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Help! Should a fractured upper right canine tooth be removed?

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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Doppel- Newman

I may be an old- tomcat but I'm a- New Man
 
 
Purred: Mon Sep 26, '11 4:56pm PST 
I am very catfused. I fractured my upper right canine tooth during my life on the streets. I have one vet telling me that the root is exposed and that I should have the tooth removed soon. Another vet says the canines should never be removed unless the canines are black or there is pulp. This other vet says that removal of the canine is very traumatic and the canine is very close to the sinuses.

What to do? The best I can think is to get a third vet's opinion.

Lots of kitties in my new family have had teeth removed, and this is the first we have heard of a vet opposing the removal of a tooth. Has anyone else on here had an upper canine tooth removed?

Thank you much for your input!
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Blackberry

Somewhere there- is love for- everyone
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 27, '11 3:57am PST 
Hi there! I too am a man-cat recently off the street! One of the vets at our practice says that both my canine teeth are cracked, one very badly and that they have to come out, but mom isn't quite sure because I certainly have no problems with eating, even rmb's (we're raw fed mostly), and don't seem to be in any pain. But, mom has never had a cat whose teeth have had to come out, so she's not really sure about this.

So, I'm going to join you in asking, when is it really necessary to have a canine tooth out? Cats don't really use them for eating, so does it matter? Mom says I have to have surgery for an ear thing anyway, that's when the vets would remove the tooth/teeth.

Thanks, and sorry Doppel-Newman that I'm only re-asking your question and not answering it!!

Purrs,
Blackberry
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Doppel- Newman

I may be an old- tomcat but I'm a- New Man
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 27, '11 9:11am PST 
Here is what I do know. Canines have very long roots which reach up close to the sinus cavity. So I guess pulling a canine is riskier than other teeth. But I guess that also means leaving an infected canine in could be riskier too.

Another cat in our family had a canine removed with no issue. Nor had the vet expressed any concern about removing the canine. That vet has been practicing for 35 years and owns a feline-only vet clinic, so we had no reason to question his opinion.

My moms decided to go ahead and have the canine removed. They looked at it last night, and it really did not look pretty. It is obviously becoming discolored and dark. They decided they would rather have it done now while I have no other health problems that sometime down the road when I am older and putting me under anethesia is riskier.
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LOLA ~ Our- Good Girl,- forever

I came, I- purred, I- conquered...
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 27, '11 9:55am PST 
I think your moms made a wise decision to get it taken care of, Doppel Newman. You're right about the upper canines being more difficult to remove than other teeth, too. Here's a link to another thread that talks about the difficulty of removing them (be sure to read Rusty's post):

Severe Periodontal Disease

That won't answer your questions, Blackberry, but it does give some information about what to ask IF you are considering having an upper canine removed.

Also, type "broken fang" or "broken tooth" into the "quick search" box near the top of the Forums page (below the button bars), then click on GO. It will lead you to some other threads to read, and maybe someone else will come along with more information here, too.

Best of luck to both of you, Doppel Newman and Blackberry. big hug
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Memphis

World Domination- Is Easier With- Thumbs
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 27, '11 2:35pm PST 
Meowmy used to work in a dentist/root canal office. You should definitely get it taken care of. If the root really is exposed, then Doppel may be in pain when he eats (or even constantly). While that area can be painful to recover from, the last thing you want is for decay to set in -- that's bacteria at work. Meowmy has seen people with their faces poofed out due to infection caused by oral bacteria. For kitties, it can get worse even quicker!

Find a good surgeon and have the tooth removed as soon as possible. If Doppel was human, they wouldn't hesitate to remove it.

Edit: MOL, glad you took care of it so quick! I will say for the other kitties that even though the cat doesn't use that tooth, the fact that it can get infected is good reason to remove it. My fursib Tenny, if she was an only cat, would still have had to get her bad eye out as she got older, because it would still decay and possibly get reinfected.

Edited by author Tue Sep 27, '11 2:37pm PST

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Doppel- Newman

I may be an old- tomcat but I'm a- New Man
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 27, '11 3:42pm PST 
I think the risk of breaking the jaw and the fact that canines are close to the sinus cavity is the main reason vets do not like to remove the canines. I believe the risk of a cracked jaw is greater with the lower canines.
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Memphis

World Domination- Is Easier With- Thumbs
 
 
Purred: Thu Sep 29, '11 10:55pm PST 
I know that, in humans, the lower jaw teeth can set off the nerves in the lower jaw when they are pulled. This results in numbness across the entire lower jaw, and can sometimes spread to all over the face; this is due to a major nerve right under there. It's normally temporary, but it does feel weird -- I suppose for a cat, who doesn't understand nerves, it'd be scary. Still, if a tooth is decaying, it means it's contaminated with bacteria; the last thing you want is a raging infection.
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Rusty

let no food bowl- be empty
 
 
Purred: Fri Sep 30, '11 12:51pm PST 
It is the risk of a mistake and an instrument going into the nasal cavity or even out one of the eyes, for the upper. For the lower canine teethe it is the risk of fracturing the jaw.

You really need a vet that knows what they are doing when it comes to removing these teethe. Make sure a tech isn't the one doing it. Yes they legally can remove these teethe.

Also of course there is always risk of nerve damage. Get a veterinary dentist if you can afford it or a really good vet that has extensive experience with cats and dentistry.

Make sure they go home with pain medication and that it is the only thing they are going to do that visit, other than other dental work.
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Miss Puff

carma works,- wish I never- chaced Meow
 
 
Purred: Fri Sep 30, '11 7:42pm PST 
IMHO, I would do what your feline vet recommends for sure. Our 16 year Pug had a tooth pulled and his sines are now draining a bit, but is better than having an infected tooth. He just gets Benadryl when it gets to bad.
Best of luck. It can be a tough thing to do. Please keep us all up dated as to how things go!
~HUGS~ big hug hug
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Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Fri Sep 30, '11 11:36pm PST 
I had no teeth and chronic sinus problems when mum adopted me and it turned out that I had an infected canine root that was feeding infection into my sinuses and when it was removed my sinus infections went away.

Whether to extract or not depends on where the crack/damage is on a canine tooth but if you or your vet are unsure there are veterinary dental specialists that you can consult with. When I had my dental xrays and surgery to remove the infected canine root they discovered I had a full set of roots where my teeth had fallen out but there was too many for the surgeon to do anything so they left them all. Mum took me and the xrays to the dental specialist afterwards and she confirmed that everything looked OK and I didn't need more surgery. The roots weren't infected and were just being absorbed back into my jawbones.

If you look on my page there is a picture of the xrays and you can see all the roots.
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