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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


An odontoma (also termed odontome)[1][2] is a benign tumour[3] of odontogenic origin (i.e. linked to tooth development).[4] Specifically, it is a dental hamartoma, meaning that it is composed of normal dental tissue that has grown in an irregular way.

The average age of people found with an odontoma is 14.[5] The condition is frequently associated with one or more unerupted teeth. Though most cases are found impacted within the jaw there are instances where odontomas have erupted into the oral cavity. [6]


There are two main types: compound and complex.[7]

  • A compound odontoma still has the three separate dental tissues (enamel, dentin and cementum), but may present a lobulated appearance where there is no definitive demarcation of separate tissues between the individual "toothlets" (or denticles). It usually appears in the anterior maxilla.
  • The complex type is unrecognizable as dental tissues, usually presenting as a radioopaque area with varying densities. It usually appears in the posterior maxilla or in the mandible.

In addition to the above forms, the dilated odontoma is an infrequent developmental alteration that appears in any area of the dental arches and can affect deciduous, permanent and supernumerary teeth. Dens invaginatus is a developmental anomaly resulting from invagination of a portion of crown forming within the enamel organ during odontogenesis. The most extreme form of dens invaginatus is known as dilated odontoma.


Odontomas are thought to be the second most frequent type of odontogenic tumor worldwide (after ameloblastoma), accounting for about 20% of all cases within this relatively uncommon tumor category which shows large geographic variations in incidence.[8]

Notable cases

In July 2014 in Mumbai, India, surgeons at Mumbai's JJ Hospital removed 232 tooth-like growths from a complex odontoma growing in the lower jaw of a 17-year-old boy. This is thought to be the largest ever number of such growths to be identified in a patient.[9]

Also in Mumbai an eight year old had 80 teeth growths removed.[10]

Another exceptional case of compound odontoma was reported in November 2014, involving the extraction of 202 teeth from a 7-year old girl in Gurgaon, India. "[11]


  1. Ireland R (25 March 2010). A Dictionary of Dentistry. Oxford University Press. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-19-953301-5.
  2. Fletcher CDM (2 April 2013). Diagnostic Histopathology of Tumors: Expert Consult - Online. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 791. ISBN 1-4557-3754-2.
  3. Junquera L, de Vicente JC, Roig P, Olay S, Rodríguez-Recio O (2005). "Intraosseous odontoma erupted into the oral cavity: an unusual pathology" (PDF). Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 10 (3): 248–51. PMID 15876969.
  4. Odontoma. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Elsevier Health Sciences. 2011. p. 1313. ISBN 1-4160-6257-2.
  5. "Odontogenic tumors". Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  6. Bhargavan Sarojini S, Khosla E, Varghese T, Johnson Arakkal L (2014). "Eruption of odontomas into the oral cavity: a report of 2 cases". Case Rep Dent. 2014: 4 pages. doi:10.1155/2014/639173. PMID 24900927.
  7. Amado Cuesta S, Gargallo Albiol J, Berini Aytés L, Gay Escoda C (2003). "Review of 61 cases of odontoma. Presentation of an erupted complex odontoma" (PDF). Med Oral. 8 (5): 366–73. PMID 14595262.
  8. Avelar RL, Primo BT, Pinheiro-Nogueira CB, Studart-Soares EC, de Oliveira RB, Romulo de Medeiros J, Hernandez PA (November 2011). "Worldwide incidence of odontogenic tumors". The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. 22 (6): 2118–23. doi:10.1097/SCS.0b013e3182323cc7. PMID 22067866.
  9. Rida Ahmed (Jul 24, 2014). "Indian Surgeons Remove 232 Teeth From Teenager's Mouth In World-Record Operation". HNGN. Retrieved July 24, 2014. Surgeons in Mumbai have removed an astonishing 232 teeth-like growths from the mouth of an Indian teenager...
  10. Template:Cite newsl title = 80 teeth removed from 8 year oldl pages = l url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2889938/Seven-year-old-boy-EIGHTY-teeth-removed-complaining-pain-upper-jaw.html
  11. Katie Butler (19 Nov 2014). "Seven-year-old girl's mouth suddenly swells up - you won't believe what the dentist found". Daily Mirror.

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