Fractured/Damaged Teeth

Teeth, much like in humans, are vulnerable to injuries that can occur due to accidents or diseases. The repercussions of these injuries can vary in severity, depending on factors such as the extent of damage and the location of the affected tooth.

Types of Injuries

In dogs and cats, injuries to teeth can manifest at different stages of life. Young animals may experience issues such as enamel hypoplasia and malformations resulting from injuries during development. In contrast, injuries later in life can lead to fractures, internal trauma, and even the loss of a tooth.

Consequences of Injuries

A primary concern when a tooth is injured is the potential harm to the pulp—the internal, living portion of the tooth often referred to as the “nerve.” If the pulp is compromised, it can lead to the development of a painful tooth root abscess. Therefore, prompt evaluation of all damaged teeth is crucial to prevent further complications.

Treatment Options

The treatment for fractured or damaged teeth varies based on the nature of the damage. Options include the placement of fillings, vital pulpotomy, and even root canal procedures. In severe cases, the removal of the damaged tooth may be the best course of action to prevent further issues.

Importance of Timely Treatment

Addressing damaged teeth promptly is essential, especially when it involves traumatized pulp. Delayed treatment can result in increased pain for the animal and may have implications for overall oral health. Pet owners are strongly encouraged to seek professional veterinary dental care as soon as signs of tooth damage are observed.

Understanding the causes, consequences, and treatment options for fractured and damaged teeth in dogs and cats is vital for ensuring their overall well-being. Prompt attention to dental issues is key to maintaining a healthy and pain-free life for our furry friends.

Further Information

For further information about topics associated with damaged teeth please follow the links provided.

Puppy chewing on grass
Pulp Exposed Teeth

Within the intricate anatomy of dogs’ and cats’ teeth lies a crucial soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp is a specialized structure composed of various components, including blood vessels, cells responsible for creating tooth material, nerves, immune cells, and connective tissue. The vitality of a tooth relies on the health of its pulp, a balance that is generally maintained but can be disrupted under certain circumstances.

Intrinsically Stained Teeth

We often associate healthy teeth with a pearly white appearance. However, there are instances where teeth exhibit discolouration that cannot be simply cleaned away, as the staining originates from within the tooth itself. This phenomenon is known as intrinsic staining.

Enamel Hypoplasia

The outer layer of a tooth’s crown is composed of enamel—a solid material and the hardest substance produced by the body. This protective coat not only shields the crown but also provides a smooth surface, minimizing the buildup of plaque. Enamel hypoplasia is a condition characterized by a lack of or thinning of this crucial protective layer, rendering the affected tooth susceptible to various problems.

Avulsion of Teeth

Sometimes, traumatic incidents can impact a tooth in a way that doesn’t result in a break but causes the tooth to shift from its original position in the alveolus, or tooth socket. These shifts can occur in various directions, including sideways or even inward pushing, and are termed tooth luxations. In more severe cases, if the force is significant, the tooth can be avulsed—completely knocked out.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a specialized treatment designed for teeth that are no longer vital or alive. This endodontic procedure becomes necessary when a tooth has suffered trauma, such as a fracture, leading to disease within the delicate dental pulp tissues contained within the tooth.

Vital Pulpotomy

Being vital or “alive” is the optimal state for a tooth’s health. The vital part of the tooth is the pulp, responsible for internal health and the tooth’s response to injury and disease. A live tooth can adeptly navigate life’s challenges, evolving over time into a stronger and more resilient structure. A procedure called a vital pulpotomy is sometimes performed to keep a damaged tooth alive.


Throughout their lives, the teeth of dogs and cats can undergo damage, and restorative dentistry offers a means to repair and preserve their dental health. While humans commonly associate this with the use of fillings to address cavities, dogs (though not cats) rarely require such interventions for cavity-related issues. Instead, restorative dentistry in veterinary patients often involves procedures such as crowns, veneers, and inlays, which are also common in human dentistry but are not as frequently performed in animals.

Surgical Extractions

When performing surgical extraction techniques, there are four parts to the procedure; Soft tissue surgery, hard tissue surgery, tooth extraction and closure. Tooth extraction is as described above. It is the soft and hard tissue surgery that allows us to more easily perform the tooth extraction in a surgical extraction. These two procedures give the veterinary dentist better access to the tooth, and greatly reduces the attachment of the tooth to the skull/mandible.