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Wolf Skull Teeth Not Aligned

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by northwoods, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    I was at the final stages of completing a wolf skull and ran into some issues with the teeth. After cleaning and whitening I reinserted all the teeth back into the upper and lower jaws and had the jaws positioned correctly for clearance when closed. I then took the teeth back out a few at a time and glued them back in with Elmer’s. Once completed I set them aside to dry overnight and found out the next day that I screwed something up because the jaws don’t close all the way due do to the teeth not being aligned just right. I don’t know how well the photos show it, but both jaws do not line up very well at all and I cannot completely close them together. Looks terrible to me. Do I have any good options here for a fix? All teeth were painted with clear nail polish before gluing back in. Thanks for any feedback.
     

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  2. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    More photos...
     

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  3. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    More photos...
     

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  4. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Last photos...
     

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  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Something is positively skewed. Seeing you used Elmers (smart) try soaking the whole skull for a few hours in warm water. That will soften the glue. What I do is position all the teeth with the jaws held shut with a rubber band. Make sure everything is aligned using a toothpick or dental pick (something small, narrow and pointy) to move the teeth into place. Make sure that the jaw hinge joints are also seated properly. Sometimes it means that you might have to wedge something in the rear, between the mandibles to hold them spaced apart while the glue dries. Hold everything together until it is all dry and check once in a while to make sure nothing moves. When dry, all the teeth should hold their position and the jaws will fit properly. Don't know what the breakage is that I see on the top of the skull. Is it falling apart? If something has caused the skull to warp while drying this might be causing your issue.

    This is a side view of a wolf I have done. Possibly your canines are not seated properly?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. RENUIRT

    RENUIRT Member

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    ...am I the only one who thinks this is a domestic dog skull..?..
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Could be. Cranium and muzzle look off in comparison to the pictures I posted.
     
  8. RENUIRT

    RENUIRT Member

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    ..yes it looks different from the one you posted..I hope he didn't pay too much on this skull..btw the wolf skull looks great with a huge crest..how long is it..?
     
  9. marshtaxi

    marshtaxi New Member

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    I think the frontal bones where the top canines go in must have fallen off or something and you glued them on the inside of the top nasal bones, they should lock back into place on the outside of those top nose bones. Where you did it with elmers just throw it back in water over night, heated is best, and by morning it will all be fallen apart again and you can re-position all your bones and teeth again.

    I hope what I am saying is clear if not ask again and I will try to explain it a little better.
     
  10. AH7

    AH7 New Member

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    The problem is not the teeth, it's the premaxilae. You have glued those anterior-most bones (that hold the top incisors) into the wrong position, and thus, you took out the upper incisor-canine diastema, which means that the lower canine can't sit right.

    Also, this is clearly a juvenile specimen (probably of a dog, not a wolf), and I'm betting that some of those teeth weren't fully erupted. Did they have open ends of their roots? If so, and you pulled them out farther, then that will also cause too much crowding.
     
  11. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    Yes, it is a 1.5 year old timber wolf (gray wolf) as I trapped it myself.

    Yes, during degreasing the 2 frontal bones at the front of the nose fell out and the lower jaw separated. I’ve never had the 2 frontal bones fall out before on anything I’ve done, but did have the lower jaw separate before. I used Elmer’s to glue the frontal bones back in and epoxied the lower jaw bone back together.

    Marshtaxi – once I get the frontal bones out I’ll have to see where they “lock” into place and see if I can get them to better fit. I might need more of an explanation once I give it a try, we’ll see. Thank you.

    Great Skulls – yes, some of the teeth did have open ends on the roots because it was only a 1.5 year old animal. I tried to fit them as best I could but the upper incisors were a really tight fit and I didn’t want to risk cracking the skull. Hopefully when I get them back out I’ll be able to fit everything correctly. I think correctly fitting the 2 frontal bones will be the most challenging part.

