Dental extractions are a common and necessary procedure in veterinary dentistry. Many teeth are extracted due to advanced dental issues or as a quick resolution to problems affecting the patient. In some cases, extraction is the only viable treatment option.


Extractions in dogs and cats are performed under general anaesthesia, supplemented with local anaesthesia for enhanced pain management. Dental forceps and elevators are commonly used to carefully break down the periodontal ligament attaching the tooth root to the jaw bone. For multi-rooted teeth, they may be sectioned into pieces with one root each, facilitating a precise and minimally invasive extraction process.

Impact on Eating Habits

Unlike humans, the loss of a single or multiple teeth in dogs and cats has a less significant impact on their ability to eat. Dogs and cats primarily use their large canine teeth for killing prey and slicing premolars and molars to cut food into manageable pieces. Most pets do not extensively chew their food but rather swallow larger portions whole. Therefore, the loss of teeth generally does not hinder their eating habits.

Changes in Facial Appearance

Concerns about changes to the shape of the face after tooth extraction are generally minimal and often go unnoticed. While some small, older dogs may exhibit subtle changes, the overall impact is rarely significant. The presence of facial hair in dogs and cats tends to mask any minor alterations in appearance.

Healing and Post-Extraction Care

Extraction sites typically heal quickly. Postoperative care involves making dietary adjustments to enhance healing. Contrary to intuition, soft or sticky food is not recommended, as it can be problematic for healing sockets or adhere to stitches. Continuing with dry kibble or transitioning to cut-up pieces of meat can be beneficial for most patients.


After the extraction of problematic teeth and proper healing, dogs and cats usually adapt well and continue to lead happy and comfortable lives. Regular dental care, including professional cleanings and preventive measures, can contribute to overall oral health and reduce the need for extractions.