Pets get cavities too!
While rare in many animals, cavities do occur in dogs. If you see dark staining on your pet’s teeth, or if your veterinarian has diagnosed a “cavity”, an examination by one of our veterinarian dentists is very important. We can determine if it is truly a cavity and recommend the best treatment for your pet.
What and where to look
Bacterial cavities (called caries) are rare in animal patients, but they do occur in dogs. The most common area of the mouth for cavities to occur is on the flat surface of the molar teeth.
A cavity will appear as a dark brown to black discoloration on the pet’s tooth surface. Tooth staining secondary to wear can look like this as well, although it tends to be lighter in color.
Treatment of bacterial cavities in pets is similar to fillings (restorations) performed for humans.
- We will start by taking a dental radiograph to determine if the tooth is infected.
- If so, root canal therapy is necessary prior to performing the restorative procedure (filling).
- If the tooth appears vital, the tooth is prepared for the filling which is done with a dental drill.
- Next, the filling is placed. Currently, we are using only non-toxic resin-based composite (white) fillings.
- Finally, we will smooth the tooth to recreate the natural shape.
If the tooth is significantly weakened by the cavity, a crown may be recommended, especially if a root canal is needed.
Finally, if the tooth is severely diseased, extraction should be considered.
At VDS we offer these services to address cavities
of a tooth. When properly performed, crowns are permanent.