Broken Tooth in a Show dog

I've got a 3 year old bitch that broke off one of her canines. We've got two options - an extraction or a root canal procedure on the nubbin of a tooth that's left. Since the extraction would cost a third of what the root canal would, I'm wondering if having the tooth extracted would cause a show judge to disqualify her? Or if I'd have to have a vet statement or something showing that she had the tooth extracted because of injury and not something genetic.

Any thoughts out there?

@Skywise:

I've got a 3 year old bitch that broke off one of her canines. We've got two options - an extraction or a root canal procedure on the nubbin of a tooth that's left. Since the extraction would cost a third of what the root canal would, I'm wondering if having the tooth extracted would cause a show judge to disqualify her? Or if I'd have to have a vet statement or something showing that she had the tooth extracted because of injury and not something genetic.

Any thoughts out there?

There are NO disqualifications for Basenjis in the show ring with the exception of testicles. Even an undershot or overshot bite is not a DQ in our breed, doesn't mean however that a judge will not look at it and not like it….

Basenji Mix

If the tooth is extracted, I would be concerned about the health of the rest her teeth and more problems in the future (which equals more money). I would think her bite would put undue stress on the healthy teeth and the extracted tooth area would allow healthy teeth to fall out of alignment. I know this happens to human teeth.

Several years ago, my brother's young white shepherd-lab mix broke his upper canine tooth on catching a frisbe. The tooth was treated via root canal and crowned with an impression of the other upper canine. You could hardly tell he had a cap. There were no future problems with his teeth and no more frisbe play either. Yes, if I'm not mistaken the cost was around $600 15 years ago or more.

My friend Parry had a tooth capped after a root canel (it was one of the caine teeth, upper)… he did just fine with it.... but you do then have to be careful with bones, toys, etc... because they can break easily... I know someone else that had one of his B's capped and within a week it broke off...

Basenji Mix

Yeah - The vet should give advice as to what to watch out for in terms of when with toys and chewy's. Brother's big dog did not have any trouble - the big "clod". He liked to fetch (lab part of him) and tennis balls were the norm. Chewy's (rawhide type) are normally knawed and nibbled on with back and front teeth.

I'm a dental hygienist, but I don't know much about "doggie dentistry." The canine is a very important tooth in humans as well. If it is extracted, it may affect the dog's ability to eat certain things, as well as the dog's facial appearance. The space may also cause the other teeth to shift. On the other hand, a tooth that has had root canal treatment will need some sort of restoration, like a crown, placed on top of it. In the short term, the extraction is cheaper, but you may run into other problems in the years to come. Your dog is still young. Ask the vet dentist for recommendations and options. Also, if the tooth was broken off to the gumline, the crown will probably need a post to hold it in, which will also increase the cost.

I believe that you can indeed carry a note from your vet explaining that a tooth needed to be extracted or capped. Some judges would just except an explanation of "she broke a tooth" and some might ask to see the medical documentation. But a judge just needs to know that there isn't an issue with teeth being "fixed" to obscure a genetic problem.

@Skywise:

I've got a 3 year old bitch that broke off one of her canines. We've got two options - an extraction or a root canal procedure on the nubbin of a tooth that's left.

I have 4 crowns myself (and fortunately, a very good dental plan from work). My dentist of 30 yrs always told me that if you can ever save the tooth rather than pull it–that is the best way to go. I would think it would be the same for dogs? One of my new Bs that I adopted recently had two chipped teeth. Fortunately, they weren't chipped badly enough to affect the health of the teeth. But she is only 3 yrs old, and I was going to have root canals done by a specialist if they were bad because she has so many more years of life ahead. My vote is with the root canal :o

One of our dogs broke a tooth on the side of her mouth that had to be extracted (the crack went straight through vertically, no way to cap or anything). I was so worried since it is one of the back teeth she used to chew things (and she loved to chew). Outside the initial healing period of a week or 2, you would never know it was removed. She can still chew through your average dog leash in about 30 seconds if you do not watch her. 🙂

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