Dentist error

Mar 25, 2019
Best answers

I've been under the care of the same dentist for the past 9 years or so. It's a reputable private practice here in the UK.

I went in to the first appointment with Whoopi Goldberg syndrome - totally unaware of gum disease - around 8 years ago or so. I thought my teeth were fine and that a filling would be needed. It turned out they were not fine and I had early signs of gum disease, with pocketing in a few teeth, up to 4mm in two of them.

That dentist, who was the most senior dentist at the practice, more or less wrote off my teeth there and then, some 9 years ago. He didn't create any care plan, nor refer me to periodontist but in the subsequent years that followed more or less managed the decline of them without intervention, except the odd filling or deeper clean of just one of my canines and a visit to the hygienist (when you could get an appointment).

After a few years of this coming and going, he was concerned about the tooth behind the canine as it appeared the poor workmanship centred on a filling in it around 20 years previous in another practice had caused trapped spaces and was causing tracking into the bone and thus bone loss. He decided to protect the canine, he would extract the tooth behind, thus removing the bacterial trap. Unfortunately, despite minor bone loss over those 20 years from the original work on the now extracted tooth, rather than slow up the bone loss, the gap that was left resulted in a massive acceleration in bone loss thereafter as the gum went into melt down.

In other appointments, I visited their hygienists. They cleaned my teeth and after several appointments over some months, I managed to steer my teeth back to some stability The dentist appeared shocked about their recovery.

However, over time, the relationship deteriorated with that dentist as he kept returning to the futility of my teeth treatment but I kept confounding him on later visits. Yet he didnt refer me on to deeper treatment.

The hygienist at the practice was difficult to book appointments with, taking 2 months or more to be able to book a slot for cleaning. When I attended the appointments, the cleaning appeared inconsistent. I didn't feel they were being cleaned consistently as they appeared rushed at times to do the same routine. Despite my efforts, my teeth would start bleeding again after 6 weeks or so, and by the time the next hygiene appointment came some months later, they were back to square one

The dentist was his usual doom and gloom on all visits. He really made me feel like some second rate citizen and very uncomfortable, in fact so much so I really didn't want to go but persisted anyway.

I was not aware, as it was not flagged up to me in those subsequent visits, but my two lower front teeth suddenly came lose. He said bridges needed to be fitted. I gave him the job to fit them. He fitted them a week or so later (around 3 years or so ago). Unfortunately, he must have rushed the job since he let the adhesive/cement drip on setting thus creating two pin-like points on the inside of my mouth. I didn't notice until the anaesthetic began to wear off in the evening. By next day I was climbing the wall in pain, and the blood in my mouth scared the life out of me. To cut a long story short, to get rid of the pain, I ended up bracing my front teeth with a wooden stick and with the other hand I reached down with a pair of long nose pliers and snapped off the spikes of cement. Within a hour the pain was gone and the bleeding stopped. The experience frightened the life out of me as I've never known pain like it and pain that couldn't be controlled with analgaesia of any description.

I couldn't bring myself to trust that dentist again and left the practice as a regular patient.

Last year I had a brush with prostate cancer. The condition had left my kidneys badly damaged and the other related organ damage. This meant I was off work for around 12 months due to the poor diagnosis of my local hospital and the preamble with severe urinary retention and other issues. Subsequently I ran out of money and my life was on hold. I was so ill, I was planning my funeral last summer. However, I recovered after surgery and my whole body homeostasis found balance again but only fairly recently.

After building up funds again, after returning to work, I needed a filling. I made the mistake of going back to the same practice but was under a different dentist.

I panicked in the treatment room and more or less wanted to leave immediately, as all the experiences from the other dentist came flooding back. I also explained about all the above to the dentist. She became very defensive of the other dentist and started to become less helpful. She said she could refer me onto a periodontal surgeon as my teeth had once again deteriorated. I panicked again since again reminders of the experience from the other dentist further rattled me. It didn't help as she got very shirty with me and then abruptly retorted "Oh, they won't be able to do anything with those, the bones gone up around them!!". It was a brutally insensitive statement to make and unwholly called for in that way. Frankly that dentist frightened the life out of me.

I left the appointment. However, later in the day, the work she had carried out on my teeth had resulted in a poor bite and pain. On revisited in the following afternoon, where she was unpleasant and untalkative, she used high pressure water or a drill to excavated in between the teeth and without anaestesia. I almost hit the roof in pain! By this time I wanted out.

The upshot out of all this is that I was advised to see a periodontist. Yet, why wasn't I referred to a periodontist by the other dentist years ago? The sudden shock of realising that all this time had been lost, when I could have been treated much earlier on, was a total bolt from the blue and has totally knocked me for six. I dont know what to do.

In my opinion, since understanding the role of the periodontist, I reckon I've been carrying an untreated gum infection for years, and which has led to the deterioration of my gums. I feel very disappointed by this as I now feel I should have been referred much earlier.

I tried to make a complaint to the practice but the practice management have 'closed ranks', so to speak. They have been awful to deal with and obstructed my dental records after I requested them to take with me to the new periodontist that I had self-referred myself to last week. The former practice have been absolutely awful, really uncooperative and caused me really great distress over this past week. I've never felt so isolated.

My appointment with the periodontist is not for another 2 weeks and I fear since complaining to the above practice, about their two dentists in my previous treatment, they will once again close professional ranks and isolate me by somehow tipping off the other clinician as a sort of inner circle of professional self protection. Maybe I'm being paranoid here but the dentists have left me feeling very distrustful of them.

I fear the only treatment that will be offered will be dentures to shut me up. But after looking at my dental xrays and comparing it with other people with much worse apparent bone loss, it seems to me that my bone is not anywhere near the level of deterioration to right it off. Therefore, I feel bone grafting and implants could be an option. But again, I worry greatly about the other dentists influence in telling the other new dentist/periodontist to stay clear of me. Maybe I'm being irrational but the management of the old practice really were very difficult people to deal with over the past week.

I'm sorry about the long story, which is actually abridged, but I'm hoping that someone can shed some light for me on options and advice, if any.

Thank you if you can help as I am deeply worried.


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