Maintaining Occlusion Following Total Mandibulectomy in a Retriever


Maintaining Occlusion Following Total Mandibulectomy in the Dog

Florence is a four year old working Retriever. She presented with a soft tissue mass on the buccal aspect of her right mandible at the level of the first molar. An incisional biopsy showed that this was an intermediate grade fibrosarcoma. 

Oral Mass Prior to Surgery

Oral mass prior to surgery

The tumour was staged. there was no evidence of spread to the local lymph nodes or chest. Surgical treatment consisted of radical resection of the tumour which involved a total right sided mandibulectomy achieving 3cm lateral margins around the mass.

Mandibular drift is a significant problem following a total or segmental mandibulectomy. The remaining intact mandible is pulled into a more central position by the action of the pterygoid muscles and the canine tooth can cause trauma to the palatal mucosa. Normal jaw position was maintained in this case using an orthodontic appliance attached to the lingual aspect of the mandibular canine tooth and the buccal aspect of the maxillary fourth premolar. The orthodontic bands should be replaced at weekly intervals and the device maintained in position for at least six months.

This technique helped achieve a normal occlusion post operatively for Florence. Her post operative oral function is excellent and her owner is looking forward to her resuming a normal working gun dog life.

Normal Post Op Occlusion                                                                    Florence returns to normal

Normal post operative occlusion                                  Florence keen to get back to normal


Procedure carried out by Peter Southerden BVSc MBA DipEVDC MRCVS RCVS Recognised and European Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry

Peter Southerden

Both Andrew Perry and Peter Southerden are happy to discuss or give advice on all matters relating to small animal veterinary dentistry or oral surgery. Please phone 01793 528341 or email Eastcott Referrals

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