Friday, March 9, 2012

Tooth Issue Update

After a weekend of not knowing what to do and worrying about losing the window to fix the tooth, we finally nailed an appointment to meet with a pet dentist on Monday. Thanks to the lady at the dental office, who helped convinced the doctor to stay for an extra hour to see us.

Tuesday afternoon, we took Maya to the office to meet with the doctor. He gave us three options (from the cheapest, which isn't cheap at all, to $$$$$$$): extract the tooth, root canal therapy, or root canal therapy plus a crown.  He showed us a fake dog jaw with removable teeth, and pull the one Maya fractured out for us to get a better idea how it actually looks like. After seeing that the tooth has three roots and all go deep into the jaw, we decided to save the tooth, which should be mush less risky nor painful. We also leaned towards doing the crown, but weren't certain as it's really expensive and she'll need to be put under a second time to put it on. After the visit (which itself cost us $125), I felt bad because of the big dental bill, but also felt a lot better because at least we know what we're dealing with. Before leaving, we made an appointment to do the surgery on Friday, which left us a few days to make our final decision.

My boyfriend and I were both raised in middle-class families. Though not wealthy, our parents never had hesitations when it comes to our health or education. Luckily, they are both relatively cheap in Taiwan and we never had any major medical issues. I had friends who went back to Taiwan just for dental procedures, as it's often much cheaper even without insurance. Too bad we can't do the same with a dog. It saddens me that we need to make our decision based on the cost, not just Maya's welfare.  It saddens me even more, knowing that there are people making this kind of decisions everyday, not only for their pets, but for their children. After some back and forth, we decided to go with the crowning. With the knowledge we gathered so far, it seems to be a better option for the long run. Maya's still young, and if we take good care of her and the tooth, she'll be using it for many years.

This morning, I took her to the dental office for the scheduled surgery. She was jumping up and down as usual, excited to meet everyone and walked to the back happily with the lady. According to the doctor, everything went smoothly, and I was able to pick her up three hours later. When I entered the office, Maya was once again jumping up and down. At home, she ate a little, drank a little, and slept a lot. It'll take her a few days to fully recover, but everything should be back to "normal" tomorrow. We will go back in about three weeks to put the crown in.

Thanks to the nice lady at the office, who kept me updated via email, I got some photos of the tooth pre and post surgery.

Before the surgery

After smoothing the surface

After root canal therapy

View from a different angle

Dozing off after coming home


  1. Ouch... We yanked Juneau's tooth due to money. But if it had been Conker, I'd have done the root canal and possibly (probably) a crown. I want his teeth to last as long as possible, especially those big gnoshers.
    If I had the money, I'd get it replaced with a titanium tooth. That would be awesome.

  2. I had friends who went back to Taiwan just for dental procedures, as it's often much cheaper even without insurance. *raise hand* Haha, I can relate! =) =) $3 for a full general cleaning with insurance, $30 without? Count me in.

    Very interesting pictures. Hope Maya's on her way to a quick recovery.