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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!

Mrsmorton Fri 06-Jun-14 17:00:48

You can have sedation in the dental chair. Lots of dentists do it, you just need some specialist equipment and trained staff.

If you need a GA (not sedation) then it has to be done by an anaesthetist.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 06-Jun-14 15:48:38

I thought they'd stopped all sedation for patients now and had done for years. I thought that you had to go to hospital for a GA if you couldn't have them out at the dentist.

Wabbitty Fri 06-Jun-14 12:06:51

It's difficult for me to answer because I'm not the dentist involved and these are the questions he should be answering but what I can say is in the area where I am no form of sedation is offered to those under 16 (not even nitrous oxide) on the NHS. I don't know about private but I think 13 is too young for intravenous anyway

AllDirections Fri 06-Jun-14 09:16:44

Wabbity The orthodontist did the xrays. I only asked because of the reasons the dentist gave for prescribing the toothpaste. A pp had questioned why the dentist didn't do xrays to check on the adult teeth rather than prescribe the toothpaste.

That's one of the questions that I need to put to the dentist. And why wasn't DD2 referred to somewhere she could be sedated when I asked for that. I even informed them that DD2 is covered on XH's private health care policy.

AllDirections Fri 06-Jun-14 09:05:22

The orthodontist said it's too early to tell whether there will be a gap or not.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 06-Jun-14 00:09:36

What did the orthodontist say about going forward? Did he think he could still sort our your DD's teeth with the extra tooth removed?

Wabbitty Thu 05-Jun-14 16:34:24

Well somebody should have taken x-rays, whether that's the referring dentist or the orthodontist it doesn't really matter. (If I have taken them they get sent with my referral letter, if the orthodontist has taken them then they will send them to me if teeth need to be taken out, on the understanding that they are returned).

This is the very reason I (and I know I'm not alone) wish orthodontists would take the teeth out themselves - they know what they want out and it stops any miss-communication.

AllDirections Thu 05-Jun-14 15:32:33

Well the good news is that the dentist did remove the 8 baby teeth that he was supposed to as well as the one that he wasn't supposed to.

BUT the orthodontist was definitely not supportive. He was very dismissive, made out that we were wasting his time and at one point tried to make me out to be the one that was out of order. Given his manner I still want to check that we've been given the correct information regarding DD2's teeth.

I asked him for a copy of the plan/diagram that he had sent the dentist but he said he'd just sent him a letter and printed me a copy of that. The dentist had definitely worked from a plan/diagram that looked handwritten/drawn.

He repeated what he said before about the reasons for that baby tooth to be left. I accepted his reasons then and I still do. I showed him the toothpaste prescribed by the dentist and asked him what it's usually prescribed for and I asked him if it's usual for the dentist to have already done xrays before a referral to an orthodontist.

LemonSquares Thu 05-Jun-14 12:47:46

orthodontists plan doesn't sound exactly orthodox either, so speaking to them may not be the panacea you're all suggesting.

OP should be able to get more information though - like why he wanted this baby tooth left in and what they suggest now - what x-rays have shown is going on.

If OP still isn't happy – she can ask around for new decent dental practise. We've moved around fair bit - and when we see new dentists they don't work off old notes they assess our teeth are do x-rays and go from there - though mid treatment might be different I don't know.

Mrsmorton Thu 05-Jun-14 12:12:19

I'd like to interject here and suggest that the orthodontists plan doesn't sound exactly orthodox either, so speaking to them may not be the panacea you're all suggesting. It's unusual to plan to leave a baby tooth where there's a permanent successor and not have a plan for the permanent tooth or replacement of the baby tooth when it fails which it probably (probably) will.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 05-Jun-14 10:16:28

Speak to the orthodontist ASAP. I would think there's a good chance he'll be able to straighten DD's teeth without the extracted baby tooth there. Given baby tooth unlikely to last as well as adult teeth that might actually be a better solution if available. I hope this works out well and your DD is not too upset.

PixieofCatan Thu 05-Jun-14 09:45:34

shock And I thought that it was bad when a dentist started 'fixing' a 'hole' in a tooth of mine that didn't have one!

Complain complain complain, definitely. Can you contact your orthodontist? They'll have details of who you would need to complain too I would think?

Mrsmorton Thu 05-Jun-14 08:58:44

The BDA isn't a regulatory body, it's a toothless (excuse the pun) trade union that has a dwindling membership due to it's lack of support to the profession.

The gdc is regulatory but as pointed out, you are expected to use the internal complaints process as far as possible and if not happy, then the gdc.

