Kochi: Never in his wildest dreams did Vinoj, a native of
Ernakulam in the South Indian state of Kerala, think a small dental crown would
pose a threat to his life.
The 43-year old had undergone a root canal procedure nearly
six months ago. However, the dental crown put over a damaged tooth got stuck in
his lungs after he accidentally swallowed it. Months later, it had landed him in
a hospital bed in a serious condition. However, his life was finally saved when
the crown was removed by a medical team led by Dr Praveen Valsalan K, Lead
Consultant, Pulmonary Medicine, Aster Medcity, Kochi.
A few days after he underwent a root canal procedure, Vinoj,
a resident of Kongorpilly, noticed that the dental crown was missing. He
consulted his dentist again but finally reached the conclusion that the crown
was lost while brushing. However, a few days later, he started developing
recurrent episodes of cough and breathing difficulty, for which he consulted multiple
doctors for the next six months without any success.
Soon, he developed pneumonia and went to a nearby hospital.
However, his condition deteriorated and was admitted to the pulmonary medicine
department at the Aster Medcity. It was found in detailed examination that the
cough and breathing difficulties were caused by phlegm accumulated in the lungs
“While examining the CT scan report, we developed suspicion of
the presence of a foreign body in the patient’s lungs. It was confirmed with
endoscopy. The phlegm and pneumonia were caused by the foreign body stuck in
the lungs. The foreign body, a dental crown, was immediately removed using
bronchoscopy,” said Dr Pravin. He added it would have been a serious threat to the
man’s life had the foreign object not removed on time.
The patient recovered well following the procedure and was discharged.