Vet fractured tooth during extraction

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Vet fractured tooth during extraction

This is a discussion on Vet fractured tooth during extraction within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, I took my dog in for a routine dental cleaning today. A few hours later I get a phone call that 4 teeth need ...

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Old 05-05-2017, 03:19 PM
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Vet fractured tooth during extraction


I took my dog in for a routine dental cleaning today. A few hours later I get a phone call that 4 teeth need to come out because of problems under the gums. The total came out to $2,500. Ouch.. but if my dog's teeth are bad I'm sure they are hurting more than my wallet will be. I agreed to the extractions.

Four hours later I get another call. The tooth's root in the back of the mouth had broken off. When the vet went to get the root piece they punctured a major artery which resulted in massive bleeding. When the vet finally stopped the bleeding they were afraid if they went back in they may start the bleeding again so they left the root.

I was told I needed to be sent to a canine dental specialist's office to extract the root. My dog also needed to stay at the vet a few extra hours for monitoring his red blood cells after the blood loss. He will be sent home with pills to help with the artery.

So here I sit waiting to be called and hopefully told he's okay. That I can come pick him up. What was meant to be a cleaning has turned into a nightmare. I understand mistakes happen, but for all that to happen, then charge me for everything, then send me to a specialist to pay that bill... is this normal practice? I mean I paid for a tooth extraction and that wasn't completed. It now needs to be completed by a specialist. Should that bill not be the vet office's responsibility to complete the transaction?

Thanks for your time and advice.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:58 AM
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Were their any dental X-rays done before the extraction? Did they explain what was wrong with the tooth originally and why it needed to be extracted?

As far as root breaking -it's not uncommon, but not typical. There's a number of reasons why a tooth root may fracture during extraction, so it would be nearly impossible to speculate why it would have happened.

In regards to the bleeding -it's definitely rare, but a known possibly to anyone who has been correctly taught how to extract a tooth. I can gaurentee that no one intended for this to happen and it was a terrible accident. Personally I would also be curious to know who was the person doing the extraction, though I doubt you'd be able to get the answer to that, esp considering the sensitivity of the situation.

With the charges -the vet did do a significant portion of the work that you authorized. The teeth were cleaned and 3 of the 4 teeth were successfully extracted, in addition to the anesthetics and medications that I assume we're done as well. As far as charging for that 4th tooth, some vets may change and some may not, it really depends on the individual vet. But I don't know of any vet that would charge for all the extra work that was involved with saving your pets life (you may still see charges for that stuff on the itemized receipt, but you should also see an equivalent discount that offsets those items). Paying for the specialist would be a toss up, some vets may cover the full cost, some may only offer to pay half, but it's certainly not typical for them to expect you to pay the entire bill.

If you don't mind me asking, what area do you live in? $2500 for a teeth cleaning and 4 extractions seems rather high. Do you know exactly which 4 teeth were extracted?
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:43 PM
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I have to agree... 4 extractions and a cleaning rarely come to that much even in Los Angeles. Sort of a sad set of events, but things like that do happen. Still, we would be ticking down the bill a bit if we had created a situation in which you had to then see a specialist. But specialists will at least be able to remove a broken tooth root without a complication (though they don't like doing these, either- not easy procedures). Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:25 PM
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Ouch. I can understand everything but the bill. Highway robbery and very poor customer service. As a vet for many years, this type of report makes me sad at how things have changed. More often than not, while extracting a molar that is bad, there will be a root fracture off. That is why the root fractured so easily and why the tooth needed to be extracted As all vets know, there are some small arteries that run through that area and on occasion you will hit one with the dental elevator and get a bleed. However, in my experience, this is not a reason to panic. I will usually stop the bleeding and then go back after the root. It will have to be removed as it will create a problem until it comes out. Whether it is a general practice vet or a dental specialist, the protocol will be the same. Hopefully, your vet will have recorded which root is still in so that the next vet won't have to repeat X-rays to help locate it. I would RUN away from the vet you are using. Sorry for your experience.
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