A 60-year-old woman undergoing dental implant surgery at a Swedish hospital learned the hard way that visits to the dentists never end well when the dental drill being used on her came loose and slid down her throat.
"She tried to spit it out, and was made to cough, but she'd already swallowed," Västmanland County Hospital's medical chief Per Weitz told The Local.
The 1.1" drill subsequently became lodged in her right lung, requiring an emergency bronchoscopy to remove it. "A pinky-sized tube was sent into her lung with a small camera and pliers to grab hold of the drill," Weitz said.
The procedure was successful, and the unnamed patient was discharged the following day. She was able to fully recover within a month.
The hospital has since instituted some changes to its protocol the prevent future incidents.
"What we've done at the clinic is to make sure everyone double checks that the drill is attached properly, and we've also introduced a routine of testing the drill in the air. That should be done before every procedure now," said Weitz, who could have left well enough alone, but decided to conclude by adding, "Unfortunately, drills are going to be dropped every now and then."
Oh, and here's a fun fact: Sweden practically invented modern dental implantology, so there's another comforting thought.
[photo via Shutterstock]