Ingestion and aspiration of foreign bodies in dental practice
More details
Hide details
Department of Prosthodontics, Medical University of Warsaw
Endoscopy Diagnostic Lab, Regional Hospital in Minsk Mazowiecki
Students’ Research Group at the Department of Prosthodontics, Medical University of Warsaw
Publish date: 2019-08-12
Prosthodontics 2019;69(3):257–269
Dental work requires the use of various types of materials and tools. Due to the lack of a complete mechanical barrier that would protect further parts of the respiratory and digestive systems, aspirations and ingestions are seen as complications. It is then appropriate to establish proper protocols, diagnostics and treatment methods to be performed both at the chairside and in specialist departments. According to the literature, drill bits, endodontic tools and prosthetic restorations, especially at the stage of oral cavity control before cementation, are predisposed to enter the alimentary or respiratory tract. Most swallowed objects pass through the digestive tract without any alarming complications. However, sharp, pointed and elongated objects can cause perforation and damage to internal organs. The patient’s behavior, vital parameters and other clinical manifestations should be carefully monitored, which could help in the differentiation between accidental ingestion and aspiration. However medical intervention may be necessary in both situations. After the diagnostic procedure, 15-20% of cases of swallowing of a foreign body require intervention in the form of endoscopic or surgical removal. The optimal therapeutic management of a patient who has been diagnosed with foreign body aspiration involves bronchoscopy with a rigid device. The basis for preventing the occurrence of the described complications is the mechanical protection of the respiratory and digestive tracts. The most common method used in dentistry is the use of a rubber dam. If its application is not possible, the operator should take special care with any moveable object present in the mouth. In the case of failure, the patient’s condition should be monitored and methods that go beyond the competence of the dentist, including surgical treatment, should be implemented.