Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Singing the dentist's blues...

Today was the second visit to finish my root canal. I haven't been too thrilled with my dentist as of late, mainly because he decided I needed a crown, then it got infected, then I needed a root canal.....My tooth was fine! Well, anyway, I just don't mess with my teeth anymore because years ago I had let a cavity go unfilled and and my whole left side of my mouth was pretty much replaced... This crown was on my right side.

The dentist came in and started the procedure by giving me novacane and then left the room. He came back about 10 minutes later and started preparing to do the rest of the root canal. If you have never had a root canal, this procedure is quite unpleasant. They are drilling and poking up into the gums. When he started poking up into the gums with a file I nearly jumped 10 feet off the chair. (Obviously there was not enough novacane.) So, he tells his assistant to take a picture of the tooth and walks out. (Meanwhile, I'm very uncomfortable - my gums are still throbbing from the jabbing). The assistant tries to take a picture of the tooth, then asks another person to help her and they are taking NUMEROUS pictures jamming the film down my throat. Still no dentist. I tell them NO MORE! You've taken enough pictures. The x-ray machine was pointing at my eyes...that cannot be safe! They all leave. Now I wait. With the file still stuck up my tooth, the x-ray shield still over my chest, there are no assistants, no dentist. I am seething at this point. The assistant comes back in and apologizes that the dentist has taken a call in his office, and they can't interrupt him. Now I'm really angry. I tell her to tell him I'm furious. (I believe my words were a bit cruder, but I won't post that here!) He strolls in 10 minutes later, and starts the procedure again. Once again, I JUMP when he strikes a nerve. He says "I think she needs more novacane." Uh, duh? At that point, I want NO MORE, and told him to stop. I told him that I did not appreciate him just leaving...to which he said he had an emergency phone call.which was more important than my minor discomfort. He was condescending and rude. No apologies for leaving me there with his incompetent staff. He filled my tooth with a temporary, and I left...for good. I phoned my husband as soon as I left the office, and just lost it. I was sobbing because I was so angry and I hurt, a lot. He ended up calling the dentist, and the dentist was "so sorry" for the bad experience and is not charging for this root canal. (I had already paid him our co-pay, so now we will see if he sends that back). He'll be lucky if I don't sue for malpractice.

I have an appointment with my endodontist who will complete the procedure and then I will look for a new dentist for our entire family.

7 comments:

Canadian Saver said...

That sounds like an extremely unpleasant and painful experience :-( Really sorry to hear that... good for your husband to call back and talk to him!!! I hope you have a better experience with your other dentist...

Sharon said...

Me too! It'll be a challenge to find a good dentist, but at this point, most anyone would be better.

CT Mom said...

Ugh - that sounds awful! I hate dental work. The only plus side is that by coincidence, my dentist used to be my pool lifeguard when he was 16 and I was 10. Even though we're all in our 40's now, he's still pleasant to look at (=wink=).

Eye candy aside, he has always been very professional, never does work that's not needed, and would never step away to take a phone call! He's also good about loading me up with Novacaine. I've been going to his practice for over 20 years, and he knows my whole family so it's like catch-up time every 6 months. I really do hate getting dental work done, but at least it's a pleasant atmosphere.

No more debt said...

OMG, with experiences like that no wonder people hate the dentist. Ask around and if you hear the same name over and over again that will be a big clue for a good dentist. 1-800 dentist is just a listing of dentists that paid for the service, a good dentist does not need a 1-800 service to send them patients.

Sara said...

Sharon,
I have bad dentist karma. First of all I'm terrified due to a few bad experiences as a kid.
My last "new" dentist found at least 6 fillings that she wanted to revise and a few new cavities. She also wanted to put me in braces! Which probably would be good but still, I'm 45 years old. I think I'll live out the rest of my life just fine with my same old crooked smile, thank you.
Anyway, she re-did two fillings and my mouth hurt for 6 months. I'm not kidding the sensitivity took 6 months to go away. I was sure she had hit the root and killed the tooth! Needless to say I called the office (they had scheduled me for more revisions) and told them I was canceling my appointment and that I would not be back. I told them I'd never had a dentist cause me as much discomfort as she had. And she's supposedly one of those "sedation dentists" whose goal it is to cause you the least pain and anxiety. She was all about the money and not so much about the patient.
Why is a good dentist so hard to find!?!
Your experience sounds absolutely horrible. I hope you went home and had a glass of wine!

Sharon said...

CT Mom,
It must be nice to be able to trust your dentist. My dentist actually lives in the neighborhood and goes to school with my kids. So he's well known, but I've been uneasy about this dentist for a while. His front office personnel change very frequently, one of which I knew. She said she left because she didn't like the way he ran his practice, but I could tell there was a lot more to that story. He is also trying to be a jack of all trades and doing root canals, orthodontics,
wisdom teeth removal...He's definitely in it for the money...

Sara,
I'm so sorry you went through that! I feel your pain!! I do have an amazing endodontist (who specializes in root canals) who will be finishing this one up. I've never, never had an experience like that, and I thought about my kids sitting in his chair and him acting that unprofessionally. They wouldn't have said anything, and that scared me.

No more debt,
Thanks for visiting! I have a few sources that I can try. But I will probably have to leave my general area and find one a town away or so. But it will be so worth it!

asgreen said...

Wow, how horrible! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I had a bad experience with a doctor recently, be basically told me I was being obsessive and was incredibly condescending. I found a new doctor and I'm much happier, but I will never forget how he made me feel like a child.