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  • Ok here it nightmare story of misdiagnosis - caution long story !!!

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    Old 03-09-2001, 02:55 AM   #1
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    Post Ok here it nightmare story of misdiagnosis - caution long story !!!

    My story starts in December when i got a small pain below a front bottom middle tooth. The pain was below the tooth in what felt like was the bone.The gum under that tooth was receded and swollen although not on any other teeth.

    After seeing my regular long time dentist she referred me to periodontist. He said I would need a gum graft but also possibly a root canal as the pain i was having a gum recession would not cause that type of pain.

    Back to regular dentist...put on amoxicillin fopr 4 days - found out she doesn't do root canals or extractions. She got someone 6 months out of school to start a root canal on the tooth that had the gum recession. He put me on Ampicillin for a few days. Noone tested my teeth with a cold stick or vitality meter.

    After cleaning out the nerve it still hurt. He insisted it shouldn't & he had done everything right. After a week i didn't go back to him & asked to be referred to an endodontist to finish the root canal.

    Well it took awhile to get in. Meantime it got worse so i went to emergency clinic. They did another pulpectomy, took xray and gave me Clindamycin 300 mg. 4 times a day. They left the tooth open. Pain still didn't resolve. It was in a small spot but hurt.I was advised to finish the root canal within 2 days.

    So i went to see a dentist who did root canals that someone recommended to me. I got my xray from emerg place sent there. New dentist said nothing was on it.

    He put temp filling back in, waited a few days and extracted it when pain didn't resolve. Pain still didn't go away. It started to get worse.

    Then i was referred to an oral surgeon who was away. So family dr. sent me to a different one. He took a Panorex? and said nothing wrong. It was too early to do a bone scan as it would show positive when i had jsut had an extraction. Would have to wait a month. He referred me to a dental diagnostic guy who he said was like an internal medicine specialist for teeth.

    I went there spent more money and he diagnosed me with a bone infection. I also told him my tooth was starting to hurt- he said it was referred pain from the bone. Put back on Clindamycin again for 10 days. Back to oral surgeons who was going to refer me to an infectious disease specialist. (oral surgeon didn't believe i had one)

    My dr. sent me to one at hospital next day as pain still increasing. He laughed at me said it was a dental problem and sent me to a dental clinic in hospital where i saw yet another dentist. He diagnosed me that the tooth next to extracted on was dead with a cold stick adn needed a root canal. The tooth was hurting to the point it felt like it would blow up by now...severe pain!! (and i was on pain meds)

    I finished the Clindamycin and things got really worse after that. Pain went in a bigger area and tooth started discoloring halfway up on one side only.

    So i went to a well known endodontist who tested them again with meter. He said it was alive.He didn't want to do a root canal - he said there were too many red flags here and he didn't think it would help. He told me i might have NICO which i looked up and it is on Quackwatch. He meant it as i might have some weird bacteria in my jaw. (so he didn't even know what NICO actually is) I saw him twice. I told him my gum beside the tooth was swelling he said it was just a piece of soft tissue and they could snip it off. My tooth discoloration didnt' mean anything to him.

    In the meantime my dr. ordered a bone scan so he didn't want to do anything until it came back. I waited til i was 10 days off the antibiotics to have the bone scan done. I suffered so much but knew it was my best chance to have something show up as antibiotics of that strength cover up a lot.

    I had the bone scan it showed fluid in extraction cavity which was unexpected 5 weeks after an extraction.They said it was probably an abcess. (but assumed it was in the bone)

    So dr. sent me to another oral surgeon on call that weekend (first one it was Friday and he was closed early)

    This oral surgeon told u on the phone they took MC or Visa and if no payment in advance dont' bother coming. I argued to put it thru health care as it was a medical reason and that is covered here. He doesn't get as much though. I figured i had already paid for many expensive thorough exams at another oral surgeon so why repeat all of that.

    He saw me the next day and i went through all my appt with him & asked for an objective diagnosis.He took yet a 14th xray.
    My xray did not show bone infection. (osteomyelits)But bone scan abnormal.

    He mentioned there was one type of rare bone disease that didn't show on xray that actually built bone up instead of eroding it.
    He gave me oral antibiotics yet again and said he would try to put me on IV antibiotics.

