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Common Dog Tooth Extraction Complications and Symptoms

Vet looking into a yorkie's mouth

Dogtooth extractions are done by giving anesthesia and some medications are prescribed medication (given by a vet) afterward. In most cases, things grow pretty well for dogs because they feel relief from the pain and discomfort of the tooth problem. However, if surgical extraction is used, there are chances of risks and complications. Read on to learn about some common dog tooth extraction complications and their symptoms.

Dog Tooth Extraction Complications

The process of tooth extraction is quite simple, but it can also be very tricky at the same time.  This is because there are some chances of a complication during this process. Some of the most common complications for dog tooth extractions are mentioned below.

Fractured Tooth Roots

Broken dog tooth with pliers laying on a white towel

The roots of your dog’s teeth can be fractured during the extraction process. It happens when applied an excessive force before elevation the tooth effectively. Anatomical variations in the structure of roots (like hooked or curved roots) can also be responsible for the fracture. In such situations, it becomes difficult to complete the tooth extraction.

Dislocation of Root Tips

This problem usually happens during a surgical tooth extraction. A root of a dog’s tooth may get displaced into the mandibular canal or nasal cavity. This kind of displacement can be evaded by eliminating alveolar bone to allow visualization of the root tip. After that carefully lift fractured tips, with slight apical force and create some space.

If the displacement has taken place, it is necessary to eliminate the tooth fragment. This elimination normally requires the removal of extra bone. It will also help in a careful assessment of is located root tip.

Identification can also become easier and quicker by using intraoperative radiographs. However, you will stay away from the mandibular neurovascular pack while removing the root tips of your canine from the mandibular canal. Having said that, root retrieving from the nasal cavity is not easy because of a lot of space. Similarly, there is potential for tooth fragment resettlement during this process.

This is a difficult procedure and can be beyond the scope of the common practitioner. Therefore, so it is recommended to consult a veterinary dentist for this treatment.

Jaw Fractures            

Vet with blue gloved hands feeling in the mouth of a yorkie while it is being held by a tech.

The most common accidental fracture during the dog tooth extraction is the mandible (or the mandibular first molar). The mandible is well connected to the tooth roots of a canine and you need careful planning for performing extractions. This is because any type of negligence can cause iatrogenic fractures. Iatrogenic jaw fractures arise from pre-existing endodontic disease or by the excessive force of the operator.

Small breeds are more vulnerable to pathogenic or iatrogenic fractures because they have a high ratio of the first molar. Also, if your dog suffers from the endodontic disease at the level of the mandibular first molar, it is more vulnerable to the mandible for fracture and it may also result in bone loss. For this reason, and if a mandibular tooth of your dog is unhealthy you must calculate the strength of mandibular symphysis.

Trauma to the Flap

Blue gloved hands holding the mouth of a black dog who is missing a tooth in the front with gum damage

During the extraction process, there are several ways in which the mucoperiosteal flap can get teared. Some of these ways include infiltration of the flap by the periosteal crane during flap preparation, tear by the high-speed bur, an irregular size of the flap, and extra force on the flap.

If the tear is extremely small, a stitch can be possible (depending on its area). Stitching is sufficient in most cases, but healing will take some time. If the tear is large, you will need to trim tissue, and redesigning the flap to guarantee a stress-free finish.


Chihuahua having oral surgery

This type of complication occurs when your dog tooth is extracted through oral surgery. Lack of a tension-free ending is the most likely cause of this complication. Some other causes of flap dehiscence are poor flap design, unsupported stitches concerning bone, and improper postoperative maintenance of the extraction spot. Hence, your veterinary dentist must create a well-designed mucoperiosteal flap and release the periosteum to perform a tension-free finish.

Oronasal Fistulas

This pre-existing complication related to the teeth of the upper jawbone tooth is severely affected by periodontal disease. It’s more common in small-breed that are dolichocranic. These fistulas can be evident in the area of a formerly extracted maxillary tooth of your canine. Even more, if the closing of the extracted tooth is not done by a mucoperiosteal flap.

These oronasal defects can be dealt with by a tension-free flap closing. For that, just debride the limitations of the defect and create a mucoperiosteal flap as a good design. After that, release the periosteum to a stress-free finish. A large or nonhealing oronasal fistula can be repaired by using the dual-layer mucoperiosteal flap or a homograft tissue.

Excessive Bleeding

Small black dog having oral surgery

Excessive bleeding is one of the most common complications of tooth extractions. This is because bleeding originates from the trauma to soft tissue f the extracted part. Although it is a natural process, bleeding can come to a serious problem if a hemorrhage takes place in the mandibular canal or nasal cavity.

In most cases, the hemorrhage can be managed by immediate pressure with a wet gauze sponge. However, if the bleeding starts from the tooth socket, closing the area with oral surgery can put extra pressure on the bleeding area and lead to clot formation. In these situations, techniques, like ligation of the torn vessel, or use of electrocautery, can be used to control this intraoperative bleeding.

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