Dental Feature: Orthodontic Retainer

Picture of Wheaten Terrier  

Breed: Wheaten Terrier

Lingually Displaced Mandibular Canines

It's important for puppies' mouths to be evaluated often from three to eight months of age to ensure secondary teeth have room to grow in properly. This 7-month-old Wheaten Terrier's primary teeth resorbed late so her secondary teeth were displaced.

Right maxillary teeth, revealing impingement of the mandibular canine into the hard palate

Impinged area

Left maxillary teeth, revealing left mandibular canine is slightly lingually displaced

The patient was diagnosed with lingually displaced mandibular canines (also known as base narrow canines) which causes impingement from the tooth to the soft tissues of the upper palate. In severe cases, an ulcer or hole can form where the crown of the canine tooth interacts with the soft tissue.

Treatment options included:

  1. Extraction of the mandibular canines
  2. Crown reduction and restoration of the mandibular canines
  3. Fabricating an acrylic inclined plane
  4. Doing nothing (often as a tooth is emerging, it will be guided labially by the impinged gingiva)

The puppy's owners chose to have a temporary acrylic plane, or retainer, fabricated and placed on the pet's hard palate to move the canine teeth away from the soft tissue. The inside surface of the maxillary incisors and canines were acid etched. Dental acrylic powder and activating liquid were applied to the upper palate from the incisors to the first premolar.

Placement of acrylic powder to help form the inclined plane on the maxilla

Before hardening, a plane was contoured into the acrylic between the canine and third incisor bilaterally to act as a slide and lateralize the mandibular canine teeth.

Plastic syringe tip used to form incline

Right canine occlusion after plane fabricated

Left canine occlusion after plane fabricated

Front teeth with acrylic fabricated

After just three weeks, a more functional occlusion was achieved and the acrylic retainer was removed.

Three week results, showing right canine moved laterally

Left canine no longer impinging on the palate

Normal right side occlusion after correction

Normal left side occlusion after correction

Normal frontal view, showing canines no longer impinging

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