This case report describes the importance of inspecting the hypopharynx via direct laryngoscopy prior to laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion during induction of general anesthesia for dental patients with special needs. A 51-year-old man with cerebral palsy underwent induction of general anesthesia for dental extractions and subsequently was noted to be missing a tooth. Prompt inspection of the airway via direct laryngoscopy revealed the tooth resting within the pharynx, which was subsequently retrieved, prior to insertion of the LMA. Visual inspection of the oropharynx and hypopharynx by laryngoscopy prior to LMA insertion can be useful in preventing accidental aspiration and ingestion of foreign bodies, particularly with certain high-risk patients. Use of laryngoscopy should also be considered if an object is lost or possibly impinging upon the airway.

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