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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 20:25 GMT
Hospital teeth policy upsets girl
Kimberley and Lorraine Cumming
Kimberley had a box ready to leave her teeth in
A four-year-old girl was stopped from taking her teeth home from hospital for the tooth fairy because doctors classed them as "body parts".

Kimberley Cumming's mother Lorraine was told the teeth had to be disposed of by Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Mrs Cumming had explained the tooth fairy story to make her daughter less anxious about the procedure, during which four teeth were taken out.

Kimberley had made a special box and was upset about not getting her teeth.

The girl, from Inverness, had gone in to have one tooth out but the dental surgeon removed three others to stop the rot from spreading.

To reduce the risk of cross-infection we routinely retain and dispose of teeth extracted
NHS Highland

Mrs Cumming said her daughter's only solace in the recovery room had been the thought that the fairy would exchange her teeth for money.

But doctors said the teeth were now classed as body parts and had to be disposed of by the hospital.

Mrs Cumming said the rule was "stupid" and had "killed the magic of the tooth fairy" for her little girl.

She said: "She was very nervous and crying 'I don't want to get my teeth out' and things like that, but we managed to calm her down with the story, so she was actually quite excited by the time we went to the hospital.

Health board statement

"There was one tooth that the problem was with but there were another three sitting there that were perfectly fine, at least they could have given me one for her to take home."

NHS Highland defended the procedure at Raigmore Hospital, which it said was in place to stop cross-infection.

A statement by the board said: "To reduce the risk of cross-infection we routinely retain and dispose of teeth extracted.

"This is particularly important when the tooth is infected."

Kimberley's mother tells of her disappointment

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