Let’s say your beloved dog loves to chew on bones, tennis balls, or even unfortunately a cage or kennel. What comes next is the traumatic abrasion to the back end of a very important tooth (canine tooth). Constant abrasion can remove essential enamel (tooth covering) and even dentin (underlying structure below enamel) which fatigues worn canine teeth. It can even kill a tooth.
Tooth fracture resulting in pulp (nerve and blood supply within a tooth) exposure can easily occur if your pet pulls or tugs using this already fatigued tooth. If you have ever broken a tooth, it is a very painful ordeal, and your pet will feel that same pain. Treatment for a broken tooth is root canal therapy or extraction.
However, you can preemptively protect this tooth by having a crown placed on the tooth to protect it once it starts to have significant abrasions. Adjusting your pet’s behavior is still important, but having a protective crown in place certainly does protect his ‘chops’ from a potentially painful tooth fracture.
Crowns are a good thing so consider them for your pet if he/she is abrading teeth.
Barden Greenfield, DVM, Dipl. AVDC