When adults reflect back on their childhood photos, they often notice all the teeth they were missing. This is natural, as the pre-teen years are when most baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. The exact opposite problem is true for a 9-year-old boy living in The Philippines. He hopes to one day look back at photos of himself and see fewer of the 300 teeth that currently fill his mouth.
Johncris Carl Quirante is from Barangay Looc, Dumanjog, Cebu. When he was still a baby, his parents had no idea that he would suffer from the condition known as Hyperdontia. However, by the time he was two, it was clear that something was wrong. Rather than having 20 baby teeth, which is normal, he had at least 50. His parents could not afford for him to visit a dentist until he was five years old, by which time there were over 150 teeth visible on his first X-ray. His condition worsened over the next four years until his mouth was crowded with 300 teeth.
Johncris recently underwent surgery to extract 40 of his teeth. The operation was successful and the boy is recovering nicely. Although this procedure was a success, he will need an additional seven operations before his mouth is fully functional. Despite the pain he suffered from all of his teeth, Quirante went to school and excelled. He is now in the fourth grade. According to his teachers, he is one of the best students in the school. While he initially had difficulty learning how to speak, he has since overcome that challenge and is at the same developmental level as his peers.
After the remaining surgeries to remove his extra teeth have been performed, a process that will take four years to complete, Johncris wants to continue his education. He hopes to one day become an engineer. The child’s condition, Hyperdontia, affects between 1-4% of the world’s population and is twice as likely to occur in males as females. Researchers are unsure what exactly causes the condition, but they believe both hereditary and environmental factors are responsible.