Like humans, dogs can lose their teeth! Periodontal (gum) disease affects about 80% of dogs above the age of three, even if you practice stellar dental hygiene by buying loads of tooth-friendly chew toys and regular tooth brushing.
It also depends on the breed of dog. Certain small breeds like Shih Tzus and Bichon Frises can be more prone to dental diseases, so keep a close eye on your pooch to see if there is any cause for concern.
So what happens when your dog’s tooth pops out? The answer is yes; in the case of tooth loss, it is possible to get dental implants in dogs, but it is a lengthy and complicated procedure requiring much more thought and consultations with your vet.
In this blog post, we’ll look more closely at what to do to help toothless dogs and see if dentures for dogs will benefit canine dental health.
Dental Implants and Doggie Dentures
Implants and dentures are different things. Dentures for dogs are similar to those for humans – a removable set of teeth that fits in your dog’s mouth to replace missing teeth.
However, this is exceedingly rare, and though it can be done, most vets will not recommend such a procedure as it poses a choking hazard or risk if your dog gets dentures and then proceeds to swallow them!
What is more common is an implant, which can only be done if your dog’s gums and jawbone are relatively still healthy. If not, a bone graft will have to be made, and this expensive procedure and recovery could take months.
If the jaw is solid, your veterinarian might suggest professionally administering anesthetic and fitting a titanium screw into the bone. After a few months, your dog will be evaluated to see if the screw holds, and if so, fake teeth can be fitted to replace the lost teeth.
This costly and lengthy solution can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog. However, once the process is complete, your dog will regain its normal bite and be able to go about life as usual with no change in diet.
Can Many Dogs Adapt To Missing Teeth?
Doggie implants and dentures can be costly procedures with long recovery times and potentially severe pain for your dog. Fortunately, there are ways for you to help your dog adapt to tooth loss.
Many dogs have a few of their chompers missing and still have no trouble having a comfortable quality of life.
While their diet can remain unrestricted, you may need to change the type of food you feed your pet due to the lack of pressure when chewing without teeth.
It is recommended to switch to softer proteins such as boiled chicken or ground beef and introduce wet canned food into their diet.
More importantly, regular dental check-ups are necessary for maintaining your pooch’s oral health because plaque and bacteria can still build up even if there are fewer teeth.
You should also provide them with chew toys that will keep the rest of their teeth in good shape.
Preventing Lost Teeth
Of course, the best way to treat missing teeth is to prevent it from happening in the first place. First, you’ll need to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Regularly brush your dog’s teeth with doggy toothpaste and a toothbrush, and make this a crucial part of your grooming routine.
Then, provide plenty of chew toys that can help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar, which is the leading cause of bad oral hygiene.
Lastly, schedule some veterinary cleaning every year or so to get their teeth professionally cleaned. A thorough cleaning will remove all the gunk accumulated during the year.
Final Thoughts On Dentures For Dogs
A dog’s oral hygiene directly impacts its overall health, so be sure to keep your dog’s chompers in tip-top condition and watch out for signs of early dental disease.
If you DO choose to get dentures or dental implants, be sure to check with your vet thoroughly on the best options for your dog. Because of the high cost and prolonged recovery time, other solutions may better suit your situation.