Humans always feel renewed when they get their teeth cleaned or have cosmetic dental procedures done. After the pain goes away there's a brand new smile you can be proud of; it's a good feeling. Animals can have the same sense of satisfaction from dental implant surgery, except their happiness stems from having the ability to eat and chew without the pain of a bad tooth. Read on to see if your dog is a candidate for dental implants.
Which dogs are good candidates for dental implants?
If you're considering dental implants for your dog, the first thing you and your veterinarian should do is go over the risk factors involved in administering several courses of anesthesia to your pet. Depending on your dog's specific implant type, there can be one to four courses of anesthesia given to your dog before the implant and crown are fully functional and secured in the dog's mouth. If your dog is older, implant surgery may be too risky.
Another consideration is the level of gum disease in your dog's mouth. If it is mild and manageable, dental implants are possible. More advanced gum disease will lessen the chances the implant will work.
Your pooch will require aftercare, which may include administering medication, preparing a special diet, brushing and cleaning around the new implant site on a regular basis and monitoring of the implant. If you don't believe you can devote the time needed to caring for the implant, it's best not to spend the money. Without aftercare, the implant is likely to fail.
What is the basic procedure for a canine dental implant?
Your veterinary surgeon will take X-rays and make impressions of your pet's teeth. He or she will make sure that there are no out of place or wayward teeth that might cause problems with the dogs bite or with the function of the implant.
While your dog is asleep, the vet will prep the jaw and then remove the bad tooth or teeth. The bone at the extraction site will be inspected for width and strength and ability to hold the implant. The first stage of the actual implant process is screwing a titanium base into the jaw in the area where the tooth was extracted.
At this point the new implant will be placed in the jaw in some cases. But if there is scar tissue or excess bleeding from the extraction, the vet will want to let the swelling go down in the jaw. If there's no infection at the site after 6 to 8 weeks, then the second part of the implant is readied. This is another piece of titanium that screws into the first piece, but to which a metal, zirconia or porcelain tooth will be attached, usually with some type of resin.
The tooth portion is fabricated in a laboratory using molds or impression's of your dog's mouth. The veterinary surgeon will make sure it fits perfectly and is secure before sending your dog home.
Benefits and cost of canine dental implants.
The hope is that canine dental implants will save the jawbone the way that human implants do. Once there are no teeth in the jaw, the bone starts to erode. Implants should add years to your dog's ability to eat and chew and play without pain. While your dog doesn't really care how bright his or her smile is, every pup appreciates being able to smile.
The canine dental procedure costs around $2000 per implant, but costs are expected to go down as more veterinarians learn how to do implants and discover their own time and money saving methods.
Contact your veterinary surgeon or places like Kingsport Veterinary Hospital to discuss any questions you may have about dental implants for your pet.