Konner’s Story

Saving Konner’s Tooth

After standing a little too close to his younger sister as she swung a golf club, Konner fell to the ground, his mouth bleeding. The club knocked out three baby teeth, cut his lip and injured one front permanent tooth that later became infected.

The hour-long drive to Nationwide Children’s that day would be one of a series Konner and his mother would take over the next several months as dentists tried to realign Konner’s teeth.

Even more challenging was the attempt to save Konner’s permanent tooth. He was 7 years old at the time. His permanent teeth were still solidifying and the roots were growing into the bone holding the teeth in the jaws. This made that injured permanent tooth susceptible to infection, and infection hindered the roots from growing stronger.

Initially, dentists at Nationwide Children’s thought they would have to pull out the tooth and replace it with a false one, an option Konner’s mother, Kelli, dreaded.

“I was petrified of him losing his tooth,” says Kelli. “I paced and paced. I must have walked 100 miles in that hospital.”

Over several months, Nationwide Children’s Dental Trauma Team succeeded in saving the tooth. They used regenerative endodontics, a type of tissue engineering that involves stimulating the patient’s own stem cells to change into tissues needed in the patient’s body.

Many parents like Konner’s, who initially worried about the prospect of false teeth for their children, are heartened to know those teeth can be saved.

Konner is 17 now. If the light hits his front tooth at just the right angle when he smiles, a slight discoloration is noticeable. But he and his mother don’t mind. They’re just glad the tooth is his own.

https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Konner-Cropped-e1509996133732.jpg
  • Name: Konner .Konner
  • Condition(s): Dental Care
  • Age at Treatment: 7

Saving Konner’s Tooth

After standing a little too close to his younger sister as she swung a golf club, Konner fell to the ground, his mouth bleeding. The club knocked out three baby teeth, cut his lip and injured one front permanent tooth that later became infected.

The hour-long drive to Nationwide Children’s that day would be one of a series Konner and his mother would take over the next several months as dentists tried to realign Konner’s teeth.

Even more challenging was the attempt to save Konner’s permanent tooth. He was 7 years old at the time. His permanent teeth were still solidifying and the roots were growing into the bone holding the teeth in the jaws. This made that injured permanent tooth susceptible to infection, and infection hindered the roots from growing stronger.

Initially, dentists at Nationwide Children’s thought they would have to pull out the tooth and replace it with a false one, an option Konner’s mother, Kelli, dreaded.

“I was petrified of him losing his tooth,” says Kelli. “I paced and paced. I must have walked 100 miles in that hospital.”

Over several months, Nationwide Children’s Dental Trauma Team succeeded in saving the tooth. They used regenerative endodontics, a type of tissue engineering that involves stimulating the patient’s own stem cells to change into tissues needed in the patient’s body.

Many parents like Konner’s, who initially worried about the prospect of false teeth for their children, are heartened to know those teeth can be saved.

Konner is 17 now. If the light hits his front tooth at just the right angle when he smiles, a slight discoloration is noticeable. But he and his mother don’t mind. They’re just glad the tooth is his own.

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