At Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we are highly experienced in pet orthodontics. Our care includes bite evaluations, genetic counseling, and orthodontic treatments to relieve painful malocclusions.

Our veterinarians will consult on any occlusion problems your pet may be experiencing and can help guide you in the most appropriate treatment for their condition. We offer several options for the treatment of malocclusion, including interceptive orthodontics (selective extraction of teeth that may be causing problems), crown reduction with vital pulp therapy, and orthodontic movement of teeth.

Occlusion is the relationship between the teeth of the maxilla and mandibles and how they relate to each other when the mouth is closed. Many dogs and cats deal with painful malocclusions from the time they are puppies and kittens. Orthodontic treatments for these patients can take many forms, including acrylic appliances, elastic chains, and simple extractions. There is always a viable treatment option for patients with painful malocclusions.

Each treatment plan is individualized for the patient with the goal of achieving a pain-free and functional occlusion as quickly as possible.

Correction of Base Narrow Permanent Teeth

Correction of base narrow permanent (adult) lower canine teeth traumatizing the roof of the mouth.

Perhaps the most common malocclusion is base narrow lower canine teeth where the lower fangs are poking into the soft tissues of the palate or “banging” into surrounding teeth. This is a very painful condition and can be observed with deciduous and permanent teeth. Many treatment options exist to correct this problem, including composite tip extensions, acrylic incline planes, and crown reductions with pulp caps.

At times, the lower canine teeth are positioned so that they place painful pressure on the roof of the mouth, leading to ulcers or even the formation of a hole into the nasal passages. In some cases, this can be corrected with an acrylic appliance placed on the upper teeth, which gently re-directs the offending teeth into normal alignment.

Correction of Base Narrow Primary Teeth

Interceptive orthodontics is a frequently used treatment in cases where deciduous (baby) teeth are retained or permanent teeth are abnormally positioned. These abnormalities are frequently painful but can be treated with simple extractions or orthodontic movement.

When base narrow lower canine teeth are seen in puppies, more than one treatment option exists. Extraction of the lower baby canine teeth will make the patient more comfortable, but this treatment rarely prevents the same condition from occurring in the permanent teeth. A newer treatment for these puppies involves the placement of curved composite tip extensions (see case below) on the baby teeth to orthodontically tip them into a more normal position. When these baby teeth are then naturally lost around 5 months of age, the permanent canine teeth will usually erupt into a normal and comfortable position. For this technique to work, the tip extensions must be placed no later than 14 weeks of age. Placement around 12 weeks of age or earlier is preferred.