Navigation Links
Doggy Dentistry Can Now Mean Braces

By Maryann Mott
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Cynthia Duggan was so surprised to learn her Australian shepherd puppy, Molly, needed dental braces that she hesitated to give her veterinarian the OK.

But after mulling over the $1,000 orthodontic procedure with her husband, the couple finally decided it would be money well spent.

"She's an incredible dog," said Duggan of the 9-month-old puppy, already showing potential as a herding champion. "We felt like she deserved it."

The braces weren't for appearances, though. Unlike braces for humans, who often endure an ugly mouth full of metal in pursuit of a perfect smile, canine braces aren't applied for cosmetic reasons. Instead these "oral appliances" alleviate pain or discomfort from an abnormal bite, usually caused by a few crooked teeth.

In Molly's case, a large upper tooth protruded like an elephant's tusk, preventing the pup from comfortably closing her tiny mouth, said Dr. Larry Baker, of Northgate Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Decatur, Ill.

To correct the problem, Baker attached a rubber band, called a power chain, to the wayward tooth, successfully pulling it back into place in just three weeks.

"She tolerated it well," said Duggan. "We were pretty thrilled with the way it turned out."

Baker has used metal braces on dogs, like the ones teenagers wear, but instead prefers to create his own from the material used to fill cavities in people.

"My dog braces do not typically look like human braces," explained Baker, one of only about 125 board-certified veterinary dentists in the world. "Yet, they accomplish the same result: moving teeth."

Dr. Daniel Carmichael, a board-certified veterinary dentist at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, said the critical ages for detecting orthodontic problems -- only some of which are corrected by braces -- are during the first several months of a dog's life. A veterinarian should check the "baby teeth" at around eight to 10 weeks of age, he said, and then again around six to eight months of age when the permanent adult teeth are present.

Most orthodontic problems that crop up in dogs are hereditary, he said. Breeds predisposed to such dental issues include Irish Setters, Standard Poodles, Shelties and Labrador Retrievers.

"Not all dogs are entitled to the perfect bite, but all dogs are entitled to a healthy, functional bite," said Carmichael.

Braces realign an abnormal bite to prevent problems, he said, such as difficulty eating, closing the mouth, or trauma to the teeth and gums.

Invisible braces -- a transparent, removable alignment originally developed for people -- are the latest tool in veterinary orthodontics. The primary benefit is that dogs only need to be sedated one time to create a mold of the teeth. Once the clear acrylic aligners are worn by the dog for as many hours a day as possible, he said, correction occurs in about four to six weeks, which is much faster than in human patients.

He said the condition most responsive to invisible braces is base narrow canines, or "linguoversion," where the lower teeth point inward, injuring the roof of the mouth.

Carmichael only sees one or two orthodontic cases a month that require some form of treatment. However, Baker of Northgate Veterinary Dentistry sees much more, about one dog a week (and occasionally cats) at his Midwest practice. Not all orthodontic cases, though, require braces to correct a bad bite. Other treatment options include extraction, surgery and tooth extensions.

Such dental problems, of course, are not something the average dog owner has to contend with. "The chances are, they won't be faced with the prospect of having to get their dog braces," said Carmichael.

More information

There's more on pet dental health at the American Veterinary Medical Association.

SOURCES: Larry Baker, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC, board-certified veterinary dentist, Northgate Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery, Decatur, Ill.; Daniel Carmichael, DVM, DAVDC, board-certified veterinary dentist, Animal Medical Center, New York City

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Invasive Dentistry May Raise Short-Term Heart, Stroke Risk
2. OHSU School of Dentistry team examines how to rapily assess childrens tooth decay risk
3. Crown Works Dental Laboratory hosts CE Course by Dr. Damon C. Adams, Editor -In -Chief of Dentistry Today
4. As Popularity of Dental Implants Rise, a Chicago Cosmetic Dentistry Practice's On-site Lab Offers Patients a Unique Incentive
5. NYU College of Dentistry, Penn State develop new model for investigating tobacco/oral cancer link
6. Singapore Dentistry Goes High Tech
7. US Dentist of Gentle Dentistry Adopts Rhino in Africa to Help Save them From Extinction
8. Prevent Knee Pain with Knee Braces for Tennis
9. Ankle Braces May Protect Girl Volleyball Players
10. Singapore Embraces Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
11. PDA Presents the Facts on Braces
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Doggy Dentistry Can Now Mean Braces
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online details ... to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only the ... and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile ... orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , a ... its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... on June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: