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    Old 12-12-2003, 01:07 PM   #1
    Michele B
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    My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi again. I posted yesterday that I was putting off my splint appt., and now it's put off with this so-called dentist for good! Apparently I was asking soooo many questions that the dentist's office felt that I wasn't understanding their treatment procedure. I understood, but each question answered led to another question I had. I went for my consult with this prosthodonist 3 weeks ago. He treats nothing but TMJ, but he treats all patients the same way - upper splint with adjustments - wear it aproximately 1-2 months, then if splint helps symptoms, you get equilibrated right after therapy. Anyway, in the last 3 weeks since my consultation, I have called the "TMJ coordinator" in the office approx. 6 times - I'd say twice a week - with questions on splint therapy and equilibration. This is all new to me. I had never heard of equilibration before. They called me back for the last time yesterday. She answered my questions as usual and this time was a little snooty and sarcastic with me. I asked her if it was possible to get some references of people who had splint therapy. She said she would have to talk to the doctor first. So an hour later a completely different person from the office called me (the office manager) and said the TMJ coordinator and dentist had spoke and felt that I wasn't understanding their treatment and I wasn't comfortable with it all, so they decided they did not want to treat me! They said most people don't wait 3 weeks to make up their mind for treatment and I was the first who ever waited a whole 3 weeks and I was the first who ever asked so many questions. Well, that was the first for me too to be refused further treatment. Good riddance now. The dentist was such a fast talker at my consult I just ended up listening to take it all in. They said they did not want to give me any references because they didn't want me to be "bothering" their patients. Gosh, I didn't realize I was "bothering" them by asking questions. So, I say good riddance to them. I wasted another $275 for his consult too. I thought maybe he could have helped me with the splint, but I guess not. I'll find someone else to make me a splint and someone else who is a heck of lot more understanding. P.S. They told me they see about 250 new patients a year for TMJ and about 180 of them proceed with splint therapy and equilibration which amounts to a huge money making operation of approx. $550,000 a year for this dentist. It's 3 grand for therapy and equil. He does this just twice a week, treats TMJ only, and is in his "older years of life". So, I've contacted my oral surgeon that I saw a year ago, who said he knows someone who does splint therapy and once again I'm off on another search for new help.
    Frustrating. So much time, energy and money gone and so much pain I am still in. Talk to everyone later. Have a great weekend. I'll be laying on my heating pad as usual with heat and ice all over my jaw and neck. Bye for now.

     
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    Old 12-12-2003, 02:45 PM   #2
    sunshine123
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi Michelle:

    I'm so sorry they treated you that way. What a bunch of jerks. I've come to the conclusion that Drs. just want their patients to be morons so we'll believe any bs they sling our way!!!! I hope the next TMJ DDS you see will be the right one for you!!!! Good luck and let us know hot it goes. Hugs, Sue

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 03:41 PM   #3
    Cymy Sue
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Michelle,

    Sometimes, things happen for a reason. I personally don't like the way you were treated and believe if any Doctor or Dentist does not have the time or does not want to answer questions.......they're afraid you'll ask one they don't have the answer for.

    Since they decided to terminate the treatment, I would ask for my money back. It might not work, but it's worth a try.

    I've been dealing with these (TMJ) people for over 25 years. They're not gods, they're people and should have to live by the rules everyone else does.

    I do want to tell you there are good Dentists and Doctors who know how to treat TM joint problems. The best are sometimes hard to find. Don't give up. Keep looking for the right person to treat your condition. I know it gets discouraging, but when you find the "one" who can help you, it will be worth all the aggravations.

    After years of bad treatments and damaging surgeries, I am one of the successes with splint therapy. Just last December, my Dentist designed a splint for a multi-surgical mess (me) with no disc and within a few weeks, symtoms and pain I had suffered most of my life started to go away.

    If I could be helped with a splint, I believe it's possible for most people.
    It takes someone interested and dedicated in helping each individual with a personalized therapy.
    Don't settle for less.

    Cymy Sue

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 04:09 PM   #4
    DianeTMJ
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi Michele -
    I so agree with Cymy Sue, there is a reason why things happen sometime. Your gut for past 3 weeks has been telling you to rethink this dentist.. The last thing you want is a dentist who is threatened by your knowledge. One needs a dentist who has an open mind and willing to listen to their patients.

    Michele, there is a right dentist out there for you. It may take some serious looking, but you will find them. I did a post awhile back on what to look out for when looking for a dentist. I will see if I can find it and bump it up for you.

