26 Rubber toy technique and orthodontic appliances
The case was referred to us for evaluation and treatment of the malocclusion. The owner was active in the show ring and thus concerned about the malocclusion. While the owner was concerned about the developing pathology (palatal trauma), she was most concerned about the aesthetics and the effect on the dog’s show career. She was adamant that tooth shortening would not be an option.
Figure 26.1 Oblique lateral photograph of the right rostral occlusion. The upper jaw is long (as evidenced by the wide spaces between the teeth and the width of the diastema) and the lower jaw is short with respect to the upper jaw. Tooth 404 is caudal in position, but has flared laterally and fits in the diastema between 103 and 104.
Malocclusion can result from jaw length and/or width discrepancy (skeletal malocclusion), from tooth malpositioning (dental malocclusion), or a combination of both. This case is a skeletal malocclusion (mandibular brachygnathia) and is thus inheritable.
This case was classified as a mild relative mandibular brachygnathism, i.e. the mandible is too short (and narrow) with respect to the upper jaw. The cause of the malocclusion is the long upper jaw. The left lower canine was causing trauma to the hard palate. Malocclusion causing discomfort and pathology always needs treating.