By anyone's estimation, Mijo Vodopija was long in the tooth. Quite literally.
As newly certified by the Guinness World Records organization, Vodopija, who is originally from Croatia but now lives in Germany, had a tooth extracted that measured 1.46 inches from root to crown, or 3.72 centimeters in length. It is the longest extracted tooth in recorded history, according to Guinness, surpassing the previous record-holder, in India, by half a millimeter.
Doing the extraction honors was Dr. Max Lukas, a graduate of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University dental school, whose practice is located in Offenbach, Germany, near Frankfurt.
As Dr. Lukas told various news outlets, Vodopija came to him complaining of severe dental pain and swelling in his upper jaw.
“The tooth looked really long on the X-ray. It was unbelievable,” Dr. Lukas recalled.
The dentist, whose practice provides the entire spectrum of modern dental services, concluded that treatment was not possible, so he pulled the elongated tooth, which was infected.
Like a fisherman who reels in a massive fish, Dr. Lukas knew right away he had an exceptional specimen. According to Mail Online, the dentist had to jump through some hoops to get the Guinness authorities to recognize his patient’s record-breaking tooth. That included receiving the consent of Vodopija, having a report of the extraction published in a medical journal, and getting a confirming measurement from an independent expert. The entire process took more than a year.
As noted by the various news outlets that covered the unusual tooth, nothing is known about Dr. Lukas’s patient, such as his age or occupation, other than his country of origin.
Dr. Lukas is holding onto the now-famous tooth, as he awaits a certificate of authentication from Guinness. When it arrives, Dr. Lukas said he plans to display it proudly in his office.
“Every dentist in the world will read about it,” the dentist told the Mirror newspaper.
To view photos of Dr. Lukas's world-record tooth, click here.