    I am so sorry this had to happen to you Michele, but it will only be a stepping stone of knowledge in finding the right one for you.

    Have a good evening and
    God Bless you
    Diane

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 04:23 PM   #5
    Navy1990
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michele B
    Hi again. I posted yesterday that I was putting off my splint appt., and now it's put off with this so-called dentist for good! Apparently I was asking soooo many questions that the dentist's office felt that I wasn't understanding their treatment procedure. I understood, but each question answered led to another question I had. I went for my consult with this prosthodonist 3 weeks ago. He treats nothing but TMJ, but he treats all patients the same way - upper splint with adjustments - wear it aproximately 1-2 months, then if splint helps symptoms, you get equilibrated right after therapy. Anyway, in the last 3 weeks since my consultation, I have called the "TMJ coordinator" in the office approx. 6 times - I'd say twice a week - with questions on splint therapy and equilibration. This is all new to me. I had never heard of equilibration before. They called me back for the last time yesterday. She answered my questions as usual and this time was a little snooty and sarcastic with me. I asked her if it was possible to get some references of people who had splint therapy. She said she would have to talk to the doctor first. So an hour later a completely different person from the office called me (the office manager) and said the TMJ coordinator and dentist had spoke and felt that I wasn't understanding their treatment and I wasn't comfortable with it all, so they decided they did not want to treat me! They said most people don't wait 3 weeks to make up their mind for treatment and I was the first who ever waited a whole 3 weeks and I was the first who ever asked so many questions. Well, that was the first for me too to be refused further treatment. Good riddance now. The dentist was such a fast talker at my consult I just ended up listening to take it all in. They said they did not want to give me any references because they didn't want me to be "bothering" their patients. Gosh, I didn't realize I was "bothering" them by asking questions. So, I say good riddance to them. I wasted another $275 for his consult too. I thought maybe he could have helped me with the splint, but I guess not. I'll find someone else to make me a splint and someone else who is a heck of lot more understanding. P.S. They told me they see about 250 new patients a year for TMJ and about 180 of them proceed with splint therapy and equilibration which amounts to a huge money making operation of approx. $550,000 a year for this dentist. It's 3 grand for therapy and equil. He does this just twice a week, treats TMJ only, and is in his "older years of life". So, I've contacted my oral surgeon that I saw a year ago, who said he knows someone who does splint therapy and once again I'm off on another search for new help.
    Frustrating. So much time, energy and money gone and so much pain I am still in. Talk to everyone later. Have a great weekend. I'll be laying on my heating pad as usual with heat and ice all over my jaw and neck. Bye for now.

    Michele,

    Actually I find this rather amusing...because I got fired as a patient once too! Before I even had my first treatment! I did the same thing, I asked too many questions. The office manager wound up sending me my money back ($3,000) and telling me basically the same thing you were told. I guess they don't like people that ask too many questions, but, after spending a fortune on a therapy that did not work, I make sure I ask questions from now on. I have a doctor now that I can talk to and e-mail about anything. He knows everything I've been through and I can open up about all my feelings. He's great. I think it was probably best that you found out how the office works before you plunked any big money down. They are not really good about refunding money if you don't complete the treatment. I'm sure you will find someone to treat you that you feel comfortable with. Besides, that orthodontist jumps into equilabration too quickly anyhow.

    Take care and best of luck to you!
    Navy1990

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 04:36 PM   #6
    DianeTMJ
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hello Michele,
    Here is the beginning list of things for you to just kind of read over.
    Any questions, just let me know.
    1. Ask how much education do they have in regard to treating TMJD?

    2. How many techniques do they use in treating TMJD It is one thing to say splint and or orthotics however, how many different types do they use? If they use only one technique, I caution you in utilizing their services, as it may take a different type to get you feeling well again. It takes many tricks up a dentists sleeve to help a TMJD patient, not just one trick.

    3. Is their focus cosmetic dentistry or TMJD dentistry? There is a big difference.

    4. How many TMJD patients have they seen? What percentage of the TMJD patients were successful, also have them define what they think "successful" is.

    5. Ask to speak with 6 patients, successful or not.
    (With the new Hippa (sp) laws, they need to get permission from the patient to speak with you.

    6. Watch out for dentists that have a "bigger then life" attitude, you need someone who is committed to you getting well and YOU being able to opening discuss how your treatment is going, even if that means a suggestion of a different splint.

