Even Giant Pandas Need Dental Work

Bai Yun's chipped lower canine was repaired on Wednesday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2014 12:18 PM CDT
Even Giant Pandas Need Dental Work
Meg Sutherland Smith at the San Diego Zoo uses a light to seal a dental composite during a restorative dental procedure on giant panda Bai Yun Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.   (AP Photo/San Diego Zoo, Ken Bohn)

One of the most reproductively successful pandas in captivity is no longer stuck with a chipped tooth. On Wednesday, the San Diego Zoo's giant female panda Bai Yun underwent a procedure to fix a chipped lower canine tooth that could have seriously cut down her bamboo consumption, the Los Angeles Times reports. A veterinarian team gave the 23-year-old panda anesthesia, then used a dental composite to fill the damaged area before giving Bai Yun's chompers a cleaning.

"The good news is the pulp canal hadn't been compromised, but it's very close to breaking into the pulp canal," the vet said, per the Times of San Diego. The procedure will "hopefully, prevent any further chipping or deterioration." That's good news for Bai Yun, who spends up to 12 hours a day munching on bamboo. The effort used to break down the chewy and not-so-nutritious food makes pandas especially prone to damaged teeth, the Times reports. (More Bai Yun stories.)

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