The patient had arrived at a dental clinic in Västmanland county to have the filling from a recently repaired tooth cleaned.
In the middle of the procedure, however, the dentist’s drill bit came loose and before the dentist or attending hygienist could react, the patient had swallowed the end of the dental tool.
Although showing no signs of discomfort or injury as a result of the dental malfunction, the patient was nevertheless admitted to the emergency room in nearby Västerås for precautionary x-rays.
The dentist learned the following day that the drill bit had ended up in the patient’s stomach and that the patient felt fine.
The patient added that the misplaced dental tool was expected to come out “the natural way,” according to a statement from the Västmanland county council.
Despite the patient’s lack of complications following the mishap, the incident, which occurred in October 2010, has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) under Sweden’s Lex Maria laws, the informal name used to refer to regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.
The patient’s October surprise at the dental office isn’t the first time someone has left a Swedish dentist office with a foreign object lodged in his or her digestive tract.
Back in January 2009, county health authorities in Kalmar in southern Sweden filed a report a Lex Maria report about a dental drill bit which flew off during a cleaning and was believed to have ended up in the patient’s stomach.
However, the missing dental tool failed to show up on x-rays following taken after the incident.