Knowing if your pet has a “good bite” or a “bad bite” is important for several reasons. The most important of which is ensuring their comfort. For this reason, we perform many bite evaluations here at Advanced Animal Dentistry. Examining your pet at a young age allows us to make estimations of what their adult mouth will be like. Knowing the likely development of their mouths allows us to work together, intercept problems and avoid painful situations.
Examining their mouths is more than looking at where their teeth are, or what teeth they have. It is vital that time is taken to work out the relationship between the maxilla (top jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw). In many cases this is the most important thing as an incorrect relationship can set your pet up for long term discomfort by putting teeth in the incorrect position.
For many of the animals we see, their “bites” are comfortable and will not lead to any long–term problems. For others there are issues, some of which are best addressed early in life such as the position of the deciduous teeth and problems identified during the critical eruption period of the permanent teeth. We identify pups with malocclusions that will require multiple interventions to be happy. Other pets will not have perfect “bites” but nevertheless will lead happy and comfortable lives without any intervention. Timing is often critical for these patients to minimise the number and extent of the intervention that are required.
Evaluations are best performed in consultation with you and your pet rather than trying to examine a photograph (or many photographs!). The exact relationship between teeth and jaws is vital in diagnosing what is going on, and this can only be done properly in 3D and with the ability to move the jaws in relation to each other. The side benefit is we get to meet some amazingly cute puppies and their adoring owners!