NEW DELHI (DPA) - Indian dentists extracted 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy who was complaining of jaw pain, calling it the first case documented worldwide in which such a large number of teeth was found in an individual.
The hospital in the city of Chennai, which carried out scans and x-rays of the boy's mouth, found a sac embedded in his lower right jaw full of abnormal teeth, showing he was suffering from a rare case of compound odontoma.
The rare surgery was conducted on July 11, but doctors needed time to examine the teeth and confirm their findings before making them public, Dr Pratibha Ramani, head of the oral and maxillofacial pathology department at the Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals said.
"The parents had noticed the swelling when the boy was three years old, but it remained undiagnosed because the abnormal teeth embedded in the jaw were not visible," she said.
"A total of 526 teeth, ranging from 0.1 millimetres to 15 millimetres were removed by our team. All the pieces were teeth, since they had a crown, root and enamel," Dr Ramani added.
"It was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster," the doctors said in a statement after the meticulous five-hour surgery to remove the many minute and a few medium-sized and larger teeth, collectively weighing 200 grams.
Dr Ramani said this was the first case documented worldwide where so many teeth were found in an individual - in 2014, a government hospital in Mumbai extracted 232 teeth from the jaw of a teenager.
The surgery turned out well as the boy, with a "healthy" count of 21 teeth, was discharged three days after the procedure.
"This pandora box (sic) of miniature teeth is a jewel on our crown," the hospital said.