If your cat is experiencing severe tooth pain, a tooth extraction may be necessary. Today, our Fountain Valley vets discuss tooth extractions in cats and what you can expect.
Cat Tooth Extractions
A cat tooth extraction is when all or part of a pet's tooth is surgically removed by a veterinarian. Extractions can go as deep as the roots or might stop at removing the dental crown (the part of the tooth which is visible above the gums)
Why a Tooth Extraction Is Necessary
When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection from spreading to other teeth and surrounding tissue and avoid the pain caused by the dead tooth. Cat tooth extractions are often required for the animal to live pain-free and achieve optimal oral health.
What You Can Expect During a Tooth Extraction
Teeth all are held into our mouths by roots. In cats, some of their teeth can have as many as three roots holding an individual tooth. To properly fully extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.
During your cat's dental surgery they will be under the effects of anesthesia. Our veterinarians practice stringent surgical protocols when operating on our patients.
To check the health of your 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.
Potential Complications for a Cat Tooth Extraction
Complications from veterinary tooth extractions 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 tooth extraction.
Recovering After a Tooth Extraction
Recovery is relatively quick following the procedure. 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 significant bleeding, contact a vet immediately. Our Fountain Valley vets advise avoiding hard food while their healing from oral surgery. If your cat eats primarily hard kibble, you can soften it in water before serving or switch to wet food while they are healing.
If you are given medication such as antibiotics or painkillers, follow instructions given to you by your vet.
If your cat refuses to eat for 24 hours after surgery or is not sleeping call your vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.