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Should You Get Your Dog Dentures? A Guide To False Teeth For Your Pet

Should You Get Your Dog Dentures? A Guide To False Teeth For Your Pet

If your dog is missing a few teeth, you may have come across an article mentioning dog dentures. On the surface level, this seems to make sense. As periodontal disease is the most common veterinary issue, a set of false teeth to help an old senior chew their food makes sense.

After all, the reason we need to invest in caring for our dog’s teeth with canine mouth washes and brushing is that their adult teeth don’t come back. So wouldn’t it be great if we could give them new ones?

And if you’ve ever heard of neuticles, you know there are crazier prosthetics made for dogs than dentures. But can you get dentures for your dog and more importantly, should you?

Can I get dentures for my dogs? Dog Dentures vs. Dog Tooth Implants

If you’re wondering ‘do they have dentures for dogs,’ the answer is no, they do not. However, dog tooth implants are very real and possible to get for your dog. The key issue is that some articles online claiming dog dentures real appear to be confusing dentures with tooth implants.

Dentures are removable prosthetics. It’s not practical to make them for dogs as they would simply fall out. With people, dentures are made to closely fit the mouth, and some may clip in. But anyone who has spent enough time around the elderly knows, dentures can fall out quite easily.

So it’s highly unlikely dogs would keep a set of fake teeth in their mouth without finding a way to lose it almost immediately. This makes dentures for dogs impractical and a waste of money, even if they do exist.

That’s not to say people have not tried to make doggie dentures. There are reports of dog dentures dating to 1938, but we have nearly no information about these or how they worked (if they did at all). It is possible they were just novelty items.

So internet articles claim doggy dentures are real, but an exhaustive search of the internet finds no company that provides dentures. On the other hand, tooth implants are a definite option. Here is an example of a promotional video of canine tooth implants for K9 Implant Solutions Inc.

Why Navy SEAL Military dogs sometimes have titanium dental implants

One impressive fact is that military dogs who do a lot of biting often lose a tooth or two to breakage. When this happens, they often get titanium metal tooth implants instead. It’s a myth that all Navy Seal K-9s or other military dogs have metal teeth because the cost would simply be unrealistic.

However, if a working milittary dog in his prime loses a tooth, a metal one helps them to keep serving. You can see this video of Max the Belgian Malinois who had tooth cavities and had his teeth capped with titanium:

How do dog tooth implants work?

If you’re looking for dog dentures for sale, you are likely fresh out of luck. but that doesn’t mean your dog can’t get fake teeth.

While dentures can be taken in and out, tooth implants are physically drilled into the jaw like another tooth.

The dental veterinarian, usually a specialist, puts your dog under a general anesthetic. They then slice the gum to get to the jawbone.

The vet will then drill a hole into the bone and implant a metal post. This will work in place of the tooth root. They may then wait for osseointegration, where the bone fuses with metal.

After this, there may be second surgery to put in an abutment, and possibly a third to attach the final fake tooth.

Reasons you may want to get dog dentures

While you may not be able to get prosthetic dentures for your dogs, implant companies make several arguments to get your dog tooth implants for missing teeth.

  • Tooth implants possibly stop teeth from migrating to fit the hole of the missing teeth. So they keep the original jaw structure intact.
  • Tooth implants may stop bone loss in the jaw. Bone shrinks around the open space of a missing tooth, weakening it. It is possible that an implant can keep the jaw stronger and prevent fractures.
  • They help the dog chew hard food.

Of course, for dogs who depend on their teeth to do their job, like military dogs, implants may also keep them from early retirement. As Robert Johnson from the Wall Street Journal reports, US military dogs cost about $50,000 in training.

So it doesn’t make sense to retire dogs with broken or missing teeth. This would be a major waste of money. So metal implants are the answer in these cases—quite a different case from your grandmother’s old dentures.

Reasons not to get your dog fake teeth

That said, the major issue is that there just is not a lot of research that supports the benefits of fake teeth for dogs. But there are some definite reasons not to do it:

  1. The dog may need to be put under general anesthetic several times to complete the surgery. This always a bit risky, especially for older dogs.
  2. Implants can cause a number of issues such as inflammation, loose teeth, bone not properly regrowing, or they may break.
  3. Implants can only be successful with strict dental care. Owners who don’t care for their dog’s teeth daily won’t be able to successfully keep the implant.
  4. Dogs missing teeth don’t often have problems eating food. Even those completely toothless thrive on softer food and don’t suffer from their lack of teeth. In fact, fewer teeth to cause the problems that come with periodontal disease can even benefit a dog.

How much are false teeth for dogs?

The biggest problem with getting implants is dog tooth replacement cost. A single steel cap costs roughly $1,200 and a full dental implant can cost you between $3000 and $4500. This does not count the extraction, which can be up to $200.

Most pet insurance companies do not cover dog dental treatments like dental scaling in a normal policy. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that covers tooth implants, never mind dentures. So, since most dogs do fine with a missing tooth, the money may be better spent somewhere else.

Related Questions:

Do dogs love to eat dentures?

Any dentist will tell you that dogs love to eat human dentures. Just like human socks, they smell like us, which is the first thing that gets their interest. An added bonus is that they have a great texture to chew on. This is why you’ll find many hilarious videos like this one of a puppy stealing dentures:

Can dogs get titanium teeth?

Yes, dogs often do get titanium teeth. Usually, teeth are crowned when they break or have cavities with metal. But some dogs may get full titanium implants. Military or police dogs are more famous for this since having a full set of teeth to bite is part of their job. So, while rare, many service dogs have a metal tooth or two.

Final Thoughts

Dog dentures are not necessary or realistic. In fact, it’s unlikely that any reputable canine companies for dentures exist. The problem is that dentures are really an aesthetic solution for people without teeth. They are made to fit the mouth but they can easily spit out.

This means if we fit dentures on our dogs, it’s unlikely they’ll stay put for long. On the other hand, dogs can absolutely get crowns and implants. The cost of implants is pretty steep though, and most dogs arguably don’t need them. So it’s much better to just keep up with good oral hygiene for our pets.

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.