15 Feb

My, what big teeth you’ve got! Elton the tiger gets a visit from the dentist

shutterstock_369793562A dentist who has expertise in treating nature’s giants was called upon to treat Elton the tiger this week. Woburn Safari Park’s Amur tiger needed urgent treatment after breaking one of his canine teeth.
Dr Peter Kertesz, one of the world’s leading zoological dentists, was asked to visit Elton and perform dental surgery to repair the damaged tooth. In the wild, a dental infection could result in severe complications, and even death. Fortunately, the eagle-eyed keepers at the park spotted that something was wrong, and Elton s not recovering after undergoing surgery.
Dr Kertesz was assisted by a team during the procedure, which began once the Amur tiger had been sedated. The procedure, which was captured on film, involved cleaning the tooth, filling the holes in the canine tooth to prevent further infection, and fitting a moulded filling to strengthen the tooth.
Once Dr Kertesz had finished operating on Elton, he was encouraged to come around slowly, and he spent 24 hours in recovery sleeping off the effects of anaesthetic.
After his dental dramas, Elton has now made a full recovery. Dental infections can be incredibly dangerous for tigers, especially in the wild when they rely on hunting to catch and kill their prey. The team is trained to spot even the most minor injuries and swift action helped to save Elton’s troublesome tooth and prevent him from suffering pain and any long-term damage.