    7. If they say surgery, run, run, run. As I recall only about 5% of the TMJ surgeries are successful, those are pretty low odds in my book. I think it was Elaine that posted a statement from a 1956 medical journal about the hazards of surgeries on TMJ's, stating the only time surgery should be done on TMJ's is due to trauma that occurred to the joints due to accidents, but surgeries are still performed. I recently spoke with a Oral surgeon that came into our place of business and he said sometimes patients demand to have the surgery and because of the way the laws are written where he lives, once committed to a patient, he is obligated to them. So watch what you ask for.

    8. If they send you to a hospital or off site place for tomorgrams, make sure they know that TMJ tomograms MUST be done in a standing and or sitting position. Laying down for TMJ tomograms will not show the position of your jaw... See Cheryllynn24 post in regard to that.

    9. It takes a dentist that is fully committed to helping their patients, a passion. My dentist suffered with TMJD due to an accident, that is why he is so committed to helping, because he has been there. Nothing surprises him about my case. He falls under the "neuromuscular dentistry" (NMD) approach however I caution you, do not get caught up in labels, my dentist has education across the board. He has also taken courses in neurology & musclar, skelatel. I also caution you that it takes education from more then one institute, but several.

    Finally, once you find someone, ask them what you might anticipate during treatment. I think, at least for me, at first, before I had my orthotic (splint), I thought just as soon as I put it in my mouth, magically all of the symptoms would go away. It takes time to heal. Ask what sort of discomfort may happen, so that you are prepared mentally in advance to receiving your splint.

    Oh one other thing. Get a journal now, write down all of your symptoms, check out this board to see what others have for symptoms, you may be surprised about what some little twitch or numbness you did not think was related to your TMJD is. Once you begin treatment, write down how you feel each morning, afternoon and evening and always go back and check your original list of symptoms, this will help you in understanding if your treatment is helping or not.

    Be ready for sticker shock, just know up front that the cost for treating TMJD is expensive. If I was told I needed gall bladder surgery and they told me it was going to cost 10,000.00, that is simply what I would pay to fix my gall bladder. Sadly though, at least that would be covered by insurance! Typically TMJD is not covered.

    Which brings me to insurance, if you have insurance, medical, do not give them a heads up about your condition. Once you find your dentist, he will know the approriate codes to get the insurance to pay, I think it MPD. Myofacial Pain Disorder. Be sure you speak with your dentist about this.

    Communicate, ask, ask, ask, if they don't like you asking then they do not need your business! Remember, you are the paying customer, you have the right to have an active role in your treatment.

    Take care
    Diane

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 05:10 PM   #7
    Navy1990
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi Michelle,

    To add to Diane TMJ's list:

    Also, if the doctor requires payment up front, ask for a complete breakdown of the fees. If they are charging you for a splint and adjustments, make sure they itemize every adjustment, so that you know if you are entitled to a reimbursement for services not provided.

    Insurance companies want an itemized list of everything done at every appointment and the charges. They will not pay if there is a lump sum amount on the claim for a service and several dates. They want to know what was done and what you were charged every time you went to the dentist. I ran into this problem recently whereby a dentist charged a lump sum for each type of service and the insurance company won't pay until they break it down. Also, if you do not complete the treatment, this protects you as far as knowing what part of the money you paid up front actually has been used for treatment. If you go out of state for treatment, be prepared to have your insurance company tell you that the claim must be processed through their carrier in the state that the dentist practices in. This may affect your coverage and what you are epected to pay out of pocket. I was told that I could file in the state I resided, only to have the claim denied and sent out of state. It has been almost 3 months and I'm still trying to get the claim resolved. I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but, if you are going to a doctor out of state, it is best to know some of the ways the insurance companies deal with paying claims.

    take care!
    Navy1990

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 05:32 PM   #8
    TiffanyAnn
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi Michele:
    I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm telling you, I am getting to the point where I just want to slap the faces of people like this dentist. What a blood sucking waste of air he is. I asked my orthodontist tons of questions, I even had them written down. He said to me "I've never had anyone ask me these questions before. They are great questions". He answered them all and did not get an attitude from my questions. I would definately ask for a refund since THEY refused to treat you rather than the other way around. I'd also let them know that I intend to tell everyone I know how they treated me giving his name of course and that I am going to tell them that they should seek treatment elsewhere. What a jerk. Your gut feeling was right though. You already had the feeling that this guy wasn't being straight with you and too many times they aren't being straight. I guess the lure of all that easy money is more than some of them can pass up. They have all these desperate people in horrible pain who they know will do almost anything to get out of pain so they exploit that. It's a despicable thing for them to do but far too many do it. This does give you the chance to find someone else to treat you though. There is someone out there who can help you, keep looking. I know it's discouraging but don't give up because there is help.
    Tiffany

