It may sound strange, but there are situations where orthodontic procedures are necessary to treat a dental problem causing pain to the pet. These are not cosmetic orthodontics, rather specifically to correct a specific condition such as:
Base Narrow or In-standing Canines
This is a condition where the mandibular canine teeth are hitting the roof of the pet’s mouth and do not fit into their normal position between the upper third incisor and canine teeth. This is a painful occlusion for the animal and over time will damage the teeth and roof of the mouth.
If left untreated for a long enough period of time an opening can form from the oral cavity into the nose, which is referred to as an oro-nasal fistula. This condition typicially responds quite well to the placement of a passive orthodontic device on the upper jaw (maxilla) called an inclined plane. The inclined plane directs the lower (mandibular) canine teeth in a normal position passively.
Brachygnathism or under-bite
In this condition the incisors and canine teeth hit the roof of the pet’s mouth and the teeth embed into the soft tissues. This is a very painful condition for the dog or cat.
If this condition is identified in a kitten or puppy extraction of the mandibular (lower) deciduous incisors and canines can alleviate the dental interlock that is caused by these teeth hitting the roof of the mouth. By removing the interlock, the growth of the mandible (lower jaw) can catch up to the upper jaw.
If this condition is present in an adult dog or cat, orthodontic movement of the canine teeth may result in a comfortable occlusion that does not result in trauma to the palate or roof of the pet’s mouth.
Other treatment options for an under-bite in a dog or cat include extraction of teeth causing palatal trauma or surgical crown reductions with vital pulp therapies.
How do I know that my pet could benefit from orthodontics?
- If your pet’s teeth are hitting the soft tissues of the mouth, traumatizing these tissues and resulting in pain.
- After consultation with an Animal Dentistry & Oral Surgery specialist and you understand the extent of treatment and anesthetic procedures required.