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Oral health is essential to the well-being of all animals, but dental trauma abounds for marine mammals at SeaWorld. Dental disease is a leading preventable cause of immense pain, suffering, and death for many animals, so it’s hard to believe that any dentist would turn a blind eye to dental damage. Yet that’s exactly what the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is doing by planning to host part of its annual conference at the Orlando abusement park on May 26, 2023.
Orcas grind down and break their teeth on the metal gates and concrete walls of their tiny tanks, likely out of stress or frustration. A 2017 study found that more than 61% of the captive orcas studied at SeaWorld had undergone modified pulpotomy procedures. These procedures are similar to root canals for humans but are done without anesthetics, and the orcas’ teeth are left open, exposing them to infection-causing bacteria and requiring constant flushing.
In their natural habitats, orcas swim vast distances with their families. Confining them to small concrete tanks, where they can’t escape attacks from other frustrated animals, for the purpose of entertaining humans is a form of speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
Nearly every major company and franchise associated with SeaWorld has already cut ties with it, including Airbnb, Southwest Airlines, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and Taco Bell. Please use the form below to urge the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry not to support SeaWorld.