A woman so scared of dentists that she let her jaw rot rather than go to surgery is recovering after a marathon reconstruction operation in Russia.
The 45-year-old patient was in agony when she arrived at the surgery in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, in Russia, with part of her lower jaw snapped off and sticking through her neck.
She told dentists she had been on a liquids-only diet for two months and only came to the surgery because even that had become agony to swallow.
She admitted, reports local media, that she hadn’t been to a dental check since she was a child because she was too scared of dentists.
Horrified surgeons found huge sections of her mandible had been rotting away for years with deep bone infections that had spread unchecked.
Gruesome medical photographs and X-rays show that large sections of her jaw had simply decayed and broken away sticking right through her cheek.
One image shows a long row of stitches beneath her chin after reconstruction experts rebuilt part of her jaw with titanium.
Maxillofacial surgeon Bain Demkin said that the woman was diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis of the lower jaw and bone tissue necrosis.
Demkin said in a statement obtained by Newsflash from Naberezhnye Chelny’s Health Department: “We performed a resection of the lower jaw to prevent the spread of the necrotic process to healthy bone structures with the immediate installation of a large reconstructive titanium plate.
“More than 10 centimeters [3.9 inches] of dead bone tissue were removed.
“The operation was completed successfully.
“Our patient feels well, she is gaining weight and promises to monitor her health, visit a dentist, and install dentures after rehabilitation.”
The surgeon continued: “Diagnostic studies have shown that in this case, we are dealing with advanced inflammation of the bone tissue, which led to a spontaneous fracture of the lower jaw.
“In Naberezhnye Chelny, such an operation is being performed for the first time as part of the provision of high-tech medical care.
“We ourselves and our patient are satisfied with the result.”