Bear gets root canal at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Bear gets root canal at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

(Northwest Trek Wildlife Park)

EATONVILLE, Wash. — One of the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s black bears had to have a root canal.

The park’s veterinarian, Dr. Allison Case, said she saw Benton, a 423-pound bear, had a fracture in an upper canine and decided the bear needed work done.

"During his regular physical checkup last month, I had the opportunity to closely examine his upper left canine and the root exposure," Case said. "It's a significant tooth, and we want to protect it long-term. The ideal approach was a root canal."

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Case called in Dr. Kevin Stepaniuk, a veterinary dentist, who performed the root canal along with other staff.

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Benton was stretched out on his hammock bed under full anesthetic, and the bear had a cleaning done and decay removed from the infected area. The bear’s canal was disinfected and sealed.

"Benton uses his mouth for so much more than just eating," said keeper Haley Withers. "He uses it to aid in climbing, communication and manipulating things in his environment. Maintaining his oral health is just one way that we are able to provide excellent care for Benton so that he can continue to do all the things he loves to do."

Benton’s claws were also trimmed.

The 11-year-old bear arrived at the park back in 2014 from the Topeka Zoo in Kansas.