A blind Irishman regained his sight through a surgical procedure which involves inserting a tooth into his eye.

Bob McNichol, 57, from County Mayo in the western part of the country was blinded by a freak accident explosion involving melted aluminum at a recycling business two years ago, RTE state radio.

I thought that I was going to be blind for the rest of my life, McNichol told RTE state radio, the AFP reported.

He sought out the unusual operation after doctors in Ireland could not do anything else. However he heard about an operation called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) being performed in England by Dr Christopher Lie at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton, England, the report stated.

OOKP is a complex operation in two stages which restores vision in the most severe cases, according to the Singapore National Eye Center.

It involves removing a canine tooth, a part of the adjacent bone and related ligaments from a patient. It is attached in the first stage to the cheek area to develop a blood supply and is allowed to heal for several months.

The second part involves removing the tooth complex from the cheek area and placing it within the eye, attaching a corneal replacement implant.

McNichol received the tooth from his son Robert, 23, according to the report.

It is pretty heavy going, McNichol said, according to the report. There was a 65 percent chance of me getting any sight.

McNichol now can see well enough to get around and I can watch television.