Interventional Dentistry

Interventional Dentistry is a term used to describe making adjustments in the mouth to prevent problems before they happen. This includes pulling puppy teeth when they don’t fall out by the time they should, placing bite planes to prevent teeth from jabbing into the gums, and pulling adult teeth if they are causing crowding issues.

Please note that the procedures listed below need to be performed under anesthesia. Your veterinarian will give you an estimated cost of services if your pet requires one or more of these procedures.

Persistent primary (puppy) teeth

Persistent primary (puppy) teeth should be extracted when the permanent (adult) teeth have started to erupt but the primary tooth is still present in that location. Timely extractions are important to allow for the permanent teeth to erupt into a normal position.  If left untreated these retained primary teeth may direct permanent teeth into an abnormal position, leading to malocclusions, irregular jaw development, and the possibility of early periodontal disease due to crowding.

Bite plane placement

A bite plane is often recommended if your puppy has a “base narrow” bite, which occur when the lower canine teeth protrude inward, often producing damage to the upper palate. This damage can be corrected through an orthodontic device called a bite plane, which is placed on the upper palate and “guides” the adult lower canines outward into normal position as they erupt. This is usually in place for two weeks after placement, but on occasion requires longer than two weeks. Please note that a strict “no chewing” rule is in place while the bite plane is in place to avoid the bite plane from popping out.

Adult lateral incisor teeth

On occasion teeth may be so crowded that extractions of adult teeth may be necessary to allow for normal tooth eruption/normal bite placement.  Because adult teeth are being extracted, nerve blocks are performed prior to extraction, and before and after radiographs are taken to ensure complete extraction without trauma to surrounding tooth root structures.

Your veterinarian will consistently examine your pet’s mouth at the 8, 12, and 16 week visit to ensure the teeth and bite are developing correctly. If not, they may recommend an interventional procedure to prevent long term damage,