Pet Jaw Fracture Repair
Trauma is the #1 Cause Of Most Jaw Fractures
Fractures of the jaws, both upper (maxilla) and lower (mandible), are a very common problem in veterinary practice. The cause of most jaw fractures is trauma, however, severe periodontal disease or even cancer can weaken the bone leading to traumatic fracture. Dogs can be accidentally hit by motor vehicles, baseball bats, golf clubs, or even balls and sticks being thrown to them. Dogs involved in fights or attacked by other animals, are also common causes of jaw fractures. Less common causes of jaw fractures include gunshot wounds, metabolic disease, oral cysts, and tumors.
Advanced Digital Dental Radiography & Cone Beam CT Imaging
In cases of traumatic fractures, both the lower jaws (the left and right mandibles), and the upper jaws or maxillas (left and right facial bones) may be fractured. Maxillary fractures may be obvious, or extremely subtle. Facial muscles and local swelling often make these fractures difficult to identify without dental radiographs or advanced imaging such as a CT scan.
Lower jaw fractures are often easy to see, however, they may also be subtle. The Animal Dental Center is equipped with state-of-the-art dental radiography equipment in a variety of formats including Cone Beam CT scans that aid in diagnosis and treatment planning. This allows us to determine the nature and extent of the fracture and dictates the optimal method of repair.
Jaw Fracture Repair Process & Prognosis
An essential tenet of jaw fracture repair is to maintain normal occlusion or relationship between the teeth and jaws. An upper or lower jaw that heals in the wrong alignment (malocclusion) will continue to cause problems for the pet even though the fracture itself has healed. Interdental and interosseus wiring as well as intraoral splinting are some of the techniques we can use to repair a fracture. Our veterinary dental specialists use their highly specific understanding of the normal occlusion to maximize successful healing, function, and comfort for your pet.
The prognosis for jaw fracture repair is typically good to excellent, however this is somewhat dependent on the severity of the injury. An initial consultation once your pet is stable is an excellent opportunity to discuss treatment options, cost considerations and long-term prognosis.