AIBU to be upset that dentist took the wrong tooth out?

(96 Posts)
AllDirections Tue 03-Jun-14 10:40:23

Just had a horrible experience with DD2 (13) at the dentist. She was due to have 4 baby teeth removed on one side and then another 4 on the other side in a few weeks time. The dentist came into the room and didn't even know what we there for until he spoke to his assistant. He then suggested that he take all 8 teeth out which we agreed to.

DD2 had lots of injections and then he started removing teeth. I stopped him a couple of times when she obviously in severe pain and he gave her more injections. The whole thing was very traumatic, DD2 was distraught and the dentist refused to continue at one point and gave us 5 minutes alone. She nearly threw up (which has happened before) and then he carried on but he took out a tooth that the orthodontist wanted leaving in as the big tooth underneath is no good.

His rather arrogant attitude changed immediately and I could see the panic in his face. He asked if we wanted him to continue which of course we did otherwise DD2 would have had to go through it all again. He got his assistant to come back in and rechecked which teeth he still needed to remove. He mentioned to her that there would be no point trying to reimplant the tooth.

When it was over he kept asking if I wanted to talk about his mistake or make an appointment to talk about it or let the orthodontist deal with it. I just wanted to get D2 out of there so I said to let the orthodontist sort it out later. If he'd had a nice attitude throughout then I wouldn't be quite so upset but I think his arrogant manner and his lack of attention to detail caused his mistake. I'm really shaken up by watching what DD2 just went through so I'm not thinking clearly. I don't know whether to leave it or to make a complaint and I don't know who to complain to!

orangepudding Tue 03-Jun-14 11:43:35

You haven't failed your DD, the dentist failed her. He should have looked at her notes before starting treatment,

AllDirections Tue 03-Jun-14 12:09:00

I didn't realise that having 8 teeth removed at once was too many, I just thought it must be a viable option since the dentist suggested it. I wish I hadn't agreed but I was just thinking that we wouldn't have to repeat the whole thing in a few weeks. And it was 9 in the end, which is even worse!

BrianTheMole Tue 03-Jun-14 12:11:02

Oh my god, your poor dd. you must complain.

SueDNim Tue 03-Jun-14 12:17:08

If your DD needs additional treatment to fill the gap (eg an implant) then he will need to claim on his insurance to pay for it (and don't accept having just anyone do extra work, demand the best).

isabellavine Tue 03-Jun-14 12:22:37

Your poor DD! I would be traumatized as a result of that. I am sure she should not have been in such pain that she was almost sick. Poor little mite.

I had a wonderful dentist as a child. Even though I had to have quite a lot of work, he never hurt me and was always so careful. I grew up with no fear of going at all, and simply couldn't understand why anyone would dread it. It was only as an adult that I realised how rough and uncaring some dentists are, and how crap their standard of work is. I am no expert but I cannot believe that it is necessary to cause people physical pain.

BeckAndCall Tue 03-Jun-14 12:48:09

Your poor DD and poor you.

From a procedure point of view, this is what is called a Never event in the NHS and falls under the category of wrong site surgery.

What the densit should have done by now is to record it on the untoward incidents database and reported it to the CCG. Although dentists are autonomous practitioners, the care they give is commissioned by the CCG so the final overview of care rests with them. For every 'never event' there is an investigation called a 'root cause analysis' where they go over what happened and then try to learn lessons. Under the new duty of care, they should tell you this is happening.

I suggest you write down for your our benefit the sequence of events, with timings, with what you remember about who looked at X-rays and when etc, as the details will get muddled in your mind as time goes on.

Your formal route is to follow the formal complaints procedure, which is the best way to ensure that you get responses back appropriately and to ensure that your complaint is lodged ' in the system'. You don't have to do this immediately, as you may want to just take a day or so to feel less shocked by the whole thing. Hence why i suggest writing everything down now.

hennybeans Tue 03-Jun-14 12:48:53

I have a similar problem to your DDs in that I have some molars with no adult teeth underneath. I had one removed in my early 20s from decay and the other removed 2 yrs ago (at 33). The gap has closed a lot from the first molar so it's not so obvious, but the recently removed molar has left a very unsightly gap and I'm going to get an implant next month. The implant is costing £1800.
Please see if your DD is suitable for an implant where tooth was accidentally removed (maybe ask orthodontist) and then make dentist pay for it! It's really difficult to eat some foods with a missing tooth on either side (my mouth) and looks really terrible. The dentist obviously knew he made a mistake and an implant is the least he can do (doesn't even touch covering the hassle and pain of having extra tooth removed and implant put in).

isabellavine Tue 03-Jun-14 12:50:55

Beckandcall - it would definitely be a never event with adult teeth, but I am not sure if it's the same with baby teeth (because they are replaced)?

