There are three types of teeth extraction for cats:
Simple: this usually applies to the front incisors where the only requirement is for the the gum to be elevated away from the tooth and the tooth gently removed without surgical intervention
Complex: this applies to all other extractions including tooth resorptive lesions which required surgical extraction
Canine: this applies to both upper and lower canines. These teeth are designed to rip and tear and hold onto prey without snapping. As a result, they have very long roots anchored deep within the bone of the upper and lower jaw and requiring a longer surgical procedure time for extraction
First we place a local anesthetic nerve block to desensitize the tooth. This reduces the amount of anaesthetic gas we’ll need later to keep the patient asleep. This is great for blood pressure, body temperature and a more rapid recovery. Most importantly, it dramatically decreases pain during and after the surgery. The nerve block actually lasts up to six hours into the recovery period.
Once the block has taken effect, we elevate a flap of gum tissue to expose the jaw bone. A high speed drill is used to cut the tooth into sections to allow for easier removal. The tooth is removed using instruments called elevators. Once the tooth is removed, the socket is cleaned.
A post extraction x-ray is taken to make sure that all of the roots have been removed. We then close over the socket using the gum flap to prevent food from being lodged later on. The flap is sutured with a fine absorbable suture.
Your cat will be given additional pain relief and antibiotics. These are used in the immediate post-operative period and you will continue to give them at home according to the labelled instructions.
The remaining healthy teeth are polished and finally the mouth is flushed with an antiseptic oral rinse.