When the pain and swelling became unbearable and X-rays were finally taken, it was discovered that there was an unusual looking mass embedded in Ravindranath’s lower jaw.
It took surgeons five hours to extract and examine what was essentially a sac filled with hundreds of tiny, perfectly formed teeth.
‘You can think of it as a kind of balloon with small pieces inside,’ Dr Senthilnathan said.
The smallest of the teeth measured just 0.1 millimetre but was complete with both crown and roots.
All up, doctors counted 526 teeth that were removed during the surgery, and Ravindranath was allowed to return home three days later.
Doctors don’t know what caused Ravindranath to develop the condition known as compound composite odontoma, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
‘The boy now has a healthy count of 21 teeth,’ Dr Senthilnathan said.
For more, see this week’s that’s life! – out now!