While routine care and prevention should always be first and foremost for your cat's oral care, circumstances may arise that require a tooth extraction. Today, our Sacramento cat dentists discuss what happens during cat dental surgery and why tooth extractions may be necessary.
What exactly is a cat dental extraction?
A cat dental extraction is when your cat dentist or veterinarian removes any teeth or sections of teeth from your cat's mouth. Extractions might cover the removal of the entire tooth and root or just of the portion of the tooth that is generally visible.
Why are oral surgery and dental extractions necessary?
Extractions are usually recommended if a tooth is dead or damaged beyond repair. Failure to remove these teeth could result in infections or further complications. Cat tooth extractions are often required for the animal to live pain-free and achieve optimal oral health.
What to expect during and after cat dental extractions
Teeth in animals are held in place by roots, in cats there can be as many as three roots per tooth. To properly fully extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.
Your veterinary team will utilize anesthesia for the duration of your pet's surgery. Our veterinarians practice stringent surgical protocols when operating on our patients.
In order to check the health of your dog or cat’s roots, the vet might have to take an x-ray or perform a CT scan. Large teeth, that is those with multiple roots, are split using a high-speed dental drill so that each fragment of the tooth has only one root attached to it. Smaller teeth that have one root can be completely removed without this extra step.
Complications from cat dental surgery
The chances of your cat experiencing complications during or after their dental surgery are rare. Those complications which do occur usually belong to a handful of categories; the remnants of removed teeth, dental cavities which have not fully healed, and damage to the jaw bone are all potential areas of complication that can arise during a cat or dog tooth extraction.
Recovery from cat dental extractions
Dental surgeries usually result in a fairly straightforward and quick recovery. You should be able to bring your pet home on the same day as the procedure. There may be trace amounts of blood in their saliva, but no significant bleeding. If there is, contact a vet immediately. Our Sacramento vets advise avoiding hard food for a while their new oral cavities heal. If your pet eats primarily hard kibble, you can soften it in water before serving; for similar reasons, it is advisable that you withhold from playing tug-of-war until your dog is fully recovered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.