When asked to make a connection to the term “root canal,” many people would choose to say “painful” or “infected tooth,” but how many people would say “animals”? As more and more stories hit the news of animals receiving essential root canal treatments, this association might become more common.
What Is a Root Canal?
A Tampa root canal becomes necessary when a person (or animal!) becomes severely infected and can’t be saved or healed through other less invasive measures. To prevent the tooth from dying and needing to be extracted, a dentist numbs the tooth in question and creates an opening from the top of the tooth all the way down to the pulp chamber.
Special tools are used to remove all infected and unhealthy pulp from the tooth’s canals, replacing the pulp with special filling material called gutta percha stead. The gutta percha prevents future infection and helps the tooth remain intact despite lacking its own pulp.
Animals that Have Received Root Canals
Animals around the world, big and small, are now receiving root canals in specialty dental treatments that were previously unheard of. Take, for example, a 400-pound gorilla named Pertinax living at Paignton Zoo in England. Pertinax had previously suffered a tooth fracture that caused living pulp to become exposed, causing Pertinax extreme pain. Without a root canal, further complications could have occurred and placed the gorilla’s life in danger, so his dental team worked quickly to remove the pulp and replace it with a biocompatible material.
Similarly, a black leopard from Minnesota recently had a root canal after breaking a tooth and suffering from painful pulp exposure. Named Shazam, the black leopard, was able to return to a normal life of roaming and eating after recovering from his root canal.
Just as humans require root canals to escape chronic pain and save their teeth from the risk of extraction by Tampa endodontists, animals need help too! Some dentists even pay their own way to travel to these animals and provide the care they need.