Monday, September 15, 2008

Gorilla Has Sore Tooth Removed By Dentist

gorilla sore toothWhen is a dentist more afraid of a patient than the normal way around? When the patient is a 28 stone gorilla with a tooth-ache.

Animal dentist, Peter Kertesz, was called out to Paignton Zoo to see Pertinax, a silverback Western gorilla who had a broken canine tooth.

He needed to remove the three inch root and understandably didn't think it was suitable for the beast to attend his London practice where he also works on humans, for a start the chair wasn't going to be big enough.

So Kertesz assembled a team including his dental nurse, zoo vets and the great ape keepers to help him sedate Pertinax and perform the operation at the zoo.

The op took about two hours and Pertinax was understandably groggy afterwards but is now back to his normal self.

"Animals or people, it’s all the same – they need treatment, they get treatment. The scale is what varies - and the location. It is all about teamwork," said the dentist.

"People ask if this is just a bit of fun, but it is a very serious business – the health and sometimes the life of a rare creature is in your hands."

Kertesz has worked on a range of exotic species – including gorillas, pandas, elephants and whales (wait, can someone check all those animals even have teeth.)

Story here.

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