Dental fillings for a dog?

Perhaps this should just have been a PM to ao fan, but I’ll accept ideas from others, too.

Two vets recommend dental cleaning for our corgi/sheltie mix. He’s approx 11 years, exact not known since a rescue estimated at about 5 when we got him.

Both estimates show the price for tooth extraction if required, though both say that’s just a possibility, depending on what they find and what they see on x-rays. The recommendation was just a byproduct of a routine annual exam at the first vet, and a second opinion about a non-dental item from the first exam.

Neither vet would consider fillings. Quick googling suggests some places (in the US; I didn’t look yet to see if any are reasonably close) do filling for dogs. Anyone have experience with that?

I have no actual knowledge, just going off gut but I would assume extraction is both easier and cheaper. The goal is to remove decay. If we are talking about a single tooth (or even 2) it seems like fillings are more cosmetic than medically necessary.

With people I have the impression that fillings are supposed to be healthier for the patient. Maybe with a dog already 11 that shouldn’t be much of a factor. I’m also on hold with the first vet right now to be sure whether their dental procedure even includes x-rays, and to confirm they do not do fillings. (Extractions but not fillings were listed as a possible outcome.)

ETA: no dental x-rays or fillings at the first vet. They’re proposing a thorough cleaning, under anesthesia, with potential extraction of any teeth where they find serious problems.

Where’s that dentist that came to the AO (or was it here) to discuss how he was trying to change insurance billing practices? He could probably answer the health question.

My older dog (15 now) has had some dental issues and had a few teeth removed.

My understanding is that in general cavities aren’t much of issue with dogs given their diet and they don’t chew/hold food in their mouth nearly as much as people do.

Biggest problems in dogs is periodontal disease causing bone loss and fractured teeth. Some minor fractures I think can be fixed with a bonding agent type thing but if it’s not a major tooth I think they generally just extract it.

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When your dog gets a filling, will she tell you a few months later that she has hot/cold sensitivity and needs a root canal? Extracting the tooth for an older dog is a sound approach (but expensive!). Much of the cost relates to the anesthesia, which your dog will be under anyway for the cleaning. It’s a matter of how much you trust the vet’s wisdom, and get extraction estimates up front.

I have not heard of dogs receiving fillings. I agree that fractured teeth are more of an issue than cavities.

If you are worried about quality of life, the dog will be fine with the extractions. We’ve had two cavaliers which both needed teeth removed. Our one remaining has very few teeth remaining. We put his dry food in some water or broth and that is plenty soft enough for him to eat.

Cavs have small mouths and get stuff stuck in there that eventually leads to a string of extractions. I imagine other small breeds do too. Big dogs must have more space and perhaps better flossing habits.

We had a Weim who came to us as a senior. The shelter pulled most of his teeth before he was adopted out to us, just over half. He was on a wet food diet for a few weeks, but then was able to eat dry food (much to his disappointment) after that just as normal.

I miss that goof.

I talked to a veterinary dentist once who mentioned root canals and sometimes with caps for police dogs. I don’t know about regular fillings tho.

union benefits, amirite?

Oh wow, I vaguely remember that. I think he had some magic bullet for not just billing, but value-based dental care in general??? I seem to recall reading his thread(s) and not being able to really follow how we was going to implement this and profit from it.

This. I know a couple of people who decided it was too expensive, or too much trouble, to keep caring for their teeth or a tooth, and just got the offending teeth removed. The consensus is that it solves the dental problem.

Ugh! I remember the pictures he posted, unspoilered! Gross. He was under the impression that doing a really large filling was a better option for most patients then a crown. He wanted to back that up using data from his practice because insurance didn’t cover these “maxi-fillings” (my word, I don’t recall what he called them). But he was extremely adversarial to insurance carriers and it turned out that he didn’t accept any forms of insurance anyway. He did sell his patients some sort of annual plan that covered routine care and some minor fillings or something like that. He also wanted to have insurance companies expand on that. I recall that once some of the actuaries started poking at his business knowledge he was clearly out of his element and left while basically saying that nobody really understood him. He might have been a good dentist, but he didn’t understand the money part of his business at all.

That does sound about right. I forgot about the pics he posted, lol.

Interesting. Sounds like I missed the latter part of the conversation. I must have stopped paying attention.

said everyone who washed out on the AO