Pet Dental Myth: Extraction Sites Need To Be Left Open to Drain

When infected teeth are extracted, many vets will say that they intentionally didn’t close the area to allow for pus or debris to be drained.  Unfortunately, this myth can have severe consequences with regard to the healing of the extraction site, and can even cause worse problems than originally seen.

Oral Surgery

This is what we do know:  Pus is rarely present and periapical lucency’s seen on dental radiographs are usually granulomas and not true abscesses.

Surgical closure (tension-free) will allow the extraction site to be more comfortable during the healing phase, promote faster healing, and prevent an oronasal fistula (hole from the oral cavity to the nasal cavity).

If your doctor is recommending taking a tooth out, make sure that it is surgically closed.  It absolutely must be tension-free or the area will open causing pain, infection and possibly fistulae.

post op XSS image

14 day recheck exam showing complete healing

Barden Greenfield, DVM, DAVDC          Your Pet Dentist

Dr. Barden Greenfield is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) and the founder of Your Pet Dentist of Memphis and Little Rock. He received his BS (Microbiology) at Louisiana State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He also serves on the AVDC Board of Directors and is currently President.

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