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Discussion Starter #1
A year ago or so, Pimg cracked her upper canine on the right side. It looked like just a hairline crack running horizontally on the outside of the tooth. It has escalated now where it seems there is plaque in behind the crack, and most recently a small black speck at the gumline. Our yearly vet visit isn't for a couple more months- so I am gathering opinions here to see what people make of this.

Do you think this is a serious issue?
Do you think there's really anything that can be done about it?
If dental work can be done- any clue on what this sort of thing costs? I think I saw a recent thread where someone had an entire canine removed/replaced!

She doesn't seem to be in any kind of pain from it, and has no issues at all eating her kibble. Just looking for some opinions...

This is the best I could capture it (I shined an LED maglight to light it up). Note that the plaque looking stuff is below the tooth surface:


 

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I really cannot tell where it is cracked or how this is forming from the pictures. Is there any chance you could have someone else take the picture while you hold, or in some way attempt to get a picture outside in natural light vs. shining artificial light on the spot?

If this is a concern and it looks like it is cracked, I would not wait a couple more months to see the vet, I would make an appointment and have her seen. I don't think it's anything that would need an e-vet visit, obviously, but if you can call and make an appointment, that would be good. Have it looked at.

Do you scale your dogs' teeth at home? I do mine if it's needed (which isn't often because she gets chicken necks with her kibble to clean teeth).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can try to get a better picture tomorrow in the sunlight. As I said- it's been in this state for a while. I just think in the back of my head about dogs dying from tooth infections or whatever- not that I've ever heard of that happening in real life. I've never scaled her teeth. In fact, she's my first dog of my own- and neither me nor any of my family growing up has payed attention to dental hygiene in our dogs. That's why I'm a little clueless about it. Just looking for some opinions...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dogs chip/crack their teeth all the time. That doesn't necessarily mean they need immediate vet care. I clearly posed three specific questions-
  • Do you think this is a serious issue?
    --Apparently so, since everyone just keeps saying go to the vet.
  • Do you think there's really anything that can be done about it?
    --Unanswered.
  • If dental work can be done- any clue on what this sort of thing costs?
    --Unanswered.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to tell me to go to the vet, but that isn't what I asked for. I felt I was pretty clear in my questions... I'll get better pics tomorrow.
 

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If you chipped your tooth or if your kid (if you have any) chipped their tooth would you wait two months before taking them to the dentist? If so then I would suggest you will probably wait for your "regular" vet visit. If you wouldn't wait, then why not at least call your vet and ask them if you should bring him in to see him.
 

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If you chipped your tooth or if your kid (if you have any) chipped their tooth would you wait two months before taking them to the dentist?
IMHO that would depend entirely on the location and severity of the chip.

I chipped my tooth last summer (well, technically, my dog did) and it was one of my front teeth but the very bottom corner. I did not experience any pain except when it happens and while I could clearly see it, other people did not notice it. I did eventually go to the dentist for my regular cleaning and had it looked at at that point. Dentist just basically filed it down (I had big front teeth to begin with, so I am not at all fussed about this change in dental appearance!) and that was all that needed to be done.

I can't honestly tell from the OP's picture what and where it is chipped so I can't really say whether anything can be done about it or what that might cost. I have no idea whether it's a crack or a chip or where it's located in those pictures. The only thing I see is plaque. (Sorry, OP ... I just really can't tell.)
 

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IMHO that would depend entirely on the location and severity of the chip.

I chipped my tooth last summer (well, technically, my dog did) and it was one of my front teeth but the very bottom corner. I did not experience any pain except when it happens and while I could clearly see it, other people did not notice it. I did eventually go to the dentist for my regular cleaning and had it looked at at that point. Dentist just basically filed it down (I had big front teeth to begin with, so I am not at all fussed about this change in dental appearance!) and that was all that needed to be done.

I can't honestly tell from the OP's picture what and where it is chipped so I can't really say whether anything can be done about it or what that might cost. I have no idea whether it's a crack or a chip or where it's located in those pictures. The only thing I see is plaque. (Sorry, OP ... I just really can't tell.)
But only a dentist (or a vet!) can make the medical decision with a degree of knowledge. Could be something that should have immediate attention to save the tooth, for example.
 

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No need to be nasty folks!

I cannot see the crack from that picture but the gum looks fine.

Can you move up your appointment and just have the vet take a look to make sure there isn't any type of infection?

Here is my experience with these sorts of injuries:

My first dog, Massie, had a mouth full of broken teeth because she loved to fetch rocks. I would not indulge her but she managed to convince everyone else to throw them. :help: When she was about 7 I noticed some swelling at the gum area and it turned out to be a bone infection from a broken tooth. None of her other teeth caused any problems though.

Chama broke a molar on a marrow bone and that had to be removed because the root was exposed. That was a pretty obvious one though. She also had a dead tooth. It happened when she was fairly young and when she died at age 14 it still hadn't given her any problems. My vet told me to keep close eye on the gum area for infection but otherwise to leave it alone.

