Even Pandas Need To Have Healthy Teeth
We all want healthy teeth and gums. We want our smiles to look beautiful. We want to keep on enjoying our favorite foods and drinks. This is also true for animals who count on their teeth to help them eat. Bai Yun, the famous female pandas at the San Diego Zoo, may not be as aware of how beautiful her smile is as people are. But, her zoo caretakers wanted to make sure she can continue to eat her favorite food, bamboo. Bamboo is a favorite food of pandas. Since it’s very chewy and not very nutritious, pandas must eat a lot of bamboo each day. Bai Yun has been known to chew on bamboo for up to 12 hours each day!
This habit may have lead to her chipped tooth, but it’s not certain. However it happened, it was a small problem that could become a much bigger problem if not treated. What problem could a chipped tooth cause? It could make eating anything, but especially bamboo, harder and maybe painful for pandas. So, her team of doctors went to work to prevent any more damage and to fix the problem tooth.
To help make the procedure as easy for both the doctors and the panda, she was given anesthesia to put her to sleep. Then, the doctors fixed her chipped tooth, and cleaned and took X-rays of her teeth. Her new tooth, plus the good dental care, should make all her eating as easy and pain-free as possible.
Sedation, use of dental composites, and taking dental X-rays are not only for pandas, they are the very same procedures and techniques that are used to make sure that people too can continue to eat their favorite foods. While people may not dine on bamboo, certain hard foods, acidic foods, and other favorite foods can be really hard on teeth and gums.
Use of sedatives can ensure that any dental work that is needed is as easy and as pain-free as possible. This can be especially helpful for patients who are nervous about a dental visit.