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Broken Canine Tooth #7560209 07/19/19 05:07 PM
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TLew Offline OP
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I have a lab with a broken canine -- who knows what he was chewing on. I wanted to see if anyone has been through a similar experience.

So far, I have taken him into the vet and they sedated him to do a cleaning and get a better look at it. Coming out of it, they are suggesting a root canal and possibly a titanium crown on top of it to give it strength. I know extraction is an option, but not a good one for a working dog (or any dog when you discuss a lower canine which provides a lot of jaw support and mouth structure).

Expensive procedure no doubt -- quoting me $2400 for the root canal and $3700 for root canal + titanium crown. I'd welcome any input

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560232 07/19/19 05:22 PM
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Yes, mine has one and it's been broke for a few years. I have an awesome vet who is a buddy of mine.

I asked about it and he looked...he said, as your vet you should get that fixed....as a buddy, if it isn't bothering her let it be. I took the buddy approach and she doesn't even act like it's gone.


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560252 07/19/19 06:13 PM
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TLew Offline OP
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Thanks Judd. Has it changed color or show decay? I'm not seeing a lot of favoring it, but dogs don't want to show weakness.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560257 07/19/19 06:18 PM
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Dog's are harder to read than people and it may be hard to tell if it is causing pain although there is no question exposed nerve would be very painful. If the vet has recommended it at the very least I'd say get the root canal.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560267 07/19/19 06:38 PM
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It does have some black on the end of it. I haven't looked at it for a long time, I'll see if she'll sit still long enough for me to get a picture this weekend. At 10 years old she's still got plenty of energy....love that silly [censored] dog.


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560275 07/19/19 06:49 PM
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Either get it fixed or get it pulled. It will decay and left untreated will kill your friend.


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Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560292 07/19/19 07:26 PM
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I'd have it pulled and be done....


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Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560293 07/19/19 07:29 PM
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TLew Offline OP
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No doubt on the getting it "fixed" part. I'm trying to figure out what is actually "fixed". Similar to human teeth, it's not a one size fits all however the vet dentist is making it sound that way basically saying that he needs the full shebang. Maybe he does, but I'm looking for validation on if I'm being sold the paint protection coating (a la being taken by the sales person) or if it is really the right path.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560301 07/19/19 07:42 PM
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If the dog was younger, I would advocate root canal and crown. Like I have a few of. But at 10 years old, I think I would pull it.


Cast

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Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560314 07/19/19 08:07 PM
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FYI I'm married to an endodontist (a dentist that specializes in root canals). Fixing it is one of 2 things, either pulling it or having the root canal. Letting it be would be a bad idea as the only thing certain is the tooth will begin to die and become subject to infection. The tough choice is which should you do.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7560320 07/19/19 08:18 PM
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Muffin lost a few of her teeth during the year. She's fine.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: Cast] #7560363 07/19/19 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Cast
If the dog was younger, I would advocate root canal and crown. Like I have a few of. But at 10 years old, I think I would pull it.

this


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: colt45] #7560804 07/20/19 07:05 PM
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Sniper John Offline
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Originally Posted by colt45
Originally Posted by Cast
If the dog was younger, I would advocate root canal and crown. Like I have a few of. But at 10 years old, I think I would pull it.

this


this X 2
Just a guess, but the average life span of a Labrador is probably no more than 14 years give or take. So any issues with teeth moving due to a pulled tooth would not have time to become a long term problem IMHO. I did the same thing with a walker hound that broke a tooth at over 10 years old.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7561071 07/21/19 02:12 AM
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Itís a dog. Leave it alone and worry about it if it ever becomes a problem. If you canít do that grab it with some channel locks and pull it out.

$3700 tooth work for a dog, thatís a joke. I canít imagine a vet that would try to sell you something like that, especially on a 10 year old dog.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7561163 07/21/19 07:18 AM
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Depends on what you use the dog for and the return on investment. 10year old, I would probably say pull or smooth it off. Ive had 2 police K9s break a canine. For a dog that we pay that kind of money for and put that much training in, and earn their living with their teeth sometimes, a few grand can be worth it. When my first dog broke his, he was less than 2 years from retirement. The vet basically ground it off as he only lost the top part so he still had about half of a canine. My current dog broke his in the first year on the street, so he has a titanium cap


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Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: Sniper John] #7561291 07/21/19 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sniper John
Originally Posted by colt45
Originally Posted by Cast
If the dog was younger, I would advocate root canal and crown. Like I have a few of. But at 10 years old, I think I would pull it.

this


this X 2
Just a guess, but the average life span of a Labrador is probably no more than 14 years give or take. So any issues with teeth moving due to a pulled tooth would not have time to become a long term problem IMHO. I did the same thing with a walker hound that broke a tooth at over 10 years old.


