Tooth eruption and exfoliation in dogs and cats - DVM
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Tooth eruption and exfoliation in dogs and cats
Keep in mind that eruption is controlled by genetic, environmental, infectious and traumatic factors


Extraction recommendations

Photo 8: Using a No. 11 blade, incise the proximal periodontal ligament.

Photo 9: Place a wing-tipped elevator between the permanent and deciduous canines.
1. Use a No. 11 surgical blade (not a No. 10 or 15) to circumferentially incise the proximal periodontal ligament attachment.

Photo 10: Use an elevator to loosen the maxillary canine.

Photo 11: Extract the deciduous maxillary canine.
2. Choose a closed or an open extraction technique based on degree of resorption visible on radiographs. The closed extraction technique (Photos 8-9, 10-11) is indicated in cases without radiographic evidence of resorption. The open extraction technique (Photos 12-15) is indicated with radiographic evidence of resorption to decrease the chance of root fracture.

Photo 12: Incise the gingiva overlying the deciduous canine.

Photo 13: Use a wing-tipped elevator to loosen the deciduous canine from attachment.
3. Use an appropriately sized, presharpened, thin-faced, wing-tipped elevator to further excise the periodontal attachment and loosen the tooth.

Photo 14: Extract the maxillary canine.

Photo 15: Suture the incision.
4. Use a small rongeur, which wraps around the crown and proximal root, in a pull stroke to extract the tooth. Do not use rotational force, as this often will result in deciduous tooth root fracture.

5. If the root fractures during the extraction, examine an intraoral radiograph to determine the degree of resorption present in the root fragment. If little radiographic evidence of root resorption exists, the root fragment should be visualized and removed. This is facilitated with gingival flap exposure and removal of the overlying alveolus.

Dr. Bellows owns All Pets Dental in Weston, Fla. He is a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He can be reached at (954) 349-5800; e-mail:


1. Reiter AM. Dental surgical procedures. In: Tutt C, Deeprose J, Crossley DA, eds. BSAVA manual of canine and feline dentistry. Gloucester: BSAVA, 2007;178-195.

2. Harvey CE, Emily PP. Occlusion, occlussal abnormalities, and orthodontic treatment. In: Harvey CE, Emily PP, eds. Small animal dentistry. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby, 1993;278-280.

3. Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB. Oral anatomy and physiology. In: Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB, eds. Veterinary dentistry: principles and practice. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven, 1997;69.

4. Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB. Pedodontics. In: Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB, eds. Veterinary dentistry: principles and practice. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven, 1997;169-174.

5. Hale FA. Juvenile veterinary dentistry. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2005;35(4):789-817.

6. Amimoto A, Iwamoto S, Taura Y, et al. Effects of surgical orthodontic treatment for malalignment due to the prolonged retention of deciduous canines in young dogs. J Vet Med Sci 1993;55(1):73-79.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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