    I’ll put the top jaw in some warm water tonight and start the process and see if I can get those 2 frontal pieces back out and refit them. I’ll update with progress. Thanks again to all who posted.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I would not have guessed a wolf but all the skulls I have worked on have been old, well matured adults. One of the best thing about Elmer's glue, fixes like this are easily done. If you had epoxied everything it would pretty much be a done deal. Try setting the teeth while the skull is wet too. Sometimes that makes a world of difference.
     
  13. marshtaxi

    marshtaxi New Member

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    If you notice where my finger is pointing you'll see on that side the frontal bone back in how you did and the other side where it needs to fit. Also I just adjusted another pic number one shows it just on the outside of the top nasal bones. 2 shows it set in like yours. Also where those two frontal bones touch down in the very front they need to be back together, no gap. I hope any of that helps

    That is very young wolf for sure though if those bones fell out. The skull I used is just a junk coyote skull, but it was quite hard to bust those bone out, actually broke them trying.
     

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  14. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Seawolf - Elmer's was just one of the many things this site and experience over the years has taught me. This is the youngest canine I have ever done and it sure is a more brittle and less developed skull. Like I said, I've never had the frontal bones fall out of anything I've ever done. When you say put them in wet, do you just leave them in while the skull dries and when dry take them back out and glue them back in or do you just go right to sealing without gluing them in? Paraloid would "glue" them back in to a certain degree.

    marshtaxi - THANK YOU for the reference photos. It makes more sense to me now. I'm going to have to wait till next week to give it a try.
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Try setting them in wet and, if you can get them worked in all the way, try letting the skull dry with those ones in place. If you can still manage to position the jaws and align the teeth and hold it all together with rubber bands even better. You might find that some of those teeth are now locked in place and not loose at all but, yes, the paraloid will seal as well as glue in any loose ones. That is why I try to make sure all is set before using the paraloid as the parts have to dry separate.
     
  16. AH7

    AH7 New Member

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    Not to get professorial, but those aren't "frontal" bones - those are the "premaxilae" that are giving you trouble.

    Also, that wolf is probably less than a year old if the dental development is the same as like-sized dogs.
     
  17. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Got both premaxilae out last night after soaking in water and played around with them for a while. If I set the premaxilae where they should be, the lower canines won't let the jaws close completely. I put the lower jaw in water before work today so hopefully can get both canines out tonight and re-set them to make sure they are set as far as possible in the jaw. Hopefully that will make some room, we'll see.

    As far as the age. I trapped the female in late October and the State took a tooth to age it at 1.5 years old.
     
  18. akvz

    akvz New Member

    I was having some similar issues with two juvenile wolves a month or two ago; it's entirely possible that the wolf's dentition is just at a state where they don't align properly. Do the canines go further into the canal? I have one juvenile wolf where it would certainly look "cooler" to pull the teeth out more and give more illusion of size, but, alas...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    His bite is a little off, too, due to how young he is... you can tell your wolf is young if you look at the root of the canines, if they are open or not.
     
  19. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    UPDATE - I ended up having to remove and reset most of the teeth in the front of both the upper and lower jaws and all the canines. I got everything into place and ended up being able to make everything fit correctly.

    akvz – thank you for the photos and the information. I think you nailed it on the head, most of my issues were caused because it was such a young specimen. The bite is not perfect but it’s as close to what it was pre-cleaning as I can get it. I also may have been a little guilty of not setting the lower canines deep enough into the jaw as you mentioned. I’ve never done such a young critter before and have learned a lot about the process. Thank you to all who have posted and provide helpful advice.

    I dipped the skull in paraloid a couple days ago and I’m very happy with how the final product turned out. It’ll look nice in the cabinet with the rest of my collection as it’s my only wolf. I’ll try to post a few photos.

    Thanks again to all who posted and helped.
     
  20. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Here's some photos of the final product... probably not perfect and up to professional standards but it still turned out nice and will look nice with my collection. I still have to rub it down with some acetone to better "blend out" some of the paraloid. I sure hope I don't have to do a juvenile specimen again anytime soon :)

    Thanks again to all who posted.
     

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