    I waited at home a week he did nothing. Finally someone phoned him for me & demanded action.The pain was increasing daily. So he sent me to a different infectious disease specialist at a different hospital.

    I was put on IV antibiotics at home. Not fun!! 4 days later went back to hospital and the med was changed to a different one plus one added orally. Then i was told if that didn't help after 4 days to take yet another prescription. He felt the swelling under my tooth and i told him i was sure it was the tooth.He told me not to do anything to the tooth yet.But agreed with me that bacteria don't usually go from the bone into the tooth, it is usually the other way around.

    After reading Medline articles(and this board)I figured out that the tooth that is hurting is fractured. Fractures are missed 62% of the time in 97 people in one study. That is why the pain and discoloration is only on one side of the tooth pointing into the extraction site. The other side and top of the tooth don't hurt. Going into the gumline on that side it is so painful and that is where all the swelling started and now went under the tooth as well. The nerve is definitly dying as well but is probably still alive enough to give a reading. My dentist told me the discoloration is from trauma to the tooth and is something to do with iron pigments.

    The tooth that was extracted was crooked and was hard to extract. That is probably what caused the trauma to this tooth. Or it was the partial that didn't fit right that he jammed in the day of the extraction. It was too tight and i remember the tooth hurting when it went in.I had to go back twice and it still didn't fit right. My tooth felt like it was moving. I never wore it so now my teeth are moving out of place too.

    So same day as i was put on new iv medication i went to see the dentist who did my extraction. Told him i wanted the tooth extracted as by this point it has been badly infected for over 5 weeks since Feb.5 when the pain got severe. He talked to oral surgeon since oral surgeon wouldn't let me do it. Needless to say I have not functioned for almost 2 months now. My dr. had to give me sleeping tablets which i've never taken in my life. Strong pain meds do absolutely nothing at this point. It is really bad - I have had serious medical conditions which don't compare.

    The dentist who did extraction agreed after examining me. He asked if oral surgeon had seen the gum. I told him he had. He looked surprised as by now it so bad he has never seen a tooth this infected. I told him about all the appt. he looked shocked. He told me the dental diagnostic guy had sent him brochures in the mail to get business. :-)) I told him the endodontist told me the spot of gum that was hurting where i feel abcess was a piece of soft tissue that he could just snip off.

    He said right in front of me to his assistant that it was the worst case of misdiagnosis he had ever seen. He got my xray out from Jan 23 from emerg clinic and saw a black spot on it under this tooth. It was a tiny spot but he said he didn't know how he had missed it and showed it to me. It should have alerted him something was wrong he said. He said to his assistant again he had never misdiagnosed someone before. And the dentist who started the original root canal never tested my teeth they all know it isn't always the tooth they think it is..they are just too busy to take the time.(or he was covering up for the new dentist who started the root canal & now feels sorry for me so is telling me the truth - he doesn't seem like the type to miss things he is intelligent and a nice dentist)

    Well he agreed to extract the tooth right away he is a really nice guy...he stayed overtime. Then he gave me 4 needles and couldn't freeze me. He froze my entire jaw and even went into capillaries beside the tooth. Nothing worked.

    He explained that once something is this infected it is hard to freeze you. He was shocked that it is so bad that even touching tooth lightly you can see me almost scream. It has been infected plus nerve dying for weeks.

    So he advised having it out by anesthesia at the oral surgeons. I phoned oral surgeon he didn't want to do it. He still kept saying the tooth was alive. He hasn't examined or seen me for 2 weeks. How can you diagnose on the phone? Shouldn't he be following up since i am on IV antibiotics anyway?

    Then when I explained he finally said all right but he really didn't want to get involved in the treatment only the diagnosis. ?????

    He told me it would be $365 in advance or he wouldn't do it. I told him i had spent $1600 on all of this because of their misdiagnosing me and it going on and on. I am even paying for the Iv medicines. I told him i could pay him $200 right now and the other $165 on the 15th in 7 days when i got paid or he could bill my Visa on the 15th for the rest.(why should i pay 18% interest now if i don't have to?) And i have paid in cash every dentist i have seen for this. I don't feel like cashing in an rrsp to pay them 6 days earlier than i get paid.

