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Prevention and management of accidental foreign body ingestion and aspiration in orthodontic practice

Authors Umesan UK, Chua, Balakrishnan

Received 7 February 2012

Accepted for publication 6 March 2012

Published 23 May 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 245—252


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Uday Kumar Umesan,1 Kui Lay Chua,1 Priya Balakrishnan2

1National Dental Centre, 2Kg Kiarong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Abstract: Among the myriad emergencies that could arise in the dental clinical setting there are a few that occur occasionally despite being entirely preventable. Ingestion or aspiration of dental materials, appliances, or instruments comprises this category. Regardless of incidence, foreign body ingestion or aspiration episodes are recognized as potential complications in the specialty of orthodontics. Despite their infrequent occurrence, the morbidity from a single incident and the amount of specialty medical care that may be needed to manage such incidents is too high to ignore. There is also the associated risk of malpractice litigation given the fact that these incidents are preventable. At present, no clear guidelines exist regarding prevention of this emergency in practice. This article attempts to review relevant literature and aims to formulate certain recommendations based on best available evidence to minimize the incidence of such events, while also suggesting guidelines toward making their management more effective. A flow chart outlining management options and strategies to aid the clinician in the event of such an emergency is also presented.

Keywords: foreign bodies, ingestion, orthodontics, respiratory aspiration, orthodontic appliances

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