Ingestion or aspiration of dental implant screwdrivers or implant components is potentially life-threatening. There are no reports on the frequency at which dentists drop these devices within the mouth or which components are most problematic. There are few reports on what protective measures clinicians take, where risks exist, and how this problem is managed. A 9-part questionnaire was provided to dentists. Data collected included clinicians’ roles, implant surgeons, restorative clinicians, or both—the frequency of dropping implant screwdrivers or components, items considered most problematic. Patient protection and management were also requested. Finally, questions related to how much of a problem clinicians considered this to be and if further solutions and a standardized management protocol should be developed. One hundred twelve dentists voluntarily completed the survey. Of the dentists, 54% restored, 37% restored and surgically placed, and 9% solely placed implants. Twenty-nine percent claimed never to drop components, with 56% dropping an instrument less than 10% of the time. Less than half would suggest patients seek medical advice if a screwdriver or component was accidentally dropped intraorally and was not recovered. Thirty percent never tied floss tethers to screwdrivers, and a similar percentage reported they only sometimes did so. Throat pack protection was reported 51% of the time. Ninety percent considered dropping components an issue, with screwdrivers most problematic. Aspiration or ingestion of implant screwdrivers and components is problematic, with dentists varying their use of protection devices. There is a need to standardize and implement patient protection procedures and management and develop methods to reduce the risk of these potentially life-threatening issues.

You do not currently have access to this content.