I am very frustrated and looking for an independent opinion. I go to the dentist two, sometimes three times a year. I’m fastidious with my teeth and do all the at-home care as well. After each appointment, I ask specifically whether or not there are any problems. Two visits ago, I had a tooth under what my dentist called “watch status”. However, by the time I got to my next appointment, he told me the tooth was unsavable and I would need to have it extracted as well as get a replacement tooth. I had my doubts about this but he said that my teeth are uncommon and just develop problems faster than others. Odd that this was not a problem with the dentist in the previous state I lived in. However, I decided this one time to give him the benefit of the doubt. Shortly after this, a filling I had done by him the year before just fell out. I had not been warned there were any problems with this filling. I went to his office and “shocker” he tells me the tooth needs a root canal treatment. Then, when I go for my root canal, “shocker”, this tooth has to be extracted. I’m feeling taken advantage of. Is there any way to recoup some of my money?
Yes, I believe you have a definite situation of negligence here. Bear in mind, I am only going on the information you’ve provided. That being said, it is highly unusual for someone who keeps up with their dental appointments and oral hygiene to need a root canal treatment. In fact, that is the entire point of going to dental appointments is to prevent things like this, which is why we call it preventative dentistry. To go from watch to unrestorable between appointments is gross negligence on his part. “Watch” status should have been so small that there was hardly any way for it to grow that quickly.
Secondly, having a filling just fall out is unusual as well. It can happen, but it is not likely. Combined with the first incident, I see a pattern. Not a good one, either.
What Can You Do About This?
A lawsuit may not be your best option because it will be hard to prove. You’d have to have all the x-rays showing what the watch condition was, and let’s be honest, who knows if he actually has them or even if he won’t accidentally lose them. Your best bet is to find a different dentist. Then, tell the other dentist that you will not report him to the dental board or leave a review telling about his gross negligence that has cost you a fortune if he pays for the additional expenses he has cost you, especially any tooth replacements you need, such as dental implants.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Carl Embury.