You can call them the luckiest dentures on earth.

An elderly Brazilian man shot in the face escaped death when his dentures deflected a bullet headed for his brain.

A hospital official says that 81-year-old Zacarias Pacheco de Moraes was shot Thursday while working in a bar he owns in the small western city of Alta Floresta.

Jose Marcos da Silva was quoted by Globo TV's G1 website Saturday as saying that the bullet probably would have pierced Moraes' brain if it hadn't first hit his dentures before lodging in his throat. The official said the bullet will not be removed immediately because surgery right now would be too risky.

Silva said the patient was in stable condition but in danger of losing part of his eyesight because of the bullet's trajectory. He did not elaborate.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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