For Dentists: I Messed Up Big Time. Need Advice


Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
1
So it was my first year out of dental school.... I worked in this crazy factory of a medicaid practice. My bosses basically bullied me on a regular basis (dentists that work alongside in the same office) to go faster and produce more. They even went so far as to tell the assistants they weren't allowed to give me 330s, and that I had to use a 557 for everything (no matter how small, even for pedo). The assistants were also tasked with timing me and reporting if I took too much time. Anyways, 10 months into this...It's 5 o'clock and I still have a patient waiting...I feel I messed up because I was rushing constantly....anyways....

We had done a pulp crown on A on this 6 year old and he did fine-ish, but his patience was out and we still had to extract an exfoliating Q. Well he kinda freaks out when he sees the forceps and all I can think is "just get that tooth out quick" So I grip the tooth and in one flick of my wrist I rotated R straight out like butter. Immediately I feel like dying, it's the wrong freaking tooth. I'm not normally the one in charge of emergencies so I'm panicking and my memory and fight/flight response fail me miserably and all I can think is "dont wash the PDL, replace quickly, stint, and follow-up". So I do this and think ok maybe it'll be ok maybe it'll be ok. So my boss has arrived by this time (you can imagine the shit storm I got after that) and he informs me that was the wrong protocal for primary teeth, but we will go with it. I immediately go and tell the parents personally what I have done and request they come back in 3 weeks.

We never hear from them again. Fast forward 3 months, I recently received a complaint the mother has filed with the board. I'm not surprised, I totally deserve whatever is coming for me. However, this has seriously been ruining my daily life. Waiting for the discipline action and unknowing what to expect has been total torture. I think about this every day, all the time. Not just out of fear for myself and my future, but also with the guilt for what I did to that little boy. I am just beside myself with guilt. I am not a negligent dentist!! I take my time and truly treat every single treatment on every single patient like I would want someone to treat my child or my mother or my sibling....I freaking care more than any other dentist I know (no offense...I dont know you :) ) hence why I was constantly in trouble for taking too long lol I'm extremely paranoid about making a mistake and boom...I make this huge one in one split second.....I am so disappointed in myself. I don't know how I allowed that to happen....I feel like such a failure and a terrible dentist and like I should have gone into a different career field. How did I let this happen?!?!

Bottom line questions:

Does anyone have any similar experience or peronsally know of someone that has messed up on this epic of levels?
What's the process with the board at this point? How long until I finally know my fate?
Should I get a lawyer? What are the chances this will go to court? (I have tail insurance coverage)
I have since left that miserable place and have found a wonderful job. When do I need to inform them of this investigation and action? After I'm "convicted and sentenced" or now that I know about the complaint? Can I get fired over this? I am so mortified and embarrassed to admit it to anyone, much less my fairly new employer that has been nothing but wonderful to me for the last 2 months.
 
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Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
92
really sorry to hear that.
Mistakes happen, that's just the way it is. The kid didn't help. I wouldn't go back to work at that place any way.

Personally, I think you will make a great dentist. Hope this incident doesn't do too much harm to your career.

Hope it works out for you
 
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