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At her annual checkup, Peggy's vet discovered she has a superficial crack in her upper left molar. It's nowhere near the root or gumline, and is causing no pain, but I'm reluctant to just leave it.

Has anyone ever pulled their dog's tooth just in case it causes trouble down the road? Is that a horrible idea for such a young dog? I was thinking we could have it done when she's under for spaying, but our vet doesn't feel it's necessary. Maybe I should look into having it sealed?

As for the cause, she didn't think Peggy's beloved Himalayan yak cheese was the culprit. More likely it was her puppy addiction to rocks.

Obviously her comfort and good health are my priority, but it does make me a little sad, as she's got such spectacular poodley chompers.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Mia had a cracked canine, which was either more serious than what you're facing or canine dentistry (lolz) was more limited way back in 2016. My options were root canal or cut the tooth down. Since it was such a tiny sliver of a crack, I chose the latter thinking I'd end up with a 3/4 sized canine. Instead I ended up with a black stump, as small as her front teeth. It hasn't slowed her down, and most people don't notice, but it took a while to forgive myself.
 

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At her annual checkup, Peggy's vet discovered she has a superficial crack in her upper left molar. It's nowhere near the root or gumline, and is causing no pain, but I'm reluctant to just leave it.

Has anyone ever pulled their dog's tooth just in case it causes trouble down the road? Is that a horrible idea for such a young dog? I was thinking we could have it done when she's under for spaying, but our vet doesn't feel it's necessary. Maybe I should look into having it sealed?

As for the cause, she didn't think Peggy's beloved Himalayan yak cheese was the culprit. More likely it was her puppy addiction to rocks.

Obviously her comfort and good health are my priority, but it does make me a little sad, as she's got such spectacular poodley chompers.
Personally, if my vet said it was fine I’d leave it but keep an eye on it and be extra diligent in keeping her teeth clean.

Bobby has two back teeth, the big ones, where there are chips of enamel that are gone. I noticed when he was a year old. I was totally sad and worried about it. Those beautiful new teeth, chipped. There is a bit of discoloration where the enamel is gone but it doesn’t seem to be getting worse or affecting anything. The vet wasn’t concerned at his last visit. I do keep an eye on them though as I am guessing at some point they could be a problem. I do my best to brush his teeth. I honestly don’t know how it happened as I was very careful about what he chewed as a puppy and still am. He wasn’t and still isn’t a power chewed either. Bobby was terrible at grabbing stuff, especially his leash and collar, when he was a pup, so I’m thinking it was something he grabbed, maybe the hardware, that maybe knocked his teeth and chipped them. He also had a hard plastic talking ball he used to carry around so that could be a possibility too. I took the ball away after I noticed it.

I will be curious to know what you decide as prevention is definitely something to think about, especially since she’s getting spayed making it a good time to do it.

I will add, we had a cat who broke his front canine halfway down when he was around 2. Never had a problem with that tooth and he lived until 14 years old.
Let us know what you decide.
 

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I'd be inclined to leave it, mostly due to the fact that pulling an otherwise healthy molar is a huge ordeal on a dog. They might need to do a bone flap on the gum, would definitely need sutures. Hard to imagine that it's worth it, and if it does eventually cause a problem you could have a dental cleaning done at the same time which would be a good idea anyways Ina couple years.
You might consider a consult with a veterinary dental specialist to find out what the best options are.
 

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If the vet is recommending leaving it, I would leave it. Just ask for it to be checked during regular vet visits. If you pull it out, her other teeth will experience minor shifting over time. Sometimes minor shifting can cause discomfort or stress to remaining teeth. Just something to put into the plus column for leaving it be.
 

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When you loose a tooth, the teeth on either side of the now open space will move toward each other. They don't move in proper alignment, but will move at an angle. The root of the teeth will press against its neighbor tooth, causing pain. This is why a dentist will put a spacer in the empty space. Also, the tooth on the opposite gum (above or below the empty space) may migrate toward the space because during a bite, there is nothing to stop it. So, the opposite tooth will appear to be getting longer as it leaves its socket.

I would leave the tooth alone since it is not causing any pain.
 

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It would bother me to leave it. Dogs don’t show pain unless it’s critical and you probably won’t notice if she has pain from eating until it becomes really bad. Since dogs chew a lot and probably use their molars when chewing bones and hard objects, I would be scared she would get little tiny electric bouts of pain when doing so. But that’s just how my anxiety makes me think.

The ideal would be to have it repaired with some kind of strong sealant. Or, if impossible and you choose to leave it, I would want to have it checked at least 2-3 times a year.

To me removing one teeth isn’t a big deal compared to the potential pain if leaving it. It wouldn’t be as bad as having wisdom teeth removed and most of us have it done without problems. Also, some people (and pets I suppose) are born with missing teeth and it’s seldom a problem (I am one of those).

In any case, that’s a hard decision to make !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excellent input! Thank you as always for your diverse perspectives. :)

From my experience with Gracie's teeth, I know how insidious dental pain and infection can be. When we finally did her extractions, she was a new dog after. She'd been suffering quietly for years and I'd written it all off as normal aging. So I just don't want Peggy to ever suffer like that.

Maybe I'll ask for an x-ray when she's under for spaying. We can use that as a baseline.
 
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