Treating Misaligned Teeth in Dogs & Cats

Orthodontic repositioning involves moving misaligned teeth to a more normal position. There are several different techniques that can be used for orthodontic repositioning. Techniques employed often depend on the extent of the condition and the age of your pet.

One technique for orthodontic repositioning is application of an elastic chain to tip or move a misaligned tooth. An example of this technique is in the correction of canine mesioversion (lance canines) often seen in Shelties.

Orthodontic buttons are temporarily secured to allow elastic chain attachment. The elastic chain is secured under very light tension from the target tooth (the upper canine tooth in this case) to the anchor teeth in the back. Over a matter of weeks, the target tooth is shifted into its desired position. After successful tooth repositioning, the orthodontic appliance material is removed from the mouth.

Although not difficult, elastic chain orthodontics does require some maintenance by the pet owner. Ideally, the teeth should be brushed daily. The chain must be changed at least once weekly to maintain elasticity. And the patient will need several follow-up visits to recheck the bite, make adjustments, and assess progress.

Also, people are constantly surprised by how well pets tolerate the orthodontic appliances. In most cases, it’s “life as normal”.


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