MOSELEY, Va., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia said a 9-year-old Asiatic black bear underwent a root canal at the facility and the procedure was recorded on video.
The zoo in Moseley said the 9-year-old bear, Omai, had been in pain since breaking her top left canine tooth about a week prior to Friday's surgery. The break left a nerve exposed, officials said.
Endodontist Dr. Bruce Overton, a specialist who usually performs root canals on human patients but has prior experience with dogs, said about a third of the bear's top left canine was missing, leading him to extract the pulp from the tooth and replace it with a rubber-like material that would work well with the dental amalgam material used to repair the break.
Zoo officials said Omai, who was sedated before and during the procedure, may have broken her tooth chewing on a piece of wood.
"Omai was a very cooperative patient and the surgery was a great success," Metro Richmond Zoo said in a release. "She has recovered from anesthesia and returned back to her normal behavior."
Asiatic black bears, also known as moon bears, are native to countries including India, China and Russia.