Eastman Dentist Helps Gorillas in Need

Dr. Sean McLaren extracting Gigi's tooth in Boston.

Dr. Sean McLaren extracting Gigi’s tooth in Boston.

They say a dog is man’s best friend, but gorillas may play a close second.  At least that may be so for Dr. Sean McLaren, who recently traveled to Boston to help two gorillas in need.

McLaren, a pediatric dentist and assistant professor with Eastman Institute for Oral Health, was asked by Dr. Eric Baitchman, director of Veterinary Services at Zoo New England, to extract abscessed teeth from Kiki, 31, and Gigi, 40, both western lowland gorillas who reside at the Franklin Park Zoo.

Kiki needed tooth #30  removed, and Gigi had broken tooth #22 over the summer, but had since developed an abscess.

McLaren already had a special spot in his heart for Gigi, because he previously removed an abscessed tooth from her four years ago.

“It was such a great experience back then, I never thought I would have a chance to do it again,” he said. “I was thrilled at the opportunity to help out.”

Gorilla’s teeth are very similar to human teeth, he explained, but they are much bigger.

“They went well,” said McLaren about the procedures, who donated his time to perform the extractions. “It takes a long time, because their bone is much more ense than human bone, and their teeth are larger. Kiki and Gigi both recovered beautifully with no complications at all.”

Gorillas are very accustomed and comfortable with routine in their daily lives,  McLaren said.  “So it’s important to arrange the dental procedure in a way that won’t impact their routine.  There are a lot of logistics behind the scenes that need to occur before and after the procedure.”

About these ads
This entry was posted in Eastman Dental Center, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, Faculty. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eastman Dentist Helps Gorillas in Need

  1. karenblack33 says:

    Your fear of dentists is very common. Many dentists, including those at Eastman Dental, understand this and take extra steps to help you through it. There are many things that can be done to help ease your anxiety. If you’d like to know more information about how Eastman Dental can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me at karen_black@urmc.rochester.edu. But please, wherever you decide to go, don’t ignore your oral health – it’s very important and linked to your general health! Keep smiling!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s