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Persistent Deciduous Canine Teeth
Here we see the deciduous lower canines still present whilst the permanent lower canines have started to erupt – much more narrow than they should be.
Persistent Deciduous Canine Teeth
We can see here the upper right deciduous canine is still present, even though the permanent upper right canine is coming through the gingiva. This makes the permanent canine erupt more forward of its normal position.
What problems occur?
Some deciduous teeth for some reason don’t undergo the proper root resorption required for their shedding. This will result in the deciduous teeth still being present with the permanent version of the tooth being erupted as well. This situation is a real problem for the young animal. The deciduous tooth is the one in the correct position. However to erupt, the adult tooth has had to emerge in an incorrect position. We commonly see this problem arise with the deciduous canine teeth.
The problems that occur are twofold:
- the two teeth are tightly jammed against each other, creating the perfect environment for accumulation of debris and increasing the likelihood of periodontal disease – often resulting in the loss of both teeth.
- the permanent tooth is in the wrong position so causing malocclusion problems.
These issues can be dealt with appropriately by extracting the deciduous tooth and leaving the permanent tooth.
Deciduous teeth also can be fractured. This results in the same issues as a fractured permanent tooth. However the complicating feature with a dead, infected deciduous tooth is that there is a developing permanent tooth at its base, right where the infection of the deciduous tooth is being discharged! Fractured deciduous teeth must be extracted.
For the best results the extraction of the persistent deciduous tooth should occur as soon as it is apparent that it is not going to shed normally and the adult tooth is erupting. This means that if the deciduous tooth is not “wobbly” and any part of the corresponding adult tooth is visible, then the deciduous tooth is removed. It does not mean:
- remove the deciduous teeth before the adult tooth erupts
- remove the deciduous tooth once the adult tooth is fully erupted.
Extraction of the deciduous tooth is not always a straight forward procedure. It is vitally important that all of the deciduous tooth is extracted. This is because it is the root of the retained deciduous tooth that is causing the problem, not the visible crown. The adult tooth has erupted beside the root of the deciduous tooth to get to where it is (in the wrong position). So removal of all of the deciduous tooth will allow the adult tooth to move as it continues to erupt.
If performed properly and there is still movement of the adult tooth (ie: eruption) the adult tooth will preferentially move across into the space left by the now extracted deciduous tooth – the correct position.
If your pet has not lost their “baby” teeth and the adult teeth are present, they should have the retained deciduous teeth removed. This will ensure you give your pet the best possible chance at having a healthy pain free mouth.
This is a lower right deciduous canine or 804. It should have been lost, however it is still in place whilst we can see the permanent replacement is now erupted.
The 804 has now been extracted from its socket.
We can see here the tooth that was removed, the 804. It has a very large root. This is why removal of these persistent teeth is not necessarily a straight forward procedure.