    It has been hard to work a lot over the last 2 months as I have had 1 to 2 doctor/dentist appt. almost everyday. Plus hospital visits for the iv,trips to drug store etc. I am self employed so pay my own dental...have never had to pay this much in such a short time without a payment plan before.

    He was very rude and said he would not do it and to call him when i had all of the money. He said he thought money would be an issue for me right from the beginning because i asked them to put my appt. through health care as a bone infection is medical not dental. I had already paid $200 exams and xrays $70 with other oral surgeon so thought why should i repeat this again still had my xray.

    Cost is not usually an issue for me but this has been very unusual. I found his manner and attitude disgusting to say the least. If he had not misdiagnosed me i would not be on iv antibiotics at a cost of $50 + supplies every 3 days and would not be suffering with this amount of pain and infection for this long as the tooth would have been treated long ago.

    I hung up on him before i said things i would later regret!!!!!

    He called back and said he called by accident as he was trying to call my dentist and my number was on the paper. He said again to call if I wanted it out. I told him I didn't think so...that i preferred to find someone better to do it. (i started thinking i did not want someone like this touching me anyway!!)I hung up on him again.

    I mean my gum is swollen out so much it is going to burst i have so many clear symptoms and he just doesn't get it!!!! He thinks if the nerve gets a reading that it means nothing can be wrong with it or the tooth. He is definitely out of touch!!!

    It is scary that he operates on people weekly. If they develop problems he will tell them nothing is wrong. he even told me he has patients where all their teeth hurt?? I wonder why?? Not many people get bone scans for dental although i read one medical study that stated they are useful when all other tests show nothing. It detected an abcess in a cancer patient a year before he had symptoms.

    So now I am in shock!!!! He is a medical doctor as well as an oral surgeon. I didn't think they could treat people like that but I could be wrong. This is Canada not the US. Doctors can't refuse treatment here and he is a doctor as well as oral surgeon.

    I am just telling my story to let people know that there is good and bad out there. And to let them know if something is wrong with you be aware that things are covered up to protect people from lawsuits. Dentists refer you to friends and they talk back & forth without you realizing it. That is why oral surgeon was already on the phone to my dentist that quickly.

    My original dentist is great after 12 years. Had she done root canals/extractions this would never have happened. My dr. is also caring and fabulous. They really are great.

    But you can see how money and health care don't always mix. There are people out there who are interested in your money not YOU!!And Canada is getting as bad as the US can be. There are doctors in the US now that are being investigated in Canada. If you don't know that you end up there.

    also if you keep being told there is nothing wrong after dental work there are clear articles in Medline showing that with root canals the tooth can be fractured, all kinds of unforseen complications arise with teeth. I didn't even know a gum specialist can go through your gums to clear up an abcess..noone told me that here in canada.

    What you need to do is find people you can trust and get a second opinion when in doubt.

    I have never had a dental phobia but I am honestly afraid to go now and i need other work done including probably a $2000 bridge now. Can anyone assure me that this won't happen again?

    RIght now i am still in pain, on iv antibiotics and another tooth beside the site is starting to hurt. I don't know if the infection can spread but i have the feeling it is to leave it in this long to this degree. I am afraid of losing more teeth now if something isn't done soon.I now have the $365 i cashed in something but i dont' want to see that oral surgeon now. I don't know how long it will take to get in with someone else.

    Skip if you read this please remember that whenever a tooth changes color it could be a problem with the nerve and/or fracture. It may help you in your practice as it is commonly overlooked. Maybe I could fly out to where you are and have my teeth filled. lol :-))

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    Old 03-09-2001, 11:14 AM   #2
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    WOW! That's some story!! I'm so sorry that happened to you??? Where in Canada???? I'm here in Canada also. Glad you still have some trust in the dental profession after that.


    Old 03-09-2001, 05:45 PM   #3
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    Hi Judy,

    I live in Calgary. Where are you? Do you work in the dental field?

    And yes, I am sure there are good dentists and oral surgeons out's like any other have to try to find them.


    Old 03-09-2001, 06:28 PM   #4
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    Just outside of Toronto Kristi. I work in a dental office doing reception/assisting. I love the field. I like helping people. I wish I had become a hygienist. I worked until Wednesday in an office with 4 dentists, a periodontist and an oral surgeon. My new office is two female dentists. I start March 19th. Take care.

    Old 03-30-2001, 09:40 PM   #5
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