Pinkelephanty Tue 03-Jun-14 13:14:34

I really feel for you. I had to have 8 baby teeth out when I was younger but I was put to sleep for it. I had a tooth out last year and it was horrible, I was shaking after. I also have a baby tooth still (in my 30s) and recently found out my big tooth is up in my gums mixed up in my nerves and that's why it never came through! I would be very cross if a dentist had pulled this tooth out as it would leave a gap at the front of my mouth.

I'd be complaining big time. The idea that he walked in there, didn't pay attention and made such a stupid and avoidable mistake is unforgivable.

AllDirections Tue 03-Jun-14 13:20:09

Gobbolino When you say that your DH refers children who need large numbers of extractions, can you clarify what actually happens then please?

At the previous appointment I'd asked the assistant (who did the appointment) if DD2 could be referred and was given lots of reasons as to why that wasn't a good idea.

SadOldGit Tue 03-Jun-14 13:30:51

Definitely complain. DD2 is currently undertaking treatment (not sure if all down to dental hygiene or something else as other children never had problems.)

She had emergency appt with our NHS dentist as she had abscess - he declared at least 4 extractions and some fillings and referred to hospital care - initial plan was for extraction under GA however she is now being seen by specialised NHS team (hospital based) Wonderful team - initial filling without a hitch and today went back for filling and one extraction. Actual dental care went well (sight hitch as DD fainted afterwards - already under hospital care for that!) Dental staff were fab and made sure she was fully recovered by the time we left.

She has a series of appts to complete the treatment required as this dentist felt a "softly softly" approach would be best - and whilst DD is missing a bit of school (hour today) she is not suffering, not had to have a GA and most importantly has not been traumatised (apart from faint) at all

SadOldGit Tue 03-Jun-14 13:33:07

X posted - we were referred to our local special care dental service not sure what criteria is but can't recommend enough - would love this dentist for all of us, she is fab

Did he give you a reason for the inability to re implant it? Did he crush it during the extraction or is it because of the underlying adult tooth? confused

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 03-Jun-14 14:13:32

all. No bother. Will ask him tonight. Think he'll be ok with giving an answer as it's not actual advice.

I think it is either to the hospital for removal under GA or the other option is the community dentist who specialises in treating children/elderly etc. but I will check

The other thing I would say is that I definitely second writing everything down now as logically as possible. I'm a lawyer and, when you are taking witness statements, it is amazing to see how quickly memories can become confused/fade - even regarding quite seminal events.

Use your narrative for the complaint letter and definitely try and get a copy of the letter from the orthodontist. You want to see exactly what he has said re what teeth should be removed/retained and the reasons for that. It will also help frame your complaint and your proposed resolution as one issue that the dentist may raise is what the actual long term prognosis for that tooth was - I.e. How long could DD have reasonably expected to retain it.

FabULouse Tue 03-Jun-14 14:59:53

It's a 'never event' because it represents an erroneous deviation from the planned work.

Wabbitty Tue 03-Jun-14 15:02:15

Baby teeth do not "stand the test of time". They can fall out at any stage during adulthood even if the adult tooth isn't present.(They are also a lot more prone to decay) However you have said the adult tooth was present, so WTF was the orthodontist thinking? The adult tooth, no matter how poorly formed, unless badly positioned would have tried to errupt and loosened the baby tooth so it would have been lost anyway.
Also 8 (or even 9) is not too many on a 13 year old. The teeth naturally fall out at around the age of 12 so would probably have been very loose and just flicked out (which sounds very likely if he only took 30 minutes).

wentshopping Tue 03-Jun-14 15:15:08

Similar to pp above, I had two molars with no adult teeth underneath. As a child my dentist did not fill them when some decay started "because they were baby teeth and will fall out". I have just had one replaced with an implant, the other is still there, with a filling or two. I am 47. They can last a pretty long time. To mirror my non-appearing molars I have two not-completely formed teeth on the top - my other teeth closed up around them so they are not very noticeable, but it has been suggested to me that I could get either built up to make it look more regular-looking. There are also veneers, but I am not sure how popular they are nowadays. So maybe when adult tooth comes through, it could be used as the basis of cosmetic work (i.e. building it up etc) and an implant considered if not.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 03-Jun-14 15:19:55

I would be both following the formal complaints procedure and seeking legal advice.

