European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 119–121 | Cite as

Ingestion of a RPE activation key: Why do these accidents still happen?

  • M. C. G. PantuzoEmail author
  • E. Nunes
  • L. R. Pires
  • L. S. da M. C. Pinto
  • D. D. Oliveira
Short Communication



To draw attention and increase professional awareness about the potentially serious complications that may occur when these misfortunes happen and to what actions could be implemented to avoid such accidents.


The present case report is of an accidental ingestion of a rapid maxillary expander (RPE) activation key in a cardiac patient and the subsequent diagnostic confirmation with radiographs and the management of this accident thereafter.


On the third day after the accidental ingestion of the RPE key, the patient’s parents reported that the key was expelled in the stools without further complication.


Ingestion of foreign bodies is a potential complication during orthodontic treatment. These types of accidents may cause serious consequences to the patient, especially if there is a pre-existing systemic condition, such as heart disease or respiratory problems.


Ingestion Foreign bodies Orthodontic treatment Maxillary expansion Child 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. G. Pantuzo
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Nunes
    • 1
  • L. R. Pires
    • 1
  • L. S. da M. C. Pinto
    • 1
  • D. D. Oliveira
    • 2
  1. 1.School of DentistryPontifical Catholic University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Department of OrthodonticsPontifical Catholic University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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