The man went to the emergency room because he was having a hard time swallowing and was coughing up blood. Doctors ordered a chest X-ray, diagnosed him with pneumonia and sent him home with antibiotics and steroids. It took another hospital visit before another X-ray revealed the problem: His dentures — a metal roof plate and three false teeth — lodged at the top of this throat.

The man thought his dentures were lost while he was in the hospital for minor surgery.

How it happened isn’t exactly clear, but a half-dozen previous cases have been documented of dentures going astray as surgical patients were put to sleep.