February 07, 2023 – Absorbable maxillofacial miniplates, previously only used in human patients, stabilize jaw fractures, mold to the patient’s anatomy, and are absorbed by the body within a year
Chadds Ford, PA — The Chadds Ford, PA office of Veterinary Dentistry Specialists (VDS), a veterinary specialty dental/oral surgery practice, has started using bioresorbable, thermoplastic miniplates for their companion animal patients, pioneering a technology in veterinary oral surgery that was formerly reserved for humans.
“My associate Dr. Marissa Berman and I were the first in the United States to utilize this fantastic new technology for the repair of a jaw fracture in a dog: resorbable miniplates,” said John Lewis, VMD, DAVDC, a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) and founding fellow of the AVDC’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship, who is spreading the word about this advanced surgical option for pets. “This technology has been available in human maxillofacial surgery for a long time, but as is often the case, it takes a while for new techniques and equipment to ‘trickle down’ to our veterinary patients.”
Dr. Lewis lectured on the game-changing approach last month at a veterinary conference in Florida and highlighted a puppy who recently benefited from miniplates. Dr. Berman treated “Love,” a six-month-old Chihuahua who suffered a transverse fracture of the right mandible. The puppy’s jaw healed nicely following the miniplate procedure – so well, in fact, this case and others will be submitted in a case series to the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
The use of thermoplastic miniplates, which differ from the titanium plates traditionally used in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery, has its advantages for some patients: they’re small, moldable, and are safely absorbed by the body within a year, much like dissolvable sutures. For pet parents whose dog or cat suffers a jaw fracture through injury or dental disease, the solution holds promise for better surgical outcomes with potentially fewer complications.
Pet dentistry has become a booming field in veterinary medicine as pet parents become more aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to significant health issues like heart, kidney, liver, and untold discomfort. And since cleanings and extractions must be performed under general anesthesia for the safety of the patient, practices like VDS approach advanced pet dental care and oral surgery with the same level of care offered to human patients – leading to advancements like thermoplastic miniplates.
VDS is the only practice network in the nation where each patient is cared for by a board-certified veterinary dentist and a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist to ensure the best care and outcome. In addition to Chadds Ford, PA, VDS practices are located in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and Katy, TX. For additional information, visit vdsvets.com.