Wabbitty Tue 03-Jun-14 15:20:25

Also CCG groups do not apply to dentistry

I have a retained baby tooth as well and its lasted over 40 years so far, so some of them stand the test of time albeit with some fillings needed.

AllDirections Tue 03-Jun-14 15:38:56

Wabbity The baby teeth that already had an adult tooth in front or behind came out easily but the others (about 5) did not come out easily and it was all very traumatic. They were so solid in her gums that a few months ago the dentist prescribed toothpaste to strengthen them just in case there were no adult ones underneath.

The adult tooth that hasn't formed properly looks like it's on it's side in the Xrays so maybe it isn't going to grow in the right direction. As wentshopping has shown, that baby tooth could have lasted a long time.

Pumpkin I don't know why the tooth couldn't be implanted. The dentist wasn't talking to me, it was all very quietly addressed to his assistant.

I'm starting to feel more angry now than upset though DD2 is coping well. She's had lots of TLC and a Costa milkshake and is worrying about whether she'll be able to eat a McDonalds on Friday when she's out with her granddad smile

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 03-Jun-14 15:45:57

But the baby tooth would've come out naturally any time, wouldn't it as wabbity says?confused

Baby teeth at 12 are hanging on by a thread usually, aren't they? Not like 8 adult extractions in one go.

LemonSquares Tue 03-Jun-14 15:47:10

I have baby teeth still - very late 30's. Adult teeth not there - its a gene from my Mums family according to my childhood dentist.

As a teenager an orthodontist suggested having them removed and a brace to move the teeth to cover gap - my parents said no. As an adult I've been told when they do go it will be a small bridge.

I also had baby teeth removed - the adult teeth come in behind and they wouldn't budge - but it was only 4.

I would seek an urgent appointment with the orthodontist - implants might be needed but it possible that braces that move the remaining teeth round could also be possible. You need expert advice there.

Also I'd be complaining about the dentist.

YANBU - it shouldn't have happened.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 03-Jun-14 15:51:10

Um...I just spoke to DH who seems to think caveated massively that the orthodontist's approach seemed quite unusual so definitely worth speaking to him/her to find out exactly what they said to the dentist re treatment and retaining a baby tooth.

Then, obviously, put the complaint in. However, it might be worth, before you complain, just making an appointment to speak to the dentist once you've spoken to the orthodontist to discuss matters generally because something seems just not quite right between what the dentist and the orthodontist have been saying. If you're not happy, then obviously put in a formal complaint. At the end of the day, you and your DD are upset and that needs discussed, even if there's no liability.

Re referring - really depends on your DD's feelings etc but 13 is at the older end and presumably her teeth would have been loosish given her age so that might have been the reason for the dentist doing so many today and doing it himself.

Apparently the CCG protocols don't apply to dentists in general practice so don't expect that to be followed.

Anyway, I think there are quite a lot of dentists on here so hopefully one might turn up and give their thoughts after reading everything

LemonSquares Tue 03-Jun-14 15:54:04

They were so solid in her gums that a few months ago the dentist prescribed toothpaste to strengthen them just in case there were no adult ones underneath.

DD1 is 8 and the can already tell on x-ray if there is an adult tooth below - they had to check as one of her baby molar teeth was sinking into the gum and given my history they wanted to know if adult one is there. It showed up on the x-ray so they know it there though it won't erupt for a few years.

Seems bit odd at 12 they don't know if the adult ones are there - I'm sure that about that time they realised I wouldn't have all my adult teeth as well again confirmed by x-rays.

Not that I'm a dentist and know what I'm talking about - just struck me as very odd.

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