Doctors have extracted an astounding 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy in a rare surgery performed at the city's Saveetha Dental College and Hospital.
The boy was brought to the hospital with complaints of swelling of the jaw for the past four years. The doctors who examined him found that the boy was suffering from a rare case of ‘compound composite odontoma.’
Odontomas are benign tumors made of dental tissue, most odontomas go undetected and are harmless and usually only found on radiographic studies.
“The initial work up by the surgeons revealed a large lesion with multiple hard structures at a single site within the lower jaw. During the surgery, the operating surgeon noticed a well-defined bag like mass which was removed in its entirety. The specimen was radiographed which revealed multiple tiny radiopaque structures. On further evaluation by the oral pathologists, and to their utmost surprise the bag revealed 526 tooth like structures. In the pathologists’ own words “it was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster”. It took 5 hours of meticulous searching to remove all the minute teeth from the opened bag like specimen,” reads the statement issued by the hospital.
"The parents first noticed the swelling when the boy was three years old. But they didn't bother much as the swelling wasn't much then and the boy did not cooperate with investigative procedures either. Later as swelling increased, the parents brought the boy to our hospital," said P.Senthilnathan, Professor -Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the hospital on Wednesday.
An X-ray and CT-scan of the boy's lower right jaw showed a lot of rudimentary teeth following which the doctors decided on the surgery.
"We opened up the jaw after administering general anaesthesia and saw a sack inside it. The sack, weighing about 200 grams, was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth -- small, medium and big sized," Senthilnathan said.
Though some were very tiny particles, the doctors said, they had the properties of teeth. It took five long hours for the doctors to remove all the minute teeth from the sack.
"The boy was normal three days after the surgery," said Pratibha Ramani, Professor and Head of the Department, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.
According to the doctors, this is the first ever case documented in the world in which an individual has been found to have so many minute teeth.
(With IANS inputs)