This is separate from clinical negligence claims which unless they amount to misconduct or impaired fitness to practise, the gdc won't get involved in.

catkind Wed 04-Jun-14 22:10:02

Your poor DD.
Just to back up other people's comments - I'm 37 and still have two baby teeth going strong. Like your DD the adult teeth hadn't formed properly and were growing the wrong direction, they eventually had to be surgically removed. At the time (I was 18) they said the baby teeth should last another 10 years. Looks like it'll be at least twice that! So def worth making a big fuss about.

guineapig1 Wed 04-Jun-14 22:00:56

Sorry should add also write everything down as soon as you can in your own words and in as much detail as poss eg what was said, by whom, how many times he stopped, his attitude and expressions, assistants attitudes and expressions etc. again, could be invaluable as evidence for a complaint of negligence claim.

guineapig1 Wed 04-Jun-14 21:58:51

This is dreadful. I really feel for you and our dd op. Appreciate that your daughter is unlikely to be keen on this but if you possibly can I'd get her into see an independent dentist ASAP for a check up so that he can have a look, take notes and photos if poss (I appreciate that sounds hideous!) just incase you need to down the clinical negligence route with this. Not suggesting for a second it will get that far but it is crucial that you have some independent and contemporary evidence I.e. From now not from six months down the line.

Other than that
1. Try to get complete copies of all her dental notes.
2. Internal complaint procedure and then regulatory body (bda?) if not satisfied.
3. Meet with orthodontist ASAP to discuss damage limitation and what other options are available.

Good luck and wine

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 21:49:01

Just wanted to say my nhs dentist is fantastic much better than the private ones I've seen who quite frankly were rip off merchants who wanted x rays every time I visitedhmm I'm not a huge fab of the nhs generally but there are good dentists out there.

OP really hope you manage to sort things out and come to some kind of resolution.

Chocovore Wed 04-Jun-14 21:15:55

Have you checked out the dentist on the GDC website? You can search by name on there and see if he has any restrictions.

MrsMaturin Wed 04-Jun-14 18:46:16

This sounds shocking. Just to give some contrast I took dd2 to have one tooth out following an orthodontic opinion. The adult tooth had grown in high up the gum and the baby it was replacing hadn't fallen out. My very lovely lady dentist retired quite suddenly due to health and had handed us on to a chap at the practice we'd never met before though she described him as a 'lovely young man'. Well he certainly was that. Very clear with dd what was happening, checked the records and the letters first. Gave an injection and waited, preliminary tweak followed by more injection. Then he got it out and it wasn't easy because the root was still very large. AT all times though I knew what he was doing, he was responsive to dd and we felt totally comfortable. You can accept nothing less than that. I hope you get some resolution of this upsetting situation soon.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 04-Jun-14 18:44:24

Just the things I've set out in my earlier posts

I've spoken to DH and i just don't feel comfortable commenting anymore. As I've said, I think you've done the right thing making an appointment to speak to the orthodontist and hopefully the dentist to try and clarify what's gone on

I wouldn't like to surmise any further and they have a right to explain obviously

AgaPanthers Wed 04-Jun-14 18:37:01

This is why I don't trust NHS dentists, my local one is like this with my kids too all slapdash and hurried, presumably because he doesn't think the NHS pays them enough. He does adults privately and seems to think deigning to treat children is a favour.

AllDirections Wed 04-Jun-14 18:36:48

Gobbolino Which things don't add up the most?

AllDirections Wed 04-Jun-14 18:31:52

The dentist had the tooth pully out thingy on one of DD2's adult teeth at one point before realising that the baby tooth was behind it

How were you able to see that? Or did the dentist start talking out loud and say that?

Both. I was right there with DD2 holding her hand. It was grim and that image will never leave my head. The dentist was also talking through it. When he had the implement on the adult teeth he stopped and checked the orthodontist's plan again before taking out the baby tooth behind it. Does a dentist automatically know which are baby teeth and which are adult teeth? DD2's mouth has been a mass of teeth for so long that she didn't/doesn't know what teeth are there.

It all sounds totally bizarre - including teeth pinging on the ground

The more that you all question things that happened the more I realise how dire the situation was. We'll know more tomorrow when I check which teeth have been removed. Hopefully they were all baby teeth which would mean that DD2 has no baby teeth left, 14 have been removed altogether and she's lost 6 naturally.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 04-Jun-14 18:02:44

The dentist had the tooth pully out thingy on one of DD2's adult teeth at one point before realising that the baby tooth was behind it

How were you able to see that? Or did the dentist start talking out loud and say that?

It all sounds totally bizarre - including teeth pinging on the ground.

Also - to put your mind slightly at rest - presumably DD would know if an adult tooth was accidently removed? Has she said she thinks one was?

I don't know - best to ingather the facts and take it from there. It just doesn't seen to add up and I think the orthodontist and the dentist should be given the chance to clarify what exactly they have done and why before you take any further decisions

ajandjjmum Wed 04-Jun-14 12:29:19

What a dreadful thing for you to cope with AllDirections. And your poor DD.

DS was born with a cleft, and the orthodontist has retained one of his baby teeth (he's now in his 20's) and it's doing the job, so I can imagine how incensed you must be - quite rightly.

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