Article: Volume 46 Number 11 Page 1041 - December 2019

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  Dent Update 2019; 46: 1041-1043

Oral Medicine/Radiology:  See a Pin and Pick It Up … Radiographically!

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Abstract: A 67-year-old female was referred to secondary care with asymptomatic foreign bodies visible on intra-oral radiographs. Clinical examination was unremarkable. Radiographic examination revealed nine pin-like radio-opaque objects throughout the face and head present on multiple previous imaging modalities. The patient was unaware of their presence and could not account for them. A review of available literature revealed similar objects have been used during acupuncture and cosmetic procedures without complication. As the objects were asymptomatic, the patient was reassured and discharged.

Clinical relevance: Routine radiographic examination of patients may reveal the presence of unusual and unexpected findings.

Author notes: Ailish Clark, BDS(Hons) BSc(Hons), MFDS(RCPS Glas), Academic Clinical Fellow in Oral Surgery, Central Manchester Foundation Trust (email:, Phillip Seenan, BDS(Com), BSc(Hons), MFDS(RCPS Glas), Specialty Registrar in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Guy's and St Thomas’s Hospitals Foundation Trust, John Gibson, PhD, MB ChB, BDS, FRCP(Glasg), FDS(OM) RCPS(Glasg), FFD RCS(Irel), Professor of Oral Medicine, University of Aberdeen and Kirstyn Donaldson, BDS, MFDS(RCPS Glas) DDMFR(RCR), Consulant in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, 378 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JZ, UK.

Objective: To highlight the importance of careful history-taking and examination of all available imaging to ascertain the cause of unexpected radiographic findings.

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