Dentists have removed 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy in India.
He’d been taken to the dentists before with this particular complaint when he was three years old, but the dentists couldn’t get him to co-operate with an investigative procedure because he was too young.
The swelling continued and remained undiagnosed for four more years. It continued to increase in size until his parents saw no other option but to take him back to the dental hospital.
Doctors were left with the unenviable task of identifying each tooth. Credit: ANI
When the surgeons finally managed to get a look inside his mouth, they discovered a large lesion accompanied by a number of hard structures on his lower jaw.
Further inspection revealed a bag-like mass, which the doctors removed completely.
After it had been scanned and checked to check whether it was cancerous – it wasn’t – they discovered a load of stuff inside. Once it was cut open, they were shocked to discover that it was full of teeth.
526 of the things, to be precise.
Seriously, that’s a lot of teeth. Credit: ANI
It took doctors five hours to count and corral each and every one of the minute teeth. They’re strangely proud of their discovery though – it’s thought to be a world first.
Professor Senthilnathan, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the hospital, told the New Indian Express: “The tumour-like growth prevented permanent molar teeth growth in the boy in the affected side.
“X-Ray and CT scans showed multiple, rudimentary teeth in a bag-like tissue. It took five hours to remove all the minute teeth from the bag-like structure. The weight of the growth was 200 grams.”
“We gave general anaesthesia to the patient and removed the complete growth in a one-and-half-hour procedure. He did not require jaw reconstruction.”
So, here’s the big question. How did this happen?
Doctors examine the teeth. Credit: ANI
Well, there are some ideas.
Another member of the team at the hospital, Dr Pratibha Ramani, said: “Though the cause of the condition is not known, genetics could be one of the reasons.”
Whatever the reason, the boy is OK now the teeth have been removed. The only lasting effect is the fact his molars haven’t grown properly – he’ll have to have implants when he’s 16.
The boy’s father said: “The surgery was performed free of cost on 11 July. We were doubtful about the success of the procedure when they showed us the CT scan. Then somehow we gained courage and went ahead with it.”
They’re probably glad they did now.