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Old 12-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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danmc HB User
messed up crown work

Hello,

My wife and I have both had a bad experience with our *former* dentist and we're both wondering if it warrants a formal complaint. I'm not so much looking for reimbursement for expenses but hoping to prevent mistakes from being made on other patients.

Several years ago I had a root canal done. The endodontist was great and my regular dentist put a crown on. Later that year my wife went through the same thing. Problem is her tooth still hurt. After several visits back to the dentist it was discovered that when the dentist took out the temporary filling, she left cotton in the hole and the tooth ended up infected and needed a 2nd root canal. We all know how much fun those are. Not cheap either, but especially not fun.

In that same time period I had a filling this dentist had done just fall out after a few months.

We both switched dentists after the cotton thing plus fillings falling out.

Now jump ahead to 4 years past my root canal. I started getting pain in the tooth again. Went to my new dentist who thought there was an infection so he sent me back to the endodontist. We took a look at the x-ray from after my previous root canal (after the temp filling was applied but *before* the crown). We also looked at the current x-ray. What was immediately clear even to my untrained eye is that the top half of the root filling had gone missing. It was clearly there when I left the endodontists office (picture proves it) and clearly not there when I showed up again 4 years later. The only possibility is that the dentist drilled half of the root filling out when she removed the temporary filling and installed the crown. Not only this, but she left a large unfilled cavity above where the roots are but under the crown.

Well guess which root was infected?

O.k., so now we do another root canal but find that the root is fairly compromised and it looks like there is a reasonable chance that the tooth will need to come out. My own feeling is that the drilled out filling and empty cavity probably contributed materially to the current condition of my tooth but I didn't press the endodontist to come out and state that. But it stands to reason that an empty spot is a breeding ground for bacteria and also a hollow root would be more mechanically fragile than a filled one.

From where I sit, leaving the cotton in my wife's tooth and drilling way past the cotton in my tooth and leaving the unfilled cavity demonstrate total incompetence. Am I being too harsh in this? If not, should I be filing a complaint to the state dental board about this dentist? Yes I'm ticked off at what this is going to cost me, but in all honesty I've even more ticked off at the extra pain that both my wife and now I have had to endure and don't like the idea of others going through the same thing.

Thanks for any comments on this.

-Dan

 
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