North Texas Dentistry Volume 4 Issue 4 - Page 23

One for the Record Books in the news Odd Case of Teen with 232 Teeth May Set a Guinness World Record D by Tina Cauller octors in India are preparing to submit a case that they believe just might represent a world record to the committee that compiles the Guinness Book of World Records – a 17-year old boy who had an astonishing number of tiny “teeth” removed from a benign tumor known as a complex composite odontoma. Ashik Gavai had traveled with his father, Suresh Gavai, from a small village in the western Amravati region of the country for diagnosis of a painful swelling on his lower right jaw that his parents desperately feared was cancerous. After a number of tests, doctors determined that his condition required surgery. During the seven-hour procedure, performed on July 21 in Jamshedjee Jeejebhoy (JJ) hospital in Mumbai, the four-person team of oral surgeons counted more than 232 pearly white tooth-like structures as they worked to remove a stone-like malformation that originated in a single molar. The “toothlets” ranged in size from a small mustard seed to a marble. Doctors there had never seen an odontoma that contained so many of the “toothlets” – prior to Ashik’s remarkable surgery, the most ever recorded was 37. These abnormal “toothlets” are not considered true teeth because they have no periodontal ligament or root structure. are benign and slow-growing, and occur most often around age 14. They are categorized as either compound or complex, based on whether they contain mostly well-organized denticles or mostly disorganized dental tissues. A compound odontoma usually appears in the anterior maxilla and contains enamel, dentin and cementum. A complex odontoma usually appears in the mandible and presents as a radioopaque area that lacks morphodifferentiation and is unrecognizable as dental tissue. The etiology of Ashik’s odontoma is uncertain, although odontomas are generally thought to be triggered by factors including local trauma to the tooth germ, infection, growth pressure, genetic mutation, or hereditary and developmental influences. Providing none of the abnormal toothlets were accidentally left behind during the surgery, Ashik’s symptoms are not expected to return. His jawbone remains intact and doctors expect it to heal without any deformity. The surgery would have been prohibitively expensive for the family in a private hospital, but it was covered by the state government’s health insurance at the hospital in Mumbai. Complex composite odontoma was first described by Broca in 1866. Odontomas www.northtexasdentistry.com | NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY 23