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Case Reports in Dentistry
Volume 2018, Article ID 7586468, 4 pages
Case Report

Infant Oral Mutilation

1University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
2Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
3Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Private Practice of Pediatric Dentistry, Raleigh, NC, USA
4Private Practice of Pediatric Dentistry, Raleigh, NC, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Emily A. Pope; moc.liamg@1epopaylime

Received 26 June 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 21 February 2018

Academic Editor: Daniel Torrés-Lagares

Copyright © 2018 Emily A. Pope et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ebinyo refers to the practice of removing primary canine tooth follicles in infants without anesthetic by African traditional healers or elders using unsterilized instruments. This report describes a case of ebinyo or infant oral mutilation (IOM) and associated sequelae in a child adopted from a remote African tribe. The intraoral examination revealed that the patient was missing his primary maxillary and mandibular canines. The maxillary anterior periapical radiograph displayed a dysmorphic ectopic unerupted maxillary right primary canine positioned mesial to the maxillary right primary first molar. Periapical films taken confirmed partial or complete absence of the patient’s primary mandibular left (73) and mandibular right (83) canines, and a bitewing and periapical film confirmed the absence of the patient’s primary maxillary left (63) canine. The permanent canines will be monitored for possible hypoplasia secondary to trauma to the tooth buds during extirpation of the primary canines. Research presented in this report reveals that there are serious health implications involved with the practice of ebinyo.