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Woman's tooth used to help restore vision

September 17, 2009 5:20:38 AM PDT
A rare surgery restored the eyesight of a Florida woman by using a slice of her tooth.Kay Thornton was blind for nine years before doctors performed a transplant. She had a severely scarred cornea.

Two weeks ago she became the first person in this country to have her eye sight restored with a technique developed in Italy.

Florida doctors replaced the cornea with a plastic lens and used part of her canine tooth and jaw bone to secure it in place.

"These patients are blind because the front part of the eye does not work. So, if we can put a plastic window in the front part of their eye, we can change their life," said Dr. Victor Perez, an eye surgeon.

A tooth is used because it is rigid and the bone and tissue won't be rejected by the body.

Kay says she looks forward most to seeing her children and grandbabies.

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