CHENNAI: Dentists at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital extracted a whopping 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy from Tiruvallur district in a rare surgery recently.
On Wednesday, dentists said the cause of the condition could be either genetic or environmental.
P Ravindran, a class II student, was brought to the Saveetha Dental College and Hospital with a growing swelling in the right lower jaw.
"The tumour-like growth prevented permanent molar teeth growth in the boy in the affected side. X-Ray and CT scan 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 gms," said P Senthilnathan, Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital.
Dentists said that since the boy was brought at an early stage, it didn't affect much of the tissue in his mouth and they could remove the sac-like structure in a conventional method. "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," added Dr Senthilnathan.
Dr Pratibha Ramani, Professor and Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, said, "Though the cause of the condition is not known, genetics could be one of the reasons. The environment could also play an important role. We have taken up a study to see if radiation from mobile phone towers is a factor in such conditions."
Though there is no problem in the growth of other teeth in the boy, the growth of molar teeth is permanently affected and he requires molar implants after turning 16, the dentists said.
"The surgery was performed free of cost on July 11. 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," said S Prabhudoss, father of the boy.