What's less fun than having a root canal? Watching your dentist look around for a lost tool when the procedure is over. That's what happened to a patient in Illinois who, lo and behold, began having stomach pains a few days later, reports WGN. An X-ray revealed the problem—a small dental tool with the unpleasant name of a "barbed breach" had lodged in his stomach, reports CBS Chicago. (Click that link to see an image of the instrument.) It had evidently slipped down his throat during the root canal, and patient Janusz Pawlowicz required emergency surgery to have it removed. The silver lining for Pawlowicz: He just won a $675,000 settlement over the incident at Gentle Dental services in Des Plaines.
“(I saw her) looking around me, looking at my clothes, on the floor," says Pawlowicz. "She said that she lost a small piece of metal." Eventually, she told him it likely fell on the floor and sent her patient home. After his emergency surgery, Pawlowicz ended up spending more than a month in the hospital, says his wife, Barbara, per Fox 59. "It was terrible." His attorney has a different description for what happened: "completely preventable." So far, the dentist involved in the case has not been disciplined by the state, notes WGN. (This trip to the dentist ended up being a life-saver.)