Bite Evaluation & Treatment

There are plenty of jokes out there about putting braces on dogs, but it’s true that on occasion this type of orthodontic treatment is performed to correct malocclusions in dogs.

A malocclusion is any deviation from normal occlusion. An ideal occlusion includes the perfect interlocking of the upper and lower teeth. Malocclusion may be due to abnormal positioning of a tooth or teeth or due to asymmetry or other deviation of bones that support the dentition. Malocclusions are extremely common in dogs and cats, resulting mostly from incorrect breeding practices. Almost all short faced (brachycephalic) dogs and cats have malocclusions and many of them require treatment to eliminate traumatic dental contacts. In dogs and cats, many of the teeth have sharp points that can result in significant oral pain when they are out of proper alignment and contact opposing tissues. There are instances where a malocclusion may not creating traumatic contact, this does not mean it should go untreated! When your pet’s teeth are crowded and not properly aligned, the crevices and deep pockets formed are a breeding ground for bacteria to collect. That bacteria can turn into plaque, then tartar and will likely lead to early onset of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, few pets will show signs of oral pain and often live their entire lives with untreated orthodontic diseases. At Pet Dental Center we can offer a variety of orthodontic treatments that will restore normal oral function and a pain-free bite for any pet with a malocclusion.

Orthodontic appliance for correction of a malocclusion in a dog

Corrected occlusion following removal of the orthodontic appliance

Commonly Asked Questions

Does My Pet Need A Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleanings should be recommended based on each individual pet’s level of plaque and calculus build up and gingivitis. For some pets, cleanings may be necessary every 6 months, for others it could be every couple of years. More importantly, pets need to have routine oral evaluations with dental probing and full mouth dental radiographs no less than every 2 years and in some pets every 6 months. This includes pets who may have minimal plaque, calculus or gingivitis. It must be understood that clean teeth are not always healthy and therefore could be causing you pet pain or discomfort.

My Dog Has Bad Breath.

Bad breath is the number one symptom of advanced dental disease in pets. In most cases, bad breath in pets originates from disease causing bacteria. When pathogenic bacteria begin to flourish in the mouth, bad breath develops. It is important to have your pet’s oral health fully assessed with thorough oral examination and dental radiographs as soon as bad breath is noticed to prevent severe infections and tooth loss. These bacteria can also negatively affect other parts of the body and contribute to cardiac or renal disease.

My Pet Has Increased Risks For Anesthesia, How Can They Get The Dental Care They Need?

It is not fair to make a pet live with chronic dental pain and infection because they are considered an increased risk for anesthesia. At Pet Dental Center, we specialize in providing high level anesthesia care for geriatric pets and those with increased risks such as heart, kidney, liver, neurologic, diabetes and Cushing’s diseases. Because of our reputation for providing the highest level of anesthesia care possible, we average treating one high risk patient each day. Trust your pet with the ones who perform the most anesthesia procedures in high risk patients, Pet Dental Center.

Is It Normal For My Pet’s Teeth To Fall Out?

Baby or deciduous teeth are supposed to fall out when dogs and cats are teething, between 3 and 7 months of age. Adult or permanent teeth are present for the life of a dog and cat as long as they are healthy. If your pet is losing adult teeth there is severe dental disease. Advanced periodontal disease is the most likely cause for a pet losing teeth although dental fractures and tooth resorption are other likely causes.

What Kind Of Chews Are Good For My Pet’s Teeth?

Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to prevent dental disease at home and should be performed daily. When your pet does not accept brushing or for supplemental dental care in those pets who are getting their teeth brushed, dental chews can be a good choice. We recommend using dental chews that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. This verifies that the product has been tested in clinical trials and was shown to significantly reduce plaque or calculus. We also recommend slowly introducing dental chews by offering a reduced amount of the chew and observing your pet while chewing. This is to make sure he or she does not swallow a large portion of the chew that could lead to choking or digestive complications. Hard chew objects such as bones, hooves, antlers, thick rawhide products and plastic toys often lead to dental fractures and should always be avoided.