PennWell Dental Community
Very impressive. Dr. Doug Luiten performed a root canal on a Siberian tiger last Thursday. That's impressive from a lot of angles, including the size of the patient (7-feet long, 300 pounds) and the size of the patient's tooth (a 3-inch canine), the longest tooth Dr. Luiten has ever worked on.
The endodontist from Anchorage was the first dentist to perform surgery in the Alaska Zoo's new operating room. Surprisingly, root canals on animals is fairly common, but at this zoo they've been performed in the animals' exhibits in the past, where conditions were less than ideal. However, the anesthesia has always had to be ideal!
While the tiger's fractured tooth didn't seem to bother him, Dr. Luiten said the surgery will eliminate the risk of infection.
How many of you dentists out there have worked on animals? Anyone ever work on an animal this large? I'd love to hear about it.
Read about Dr. Luiten's adventure on seattlepi.com.