Health

Another reason to fear dentists: swallowed dental instruments.

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceMay 12, 2014 10:00 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Photo: flickr/Betsssssy

There's no other paper we've featured that deserves the "Health issues I wish I didn't know about" tag more than this one. Not that there aren't more disgusting medical case studies out there. Rather, this one makes an already-feared health appointment that much worse. This article summarizes five cases in which patients swallowed dental protheses and instruments. Needless to say, some of these events did not end well. The recommendations of the doctors? If you swallow a dental instrument, the dentist should try to get it out. And if that fails? Don't ignore it -- go to the hospital!

Swallowed and aspirated dental prostheses and instruments in clinical dental practice: A report of five cases and a proposed management algorithm. "BACKGROUND: Accidental swallowing or aspiration of dental instruments and prostheses is a complication of dental procedures. Failure to manage these complications appropriately can lead to significant morbidity and possibly death. CASE DESCRIPTION: The authors present three cases of accidental swallowing of dental instruments during procedures and two cases of aspiration, one during a procedure and one long after the procedure. Although three of these five cases of foreign-body aspiration or ingestion were caught early and the patients were referred for endoscopic retrieval, two patients experienced prolonged symptoms that affected their quality of life before intervention occurred. Practical Implications The authors reviewed the literature and propose an evidence-based algorithm for management of such complications. Adherence to the proposed algorithm may decrease morbidity and mortality and improve patient outcomes." Related content: NCBI ROFL: Snakes vs. dentist: pick your poison.How to store your broken tooth until you get to the dentist.A new thing to fear: “intranasal teeth”.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.