Dental Implants in Dogs

Beyond aesthetics, dogs can benefit from dental implants in terms of chewing, and subsequent digestion, and to prevent oral bone structure weakening. Learn all about dental implants in dogs here!
Dental Implants in Dogs

Last update: 13 May, 2021

Some pet owners believe that they don’t need to take their pets to the dentist. However, veterinary dentistry is a growing specialization in many countries, such as England and the United States. In addition to basic oral care and treatments, dental implants in dogs are also becoming increasingly popular.

Nowadays, they’re considered aesthetic procedures in canine dentistry. Placing them can have positive effects on chewing and, consequently, on digestion.

Below, we’ll tell you all about the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants in dogs.

Dental implants in dogs

Dental implants in dogs have the same goal as those for humans. The dental procedure includes the replacement of a damaged, lost, or missing tooth. The veterinary dentist replaces a natural tooth with an artificial one that must be fitted as a permanent fixture.

Before placing the artificial tooth in its corresponding spot, the dentist has to place a titanium screw. This screw acts as a base to support the artificial piece (as a kind of “artificial root”). Then, they can screw and fit the ceramic-coated external piece to the animal’s gum.

We should note that this artificial piece implantation process is completely painless for the animal. Veterinary dentists do it under general anesthesia to safeguard the animal’s welfare and ensure the safety of the procedure.

A dog with missing teeth.

Indication of dental implants in dogs

Veterinary dentists recommend dental implants for all dogs that have lost a tooth. However, they have to assess the feasibility of the procedure in each animal, especially when dealing with old dogs in more fragile health conditions.

To assess a dog’s general and dental health, the professional may request tests and X-rays of the teeth and gums. These tests show the real state of the animal’s teeth.

Before inserting an implant, the professional must make sure that the bone structure of the mouth is capable of supporting the artificial piece. In some cases, they may need to insert a bone mass graft to make an optimal surface for the implant.

An artificial dental implant makes up for a lost tooth, benefiting the dog’s digestive process. This is because the dog will be able to chew food properly.

Chewing is the first stage of digestion, during which the body begins to assimilate protein molecules and fiber. Therefore, it’s safe to say that dental implants in dogs are functional, and go way beyond a simple aesthetic “embellishment”.

A dog with its mouth open.

The advantages of dental implants in dogs

In the last few years, several scientific studies have been carried out on the impact of these implants on the quality of life of pets. Below, we’ll explain their conclusions on the advantages of dental implants in dogs.

Experts point out that the greatest benefit of dental implants in dogs is that they prevent bone mass loss in the jaw. When a dog loses a tooth, this “free” space causes a “compensatory” bone contraction. When a dog loses two or more teeth, the bone mass damage can be significant.

Missing teeth could also considerably impair your dog’s digestion. Don’t forget that a full set of teeth is essential for optimal chewing and subsequent assimilation of nutrients.

On the other hand, dogs that lose their teeth tend to have more exposed tongues. In addition to being aesthetically unpleasant, this extreme exposure can let many different pathogens in.

Some specialists also claim that this could affect a dog’s self-esteem. This statement is unfounded, mostly due to the difficulty of measuring the psychological impact of tooth loss in dogs.

Conclusion on dental implants in dogs

Dental implants are functional, as they improve chewing and prevent the weakening of the bone structure of their mouths. In addition, they could positively impact a dog’s social life and self-confidence.

However, this procedure can be expensive and experts haven’t studied its long-term effects on a dog’s quality of life.

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