Dentists in the southern Indian state of Kerala have performed root canal on a 27 year-old Indian elephant suffering from chronic tusk ache.
A veterinary surgeon and a team of three dentists spent two-and-one-half hours removing the six-centimeter (2.4 inches) cavity from the 50-centimeter (1.65 feet) long tusk.
The elephant’s owner noticed the infection that had damaged the tusk and brought the animal in for an examination early last month.
The elephant is a bull named Devidasan and he seemed to appreciate the dental care and attention.
“We decided to use the traditional root canal process as a remedy. We needed extra-large instruments and equipment and large quantity (0.41 pounds) of resin to fill the crack. The elephant was the perfect patient… He was not tranquilized, was very cooperative and obeyed his handler,” said dentist, Sunil Kumar.
This is the very first operation of its kind in the state of Kerala.
Elephants are an integral part of important social ceremonies in this region where they are used in religious parades, marriages and other celebrations.