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Dental Braces in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Orthodontic braces can be used for cats to correct bad bites that are created by malocclusion, which is the malposition of the teeth resulting in the faulty meeting of the teeth and jaws. This orthodontic treatment is used to create a healthy, comfortable bite, which helps prevent future problems such as:

  • Temporomandibular joint abnormalities
  • Periodontal disease
  • Soft tissue trauma
  • Facial growth
  • Development aberrations

    Braces may be needed in trauma cases such as bite wounds, congenital or prenatal problems and genetic abnormalities. Other reasons your cat may need braces may include:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Endocrine problems
  • Chemical and radiation effects

    Malocclusion of the teeth can be severe and can lead to eating problems, growth deformities of the oral cavity and face, periodontal disease, soft tissue trauma, and genetic problems in reproduction.

    What to Watch For

  • Asymmetry of the face
  • Abnormal length of both the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw)
  • A bad bite and face shyness (pain) due to soft tissue trauma like abnormal tooth placement
  • Biting the roof of the mouth as it closes

    Diagnosis

    Diagnostic tests are needed to determine if your cat has malocclusion and needs dental braces. Tests may include:

  • A complete medical history, physical and oral examination
  • Blood chemistries and a complete blood count (CBC)
  • Full mouth radiographs (X-rays)

    Treatment

    Applying braces may include the following:

  • Orthodontic buttons and elastic chains

  • Other orthodontic appliances, such as an incline plane
  • Interceptive orthodontics like extraction of baby teeth or soft tissue sculpting by CO2 laser

    Home Care

    If braces have been applied, it is important to brush your cat's teeth daily. You need to check braces, devices and elastic chains daily for proper placement, and follow-up with your veterinarian every two weeks.

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