There are a few kinds of aspiration, one is where you aspire to do more with your life, get a better job, help humanity, that kinda thing. But the kind of aspiration we are often concerned with in the dental office is the kind where a person sucks something into their lung.
Dentists put all sorts of small things in patients mouths, and it’s really rather amazing that more patients don’t swallow crowns and small dental instruments more often, but it does happen occasionally. In the Journal of the American Dental Association – JADA, May 2014 edition, four dentists and doctors 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” (p.459).
You see, it’s not just when the dentist is treating the patient that they swallow things; it can also be a loose crown that a patient swallows at home or worse yet, aspirates in their sleep. The third case this article details is of a 54 year old man who had been coughing for four months. After seeing a couple M.D.s they finally figured it out. The patient had sucked a crown into his lung while sleeping. They got it out, but I am pretty sure this was not a fun four months for the patient.
So if you have a loose dental prosthesis, please give us a call now, and let us get that fixed up for you. You don’t want to end up sucking it into your lung.