I do know people who have capped their dogs teeth but I never had a vet recommend that for my dogs' teeth problems.
 

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Dogs chip/crack their teeth all the time. That doesn't necessarily mean they need immediate vet care. I clearly posed three specific questions-
  • Do you think this is a serious issue?
    --Apparently so, since everyone just keeps saying go to the vet.
  • Do you think there's really anything that can be done about it?
    --Unanswered.
  • If dental work can be done- any clue on what this sort of thing costs?
    --Unanswered.
I appreciate everyone taking the time to tell me to go to the vet, but that isn't what I asked for. I felt I was pretty clear in my questions... I'll get better pics tomorrow.
Holy cow, you don't have to be such a bloody little snot! People took the time to answer your first question, gave you their opinion and apparently didn't have anything to add. I hesitate to share what little information I can add since it might not meet all the criteria you've set forth in your three questions but here goes ...

QUESTION 1: Yes, it could be serious!

QUESTION 2: Yes, I think something can be done about it. About 5 or 6 years ago Honey had a problem with a chipped/broken canine tooth that had a crack at the gumline. My vet said the tooth was painful and she sent me up to the University of Florida's Veterinary School of Dentistry.

I was given two choices up there - I could either have a root canal done or have the tooth extracted. The root canal was much more expensive than the extraction. The head of the Dental Clinic said that due to Honey's age (she was a Senior citizen) she would recommend the extraction. The tooth was pulled, Honey was fine after the surgery and lived happily ever after.

QUESTION 3: I'm sure the price has gone up since Honey's procedure was done, but if I remember correctly the extraction was somewhere between $300-$700. I don't remember how much the root canal would have run except it was very expensive.
 

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I would also recommend you take your dog to the vet sooner rather than later.

Whether or not its serious...its very hard to tell from the pictures.

As for the cost...no idea...but I will say that I had dental work done on my GSD at 7 months old and it cost abour $1200, plus another $380 6 months later for a followup. But my GSD had a canine reduction and vital pulpotomy ($1200) and then 6 months later she went back for a recheck to make sure the tooth was still viable and alive (which it is) and the vet noticed that the tooth had some of the pulp over the cap so she corrected it ($380).

Hopefully its nothing serious or costly. Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Turns out there is a dentistry vet in my area. I just scheduled an appt for Monday. They are also emailing me a "standard extraction" price sheet to give me a ballpark figure. We hope that an extraction wouldn't be required since it is such an important tooth. Time will tell...
 

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Thats great that you have a dentristy vet in your area. :D That was an option (extraction) for my puppy when I took her in as well. But I opted for the reduction instead since I felt as you do...its an important tooth and a big one. Good luck!
 

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from what i can tell, there is no swelling and if your dog is eating and chewing on bones and such with no obvious pain (mouth pain you would DEFINITELY notice) i would say have it checked as a caution but i dont think its a problem. As for cost it all depends on where you go. But it wont be cheap. A friend of ours had to have one of their dogs teeth removed and it ran them $1500 plus the cost of follow up a week later and every two months for 6 months to make sure none of the other teeth moved and no infection started. hope that helps out some. I'll have to remember to take a picture of Zena's chipped canine when i see her in a couple weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
They sent me an estimate for a typical extraction (Like I said- don't really wanna do this). On the low side- $715.30, and on the high side- $894.70.

(EDIT- there was no copyright notice on the estimate, nor have I provided the name of the clinic. I have no issue posting these prices)

 

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My regular vet did Chama's extraction. If I remember correctly it was around $400 but that was several years ago and my vet tends to be a little cheaper than other vets.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not a crack!

Got back from the vet/dental specialist and am happy to report that he is 99.9% sure it is not a fracture. At first, he didn't even see it. Pimg has "tennis ball teeth" and he thought I was referring to the warn down tip of the tooth. I corrected him and pointed out the line I was seeing, highlighted here:



At first he was a bit shocked. Once I pointed it out, he could see it plain as day. He was honestly stumped for some time as he looked and touched it. Finally, he excused himself and came back with a scalar. He said he had a suspicion that it was just a very odd line in the tartar buildup, and not a crack at all. He went to town with the scalar, and wouldn't you know it the line disappeared. In fact, after scaling for a while- it is clear that she had some real buildup on that tooth:





He said her teeth are borderline needing cleaned. Since I want to get an xray of her hips for agility, he suggested going through with a cleaning. Easy for him to say as he handed me the $700 estimate...
 

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$700 for a cleaning? What? Or the hip/elbow and cleaning together....still ourtagious unless you live in the DC area.
A RMB may be under $4 and will help clean off that gunk in an hour and you won't even have to sedate...well the dog will be in heaven, sedated by satisfaction.
 
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