Devidasan, a tusker from Trichur, Kerala has become much more handsome than he was before the delicate dental treatment he has undergone. The 27 year old elephant has been living with a crack on its tusk for the past five years. It was virtually an elephantine task for Dr.C.V.Pradeep, Conservative Dentist & Endodontist of Kannur to restore the beauty of Devan’s tusk.
Dr.C.V.Pradeep, former Principal of Pariyaram Dental College,
Kannur, Kerala and currently Professor & Head of the Department, PSM Dental College Thrissur Kerala, took up
the task of filling the crack on the tusk of the elephant. After hearing about this elephant from Dr.V.Sunil Kumar (Forest Veterinary Officer), he studied extensively about the structure of elephant tusk. He found that the elephant tusk and human teeth have similar structure. He chose a method of treatment based on the histology
of the tusk.
The 50 cm long and 4 cm deep crack was filled using micro and macromechanical bonding using light cure composite resin. The resin was bonded to the elephant dentin by using nanofilled bonding agent. The dentin was cleaned, microblasted and etched. Bonding agent was applied and light cured. This treatment method is similar to that done in man. After examining the elephant, it was decided to do the treatment without tranquillizing the animal. The whole treatment process was completed in 2 1/2 hours. The animal was fully cooperative throughout the procedure. Dr Pradeep had to modify and customize most of the equipments used for this treatment. The cause of the crack in the tusk is unknown. However the owner of the elephant was conscious of the consequences of the widening crack and hence the request for the treatment. The crack, if left untreated will lead to death of the pulp and result in pus formation which will perhaps cause danger to the animal’s life.
The procedure done on Devidasan is the first of its kind in the world. The
dental treatment done on this elephant is a costly affair, roughly Rs.50000.00 was spent on the materials alone. Devidasn now looks more majestic and has started going for processions in nearby temples. Mahouts say that he is using the repaired tusk for his routine activities. Dr Pradeep was assisted by Dr .Jayaprasad Kodoth, Kanhangad (Professor of Periodontics) & Dr.George Jacob, Cochin (Reader, PSM Dental College ,Thrissur). The whole operation was done in the presence of Dr.V.Sunil Kumar, Forest Veterinary Officer. Congrats to Dr. C.V.Pradeep and his team for the wonderful work.