It’s easy to swallow things that weren’t meant to be swallowed. This is especially true when it comes to things that are meant to keep your mouth in good shape. People are always swallowing partials, temporary dental crowns, and crowns.
In most cases, these items pass harmlessly through your system, but what about those things you need, especially if they happen to be expensive to replace like crowns? It might be a good idea to see a dentist near me, but in the meantime, what follows are a few ideas on what to do.
When you swallow a dental crown, especially if it happens to still have the post attached, you will probably know It, albeit a little late. You will probably feel a small lump in your throat as it makes its way down your esophagus. The typical crown, even when it is attached to the post, is actually quite small, especially when compared with all the tubes and tunnels that are in your body.
A crown will usually pass through the stomach undigested, enter the small intestine, which is about two inches wide, then proceed into the large intestine, which is about three to four inches wide. The intestines are capable of passing some surprisingly large things, including a crown, if need be.
Be Patient, and Let Nature Takes Its Course
All other things being the same, the chances of a dental crown passing through your system without a hitch are very good, but you will need to be patient. It’s good to remember that the average length of the small and large intestines together is about 25 feet. It only takes food about 12 to 24 hours to pass through the intestines, but it might take as long as a week for a crown to get through, and sometimes even longer. If you want to rescue your crown, patience is critical.
Immediately after swallowing your crown, it’s a good idea to notify your dentist for further instructions. They might have you come in for an x-ray to make sure the path is clear for the crown to pass. They might also advise you to attempt to vomit the crown out, but this is a long shot, especially if any time has passed.
Before your crown is expected to pass, it might be a good idea to make sure your system is able to pass the crown as easily as possible. Taking a soluble fiber will help in this regard. It will be easier to check through the bowel movement if it is softened.
Panning for Gold
Start collecting bowel movements in a bucket until the dental crown passes. Use gloves and two small plastic knives to cut the bowel movement until you find the crown. You might also want to use some kind of a mask to keep the odor under control if you have a weak stomach. If you have been a parent, changing dirty diapers is usually good training for this procedure. Use an old toothbrush to remove feces from the crown and sterilize it in a bleach mixture. Now take it to your dentist to re-sterilize and reattach it.
Crowns aren’t cheap. And, as disgusting as digging through feces might seem, it might be worth it to save the money that would be required for a new one.