • Flap creation
  • Removal of crestal bone (osteoplasty)
  • Isolation of roots (sectioning)
  • Elevation of roots
  • X-ray
  • Alveoloplasty (if needed)
  • Closure
The skill required is precision burring with high speed dental equipment. Once the veterinary dentist gains the skills, extractions become quick and minimally painful for the animal. If pain is anticipated, regional blocks are used such as maxillary and mandibular nerve blocks. In addition butorphenol at 1 mg/ 10 lbs bid to tid for 2 to 3 days is effective to maintain a happy animal. The author has experienced far more success in healing mouths with proper extractions than heroic measures including guided tissue regeneration with osseous induction and periodontal regeneration.

Sectioning upper fourth premolar Closed (sutured) extraction site
Sectioning Upper Fourth Premolar Closed (sutured) Extraction Site

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