Dental Paper Clips, Then and Now

A news report from Fall River, Massachusetts recalls a beloved dental study about a paper clip. The report in the Boston Globe, says: “A former Massachusetts dentist is accused of putting paper clips in patients’ mouths during root canals, then billing Medicaid for the stainless steel posts he should have used.”

The classic study is:

Foreign body in a deciduous incisor: A radiological revelation,” G. Lehl, J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2010 Jan-Mar;28(1):45-6. The author, at Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India, reports: “A 6-year-old boy was brought to the dental department with a history of toothache in the anterior maxillary region. Intraoral examination revealed caries in the deciduous upper central and lateral incisor teeth. Radiological evaluation revealed the silhouette of a metallic paper clip in the pulp chamber of the deciduous right maxillary central incisor. The tooth was extracted as the permanent incisor was erupting below. Children often avoid informing their parents regarding such incidents due to fear of punishment.”