It can be excruciating to watch your beloved pup slowly suffer the detriments of aging, knowing that declining vision, arthritic joints, and deteriorating oral health are almost inevitable. Though there isn’t much we can do to prevent eventual vision loss, there certainly are for the other two and with no dog needs to struggle to chew their food with today’s medical advancements!
Dental Implants for Dogs
Veterinary medicine has moved leaps and bounds over the past few decades, now making teeth replacement a very real possibility! Decaying teeth or eating problems no longer need to plague your pet, and other possible orthodontic problems can be avoided.
- Maintain positioning of remaining teeth
- Maintain bone height
- Improvements in mastication (chewing) of food
- Improved cosmetic appearance
For working dogs that need to pick up, carry or move objects for the humans they assist, a healthy mouth is essential. On top of that, your dog will be able to chew, play (gently) or carry objects naturally, just like they were instinctively meant to! For an animal that naturally manipulates objects with his mouth, losing the ability can require huge lifestyle adjustments on the part of both pet and owner.
Help prevent jaw bone loss
Believe it or not, implants will actually help prevent bone loss! The spaces left by lost teeth can actually cause the bones in the surrounding area to shrink, especially if multiple teeth are lost. If allowed to progress, bone loss around the jaw area can be harmful to your pet. Source
The ultimate success of your pet’s implants will in part depend on daily brushing and good dental maintenance, which of course will require dedication in part of the owner. Thankfully, special toothpaste and unique toothbrushes, both designed specifically for animals, are easily found at nearly any pet store!
Do you know this:
Dogs have 42 teeth in total and they can live without a few comfortable.
Dogs are affected by teeth and gum problems from early ages (i.e. 3 to 5) and many times, the solution is tooth extraction. Gum disease may also cause tooth loss. Also, there are many examples that the dog broke a tooth.
Humans vs. Dogs
In humans, experts report a 90-95 percent success rate with dental implants for lost or damaged teeth. For those who can afford to invest in the procedure, implants have offered considerable improvements in quality of life!
Dogs, on the other hand, can’t understand the purpose behind them (other then they have teeth now), and won’t be able to comprehend the need for caution. In the veterinary world, there are disagreements as to the benefits vs. potential risks.
Multiple Sessions of Anesthesia
Veterinary medicine has advanced surprisingly far, and the average veterinarian is no less educated or skilled than the average human doctor. Still, there are risks associated with older dogs, the most likely candidates for this procedure, and anesthesia.
There is a possibility of swallowing any one of the implants, which could have detrimental impacts when traveling through the dog’s digestive system. Any perforation (hole) could pose a life threatening risk, and probably need surgery itself.
Do you know this:
American police dogs are being equipped with a new weapon in the fight against crime: titanium false teeth designed to improve their bite and their grip on anyone trying to escape the law.
Conclusion: Pros vs Cons
In the end, weigh the pros against the possible cons. Will the improvements to your pet’s quality of life, and the little bit of extra effort on your part, outweigh the possible risks?
In some of the previous article, I wrote about toothpaste for dogs and there I mention how important is to brush your dog’s teeth.