+1 for me,

I'm on my 3rd lab, Jessie, my current pup, thought her tooth was broke. Went through the same thing you did, turned out vet said it wasn't broken, dodged a bullet. Veterinarian costs have skyrocketed, its ridiculous !!! Vets know MOST of us would do about anything to help our dogs. Probably cuz we like them more than people.


"some people say I got a drinkin problem........I got no problem drinkin at all......."


Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7561629 07/22/19 02:20 AM
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TLew Offline OP
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Appreciate the advice. i know some of the advice led to people thinking there were facts in there. He's 5 years old, and he's got plenty of money tied up in him. I've been watching it closely over the past couple of days and he is definitely favoring it, not to mention there is already some discoloration. Going to go through with a root canal and likely a crown. I'm concerned about pulling it because of how much jaw structure is held together by the lower canines (they have long structures).

Hurts to double the investment on the guy, but I want him to be healthy and happy. Never got his OFA done, so figure I'll spend another $500 and see if he can pay his way a little if ya know what i mean.

Thanks all!

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7561637 07/22/19 02:38 AM
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Sounds like you're going to get it fixed one way or the other. I can't really tell you which is the 'right' way for your dog, but definitely need to do something. A sore tooth/mouth is not a good thing for any one or any animal, especially a retriever. I imagine he'd retrieve just fine with 3 canine teeth instead of 4.

Extracting a canine tooth as a serious procedure. A healthy root on a canine is as long, or longer than the tooth. On the upper arcade you have to create a skin flap, grind away bone to expose the root, then extract the tooth and close the flap. Possible complications include an oronasal fistula (opening from the mouth into the sinuses). Lower canine extraction is similar with the risk being fracture of the mandible. I've done a few of both when I was in mixed practice and they generally required a fair amount of profanity before it was all said and done. roflmao

I've never seen a root canal/cap done. That's definitely a referral (specialty) procedure. It would definitely be what we call the 'ivory tower' fix.

I don't know what you were quoted for extraction, but I imagine it was also a significant amount, given the time and skill it takes to accomplish it properly.


As for vet costs in general, veterinarians as a whole aren't out to milk every penny from you. We are trained to offer the best care possible, sometimes that's not cost effective for a client, and that's ok. But imagine if you had the ability to pay for a $500 treatment that had excellent results but you were only offered a cheaper option with lesser results or you pet died. You'd probably be really pissed at the vet for not offering the better treatment am I wrong?

Yes, veterinary care costs more than it did 10 years ago, but so does everything else. Especially veterinary school. Students are routinely graduating with $150k plus in student debt. Tuition alone at TAMU vet school is about $25k a year for in state students. Higher tuition costs mean graduating vets have to make more after graduation to service this debt. This cost has to be passed along to clients.

In 1999, the average annual tuition at U.S. veterinary colleges was $10,668, compared with $28,504 in 2017, a 167 percent increase.

Additionally, clients, on average, demand a higher level of care than in the past. This often translates into purchase of specialty equipment. In the OP's example, 20 years ago the only option most likely be extraction. Root canals and caps were not very common place then.

Sorry for the off topic rant. OP, good luck with your pup. I'd offer to help but I don't even work on my own dogs anymore.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7561852 07/22/19 02:23 PM
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All good Cow Doc and no issue with your rant. Everything gets more expensive, it's the way it works. I was just looking for advice on what to do, and you summed up my thoughts well with potential complications and if the "ivory tower" fix was worth it. At the end of the day and lots of thought, the ivory tower fix seems a hell of a lot better than a potential broken jaw during extraction or in the future.

Re: Broken Canine Tooth [Re: TLew] #7578490 08/12/19 09:15 PM
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I figured I would post up a follow up for those interested. Turns out that my lab had two broken teeth, one was just considerably worse than the other. He ended up with two root canals and two caps, and I ended up without some toy I didn't know I needed.

Some pictures...

Before -- bottom canine is browning from decay
[Linked Image]

Bottom with enamel removed and margin set:
[Linked Image]

Top with enamel removed and margin set:
[Linked Image]

Both with temp caps:
[Linked Image]

Two weeks later the titanium went on. The string holding back gums was removed after completion:
[Linked Image]

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