Dental Hygienist Questions General Dentistry

Is it possible to choke on the water in the dental office?

My grandmother is old and is scare of going to the dentist now because she thinks she gong to end up choking. She's never had this problem before, but after her stroke, she hasn't been able to swallow so easily. I don't blame her for feeling worried, but she has severe pain in one of her back teeth and won't get it checked out. Is this fear of choking logical? How can we help her get over it so she get, at least, a check-up?

2 Answers

It certainly could happen, but it's not likely, especially if the dental team takes precautions to limit the water in the mouth and gives her plenty of breaks during treatment to swallow.

Yes, it’s a somewhat common fear. Some options to help your grandmother: the dentist can use a rubber dam or isolite system to help minimize the water in the mouth. If the anxiety borders fear, she may require sedation. The body has natural reflexes, which will obviously prevent choking. This is more a psychological issue, so reassurance is important. Have a consult with the dentist and hopefully he can create trust, showing care and empathy.
I wish your grandmother well. Hope this helps.