Dental extractions for cats are sometimes necessary to relieve pain and allow your pet's mouth to heal. Our Yucaipa veterinarians discuss cat tooth extraction today.
What is a cat dental extraction?
A cat tooth extraction is when a veterinarian surgically removes all or part of a cat's tooth. Extractions can go all the way down to the roots, or they can stop at the dental crown (the part of the tooth which is visible above the gums).
The Necessity of Removing Cat Teeth
When a tooth is irreparably damaged, it is necessary to extract it to avoid infection and pain caused by the dead tooth. For a cat to live pain-free and achieve optimal oral health, tooth extractions are frequently required.
What to Expect After Tooth Extraction
Teeth all are held into our mouths by roots - in cats as many as 3 roots can be 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 Cat Tooth Extraction Complications
Veterinary tooth extraction complications are uncommon. Complications that do occur usually fall into one of a few categories: the remnants of removed teeth, unhealed dental cavities, and jaw bone damage are all potential areas of complication that can arise during a cat tooth extraction.
Recovery After a Cat Tooth Extraction
Recovery is relatively quick following the procedure. You should be able to bring your cat 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 Yucaipa vets advise avoiding hard food for a while until their new oral cavities heal. If your cat eats primarily hard kibble, you can soften it in water before serving. If your cat is not eating after dental surgery, try to switch to soft food,
Further, it is normal for a cat to feel disoriented after coming out of the anesthesia. As such, your cat may not sleep after dental surgery (a rarity for cats, we know). However, if they remain disoriented after 24 hours, contact your vet immediately.
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.