Emergency Surgery After Dentist Drops Metal File Down Throat

This probably isn’t the best post to read if you’re a nervous patient. Instead, maybe try this blog post about The Most Relaxing Dental Practice in Britain. For those that are less scream-ish, prepare to cringe!

Alexander Hoar, a grandfather from Penzance in Cornwall was overwhelmed with ‘absolute terror’ when visiting Oasis Dental Practice (now Bupa Penzance Dental Care Practice). He visited for a low-risk root canal surgery but ended up in the hospital or a one-inch long metal file stuck in his throat for several hours.

Mr Hoar remembered seeing the file ‘dangling above his head’. A split second later it dropped into his mouth and straight back to his throat. He began clutching at this throat, gagging while the dentist unsuccessfully tried to pluck it back out. He claimed that nobody seemed to know what had happened or what was going on. His panic eased when he realised he could breathe again, but could still feel the file lodged firmly in his throat. Hoar kept trying to cough but it wouldn’t move, and he was too scared to swallow in case it pushed the file further down his throat. The Dental Practice explained what had happened to Mr Hoar and asked the pensioner if he could make his own way to the hospital. Mr Hoar said he was shocked that they didn’t think it was serious enough to call an ambulance or escort him from the building.

The Hospital Trip

On his way to the hospital, the file had dropped down into Mr Hoar’s stomach. Surgeons had to use a fibre optic camera and push it up Mr Hoar’s nose, down his throat into this stomach. This had to be endured three times. After the surgeons removed the file from Mr Hoar’s mouth, they had to put a clip over a tear in his stomach. Mr Hoar explained how grateful he was that the file didn’t cause more damage to his stomach. Which it easily could have. Mr Hoar returned home the next afternoon after staying overnight in the hospital. He is now completely traumatised and refers to the experience as ‘the worst experience of my life’.

Mr Hoar is now afraid to visit the dentist. He claims “Every time I go into a dentist I cry – it’s embarrassing”.


Mr Hoar is now seeking compensation due to dental negligence. The Dental Negligence Team at South West Law Firm Royds Withy King, is helping Mr Hoar to bring his claim. they say it is time for the dental industry to produce a list of ‘never events’, much in the same vein of ‘never events’ NHS England produces for Hospitals.

A spokesman for Bupa Penzance Dental Care Practice has explained that the team acted quickly to make sure Mr Hoar received medical attention following the unfortunate incident. They also confirmed that an investigation has been launched to review practice procedures and help prevent this situation ever happening again.



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