     
    Old 12-12-2003, 05:42 PM   #9
    Navy1990
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TiffanyAnn
    Hi Michele:
    I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm telling you, I am getting to the point where I just want to slap the faces of people like this dentist. What a blood sucking waste of air he is. I asked my orthodontist tons of questions, I even had them written down. He said to me "I've never had anyone ask me these questions before. They are great questions". He answered them all and did not get an attitude from my questions. I would definately ask for a refund since THEY refused to treat you rather than the other way around. I'd also let them know that I intend to tell everyone I know how they treated me giving his name of course and that I am going to tell them that they should seek treatment elsewhere. What a jerk. Your gut feeling was right though. You already had the feeling that this guy wasn't being straight with you and too many times they aren't being straight. I guess the lure of all that easy money is more than some of them can pass up. They have all these desperate people in horrible pain who they know will do almost anything to get out of pain so they exploit that. It's a despicable thing for them to do but far too many do it. This does give you the chance to find someone else to treat you though. There is someone out there who can help you, keep looking. I know it's discouraging but don't give up because there is help.
    Tiffany
    Tiffany ....I get such a kick out of the way you word things sometimes. You just say it straight out. You are great

    Navy1990

     
    Old 12-13-2003, 07:51 AM   #10
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Hi Michelle,

    I think it's great that you found out what the office was all about before they did any work on you(and if it back fired and you could be in worse shape).

    That equilibration is pretty risky. In my case, with the equilibration the prosthodontist shaved down my rear second molars and then placed inlays/onlays on four of my first molars. The first two molars fit great together, but when he placed the last 2 on he was really rushed and threw them on.
    The last two he did were even lower than what was there before and ruined everything. It was like two different people worked on me. What it came down was the money. He did a good job on the first two so he would get more money out of me for the last two. But then once he got all the money he could get from me(total cost approx. $7,000). He couldn't wait to get me out of the office and on to the next one. It was real assemblyline dentistry. Although at first he was really attentive and seemed honest. In the end, I said I was treated by a con artist. He made my bite worse and didn't get it to 100%.I won't even speak or go back to him because I feel he will lie his way out of it and say he had no control over the negative results or make me out like I am crazy or difficult.

    Guess what, my bite is really screwed up now and he gave me attitude about replacing the two that didn't fit right. He lied and said they fit OK together and refused to replace it. Now why in the world did he do such an irreversible procedure that made things worse and screwed me over. Also when I saw 2 other prosthontists and 1 general dentist, they both acknowledged all my teeth were too short, I still had an open bite, and to replace the "short" onlay would be risky business. A couple said go back to him and tell him all the problems. The one general dentist told me the only way to correct a bad bite is through braces(after all the bad dental my teeth got crooked)

    I feel he is just too dishonest and I never want to see him again(even to ask for a refund). I am getting x-rays done in Jan. of my joints to see just what is going on and if the bad dental he did can be corrected. I don't trust splint therapy from reading alot of the posts and braces might not work also.

    I found a TMJD specialist that is an MD and a dentist. So I will post how things go. I deal with my tmjd symptoms by eating soft foods and taking ibupropen for the jaw discomfort. I guess learning to live with it is better than a prosthodnotist making it worse. The 2nd opinion prosthodontist frightened me off as he was so contemptuous and snapped at me when I was asking questions. So don't think it's just you these professionals get attitudes with. They hone their office staff also to deal with disgruntled patients.

     
    Old 12-13-2003, 05:46 PM   #11
    TiffanyAnn
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Navy1990
    Tiffany ....I get such a kick out of the way you word things sometimes. You just say it straight out. You are great

    Navy1990
    Hi Navy:
    Thanks for the compliment. I sometimes think I am too abrasive and direct but at least nobody can say they didn't know what I meant. If people don't know what I mean they definately have a problem with comprehension. LOL
    Hugs,
    Tiffany

     
    Old 12-15-2003, 12:57 PM   #12
    Michele B
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    Re: My prosthodontist "fired" me as a patient!

    Thanks for posting your responses. I never thought of asking for a refund for my consult. I'll think about doing that. I'm on my search for someone who can make me a splint. I've been wearing my nightguard that I've had for 7 years and it actually feels alright. It almost feels better than not wearing it, cuz my teeth seem to hit better with the guard in. Without the guard, my bite feels sooo off. My left side touches and not my right.
    Bye for now.

     
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