The tooth fairy is going to have to take out a big loan.
The boy, named Ravindranath, had been dealing with a swollen jaw since he was three years old, according to doctors at Saveetha Dental College in the eastern city of Chennai. The swelling grew worse as he grew up, until his parents finally convinced him to co-operate for a dentist’s examination last month.
“We opened up the jaw … and saw a bag or sac inside it,” Dr. P Senthilnathan, a professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the college, told NDTV on Wednesday.
He says doctors removed the sac from the boy’s lower right jaw in an operation that lasted several hours.
The sac contained a total of 526 abnormally-shaped teeth.
“The teeth were in different sizes that varied between 0.1 millimetre to 15 millimetres,” Dr. Prathibha Ramani of Saveetha Dental College told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Times of India.
“They looked like pearls in an oyster,” Ramani said. “Even the smallest piece had a crown, root and an enamel coating like a tooth.”
Several doctors and dentists were on hand to announce the successful surgery to the press on Wednesday.
Ravindranath was also there to share his version of the unusual surgery.
“No pain,” he told reporters.
The boy smiled for the audience at one point, showing off the 21 teeth still remaining in his mouth.
Doctors say the boy had a rare condition known as compound composite odontoma. The condition is usually benign and typically involves several abnormal teeth forming inside a mouth tumour. However, doctors at the college say this case may be unique because of the number of teeth involved.
“We have never seen these many teeth in any one site,” Ramani said.
The boy recovered from his surgery within three days and should be fine, according to doctors.
“He may not have the two molars on his right lower jaw,” Ramani said. “But he can choose implants when he is 16 or 17 (years old).”