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Dental care gives 60-year-old woman's sight back
Updated: 9/18/2009 7:00:30 PM
 

Dental care gives 60-year-old woman This isn't your typical dental care.

After living for nine years without the ability to see, a 60-year-old woman from Mississippi can now look upon her grandchildren thanks to an implanted tooth.

Sharron "Kay" Thornton was blinded by Stevens-Johnson syndrome in 2000, a rare skin condition that destroys cells on the surface of the eye. This leads to severe scarring of the cornea, which prevents a cornea transplant or an artificial cornea to be used as a form of treatment.

In an effort to restore her sight, Dr Victor L. Perez of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami tried a procedure called modified osteo-odento-keratoprosthesis, or MOOKP. It had been developed in Italy, but never tried in the U.S.

Earlier this month Thornton's "eye" tooth, so-called because they sit directly beneath the eye, was removed from her and a cylindrical optical lens was inserted into it. The tooth was then placed inside her eye, allowing it to hold the prosthetic lens in place.

According to Fox News, within hours of the surgery, Thornton began to recognize faces.

"Without sight, life is really hard," Thornton told the news provider. "I'm hoping this surgery will help countless people."

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