Treatment Options for Fractured Dog and Cat Teeth: A Comprehensive Guide

Ensuring every sunset is pain-free. Learn how to care for your pet's dental health with our comprehensive guide to fractured teeth treatment

Fractured teeth are a common issue in both dogs and cats, often resulting from chewing on hard objects, trauma, or breed-specific dental problems. Understanding treatment options for fractured teeth in pets is crucial for ensuring the health and comfort of your furry family members. This guide explores various approaches to Pets Fractured Teeth Treatment, helping owners make informed decisions about their pet’s dental care.

Recognizing a Fractured Tooth

Identifying dental issues in pets is crucial. Signs of a fractured tooth may include:

  • Visible cracks or breaks in the teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Sudden refusal to eat or chew on one side of the mouth
  • Pawing at the face or mouth
  • Visible pain or discomfort
  • Bad breath or an abnormal smell from the mouth

If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian promptly. They can assess the severity of the fracture through a physical examination and possibly with dental X-rays. Many pets do not show overt signs of oral pain from fractured teeth, experiencing the same painful sensations as humans.

Types of Fractures

Understanding the type of fracture is crucial for determining appropriate treatment. Fractures can range from minor enamel cracks and dentin fractures to uncomplicated crown fractures (UCF) that may require minimal intervention. More severe cases involve the tooth’s pulp, known as complicated crown fractures (CCF), which can lead to infection and serious health issues. Up to 25% of teeth with UCFs will become nonvital (dead), and all teeth with CCFs will become nonvital.

Treatment Options

Treatment for a fractured tooth depends on its severity, location, and the pet’s overall health. Here are common treatment options:

  1. Odontoplasty and Enamel Sealants or “Bonded Sealants”: For minor fractures that do not involve the pulp (UCF), a board-certified veterinary dentist may recommend sealing or bonding the tooth. This procedure involves smoothing the tooth with burs (odontoplasty) and applying a dental sealant or bonding material to protect against infection and pain.
  2. Vital Pulp Therapy: If the fracture exposed the pulp recently (typically less than 48 hours), vital pulp therapy may preserve the tooth by removing exposed pulp, applying medication, and sealing the pulp chamber.
  3. Root Canal Therapy: This common treatment salvages teeth with compromised pulp. It includes removing diseased pulp, cleaning the root canal, and filling it with special materials to prevent reinfection. Root canal therapy preserves tooth function and is less traumatic than extraction, with a 96% success rate in dogs.
  4. Tooth Extraction: Severe fractures or teeth beyond repair may require surgical extraction to prevent pain and infection. Although more invasive, extraction permanently resolves issues and is often more cost-effective than root canal therapy.
  5. Pain Management and Antibiotics: Regardless of treatment type, managing pain and preventing infection are crucial. Your vet may prescribe pain relief and antibiotics to manage inflammation and infection associated with the fracture.

Post-Treatment Care

Follow your vet’s post-operative instructions, including feeding soft foods and maintaining oral hygiene to prevent future dental issues. Regular follow-up visits monitor healing and treatment success.


Fractured teeth in pets vary from minor concerns to serious health issues. Understanding fracture types and treatments helps owners manage their pet’s dental health effectively. Early veterinary consultation prevents complications, ensuring pets remain healthy and pain-free. Proactive dental care, including regular visits to a board-certified veterinary dentist and good hygiene, significantly reduces dental diseases in pets.

Discover more about preventive pet dental care in our blog on Preventive Pet Dental Care.

For further information, explore Pet Dental Care Guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), or view Approved Dental Products by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).