A Rare Posterior Maxillary Natal Tooth in a Nigerian Child: A Case Report and Review of Literature

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Onyebuchi J. ANAGO


Background: Natal and neonatal teeth are terms used to describe teeth that erupt before the normal time. Their low prevalence and incidence give credence to its rarity. The presence of natal/neonatal teeth in the mouth is surrounded by certain cultural beliefs/myths, in Nigeria.

Objective: The objective of this article was to report a rare case of a supernumerary maxillary natal tooth in the molar region in a 6 weeks old Nigerian infant.

Case report: A six-weeks old male infant presented to the paediatric dental outpatients’ clinic. History revealed that a small tooth-like structure was first seen in the maxillary right molar region at birth by the mid-wife who then informed the child’s mother. The tooth was grossly mobile with no history of traumatic injury to mother’s breast, nor ulceration on the child’s tongue, or inconvenience during suckling. Patient had received the relevant immunizations; mother cleans baby’s mouth and tooth with a clean handkerchief daily.

Examination showed a healthy-looking infant with a mobile whitish opaque coloured, tooth-like structure with irregular shape in the right maxillary molar region. Radiographic investigation revealed an immature supernumerary toothlike structure with thin radiopaque shell with a radiolucent core. There were no distinct morphological delineation of enamel, dentine and pulp. Based on clinical and radiographic examination a final diagnosis of natal tooth was made. Tooth was extracted on the basis of being a supernumerary, gross mobility of the tooth, child’s good health, parents’ insistence and cultural beliefs. Extraction and healing were satisfactory.

Conclusion: Supernumerary natal teeth in the maxillary molar region is a very rare occurrence. The associated problems include risk of aspiration of the tooth, traumatic ulcers to child’s tongue and mother’s breast. Cultural and societal beliefs play a huge role in its management.

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