ROOT CANAL?

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Kelli Hicken

Think your den­tal visit is a big hairy deal? After frac­tur­ing an up­per ca­nine tooth, called a car­nas­sial tooth, this griz­zly bear star has a new smile. Dr. Clark Hicken DDS, owner of Main Plaza Den­tal from Span­ish Fork, trav­eled to All West Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal in Boze­man, Mon­tana to per­form a root canal and re­store the bro­ken tooth. Dr. Dan But­ter­field was in charge of keep­ing the 885 pound griz­zly un­der anes­the­sia dur­ing the pro­ce­dure. Adam, an 8 year old griz­zly bear, has had ap­pear­ances in many com­mer­cial and lm in­dus­try projects. In ad­di­tion to be­ing fea­tured in many wildlife photographs. He was raised from a cub and works with his trainer Troy Hyde, from An­i­mals of Mon­tana. e vet­eri­nary team was faced with a few chal­lenges while op­er­at­ing on the large griz­zly bear. Adult bears can­not be anes­thetized for more than two to three hours, mean­ing that the en­tire pro­ce­dure needed to be com­peted in that pe­riod of time. Since ex­tract­ing such a large tooth is di cult and the bear needs the car­nas­sial tooth to be able to bite, a root canal was per­formed, post placed, and a tooth re­stored to func­tion in a sin­gle visit. In ad­di­tion, as a highly pho­tographed bear, es­thet­ics is also im­por­tant. “Anes­the­sia is very stress­ful for large an­i­mals. is was un­avoid­able for the root canal treat­ment, but we did not want to put Adam though it a sec­ond time to t the crown,” says Dr. Hicken, who lead the op­er­a­tion. Adam re­cov­ered from the op­er­a­tion quickly with­out any com­pli­ca­tions and is now back to his old self. Dr. Clark Hicken said the den­tal process was not so di er­ent from a hu­man con­di­tion, just on a large scale. is ca­nine tooth in a large adult griz­zly bear is four inches in length with only one and a half inches be­ing ex­posed. He had sev­eral in­stru­ments cus­tom made for the pro­ce­dure and even took along his Cerec crown milling ma­chine that fab­ri­cates same day crowns. e tooth also had to be cus­tom col­ored to match the golden shades of Adam’s other teeth. A er treat­ment was suc­cess­fully com­pleted, all those in­volved were clearly re­lieved. “It was a fas­ci­nat­ing pro­ce­dure and I am thrilled with the out­come,” grinned Dr. Hicken.

Sub­mit­ted by Shelby Mans­field

Dr. Hicken per­form­ing a root canal on a bear, in Mon­tana. The length of the tooth is four inches with 1.5 inches vis­i­ble.

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