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Dentist mistake - should I be worried??

(20 Posts)
basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 13:07:17

Spent the morning having root canal surgery and feeling rather sorry for myself. He seems to be a good dentist - very calm and professional manner, only bit that is painful is the initial injection etc.
Final stage of the treatment was today (2 prior sessions) and when he did the final x ray and showed me on his computer screen he looked closely and said "oh - see that bright white bit? I think that is a smal piece of metal file that snapped off when cleaning out the root. Can’t get it out now but don’t worry, it won’t do any damage or cause any pain..."
Was unable to speak at the time and just glad to have it all over. Now at home I can’t help wondering - WTF?!! He left a bit of metal file inside my tooth? Is this really ok? Should I be worried??
Sorry for long waffly post - still feeling a bit woozy

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 13:23:30

bumpity bump - anyone any ideas? please?

starlover Tue 21-Jun-05 13:27:28

apparently it IS something that is considered ok...

however... my cousin has been suffering from terrible foot and ankle pain for over a year. Despite all kinds of doctors, physios, consultants etc looking at her they could find nothing wrong. She was on crutches for over 6 months

turned out it was from a constant infection stemming from a piece of needle left in her gum by the dentist

sweetmonkey Tue 21-Jun-05 13:28:20

that is not very good at all. i would try and speak to another dentist and see what they say. ie whether it could cause any harm etc

dont know what to say basket case but im due to have root canal done in a couple of weeks , i went upto guys to have it done and they cleaned it all out and packed it ready to be worked on . can you tell me what happens as im s**t scared of dentists and am a bit concerned, thanks if you can

Aero Tue 21-Jun-05 13:29:12

Jasper might be around later on to answer this for you. I don't think I'd be happy about it though.

mcca Tue 21-Jun-05 14:13:34

basketcase, this is my pet subject.
Go back and complain insist they re do this or go else where to get another opinion and then go back to your dentist. Do not put up with poor treatment, no doubt you had to pay for the pleasure of this so it should be done properly.
Can i bore you with my dental problem. After many visits to a dental practice in north London where i never saw the same dentist twice I visited a new private one last November. She was agast at the state of my teeth she found four teeth with root canals all incorrect and much much more. She refered me to Eastmans and Guys (both turned me down) so had the first root canal redone two weeks ago and seeing someone this Friday re having three teeth taken out and need either a bridge or implants. The thought of it all keeps me awake at night not to mention the cost. I never realised how difficult root canal is and MUST be done right. There are dentists out there who should not be practicing. It is so hard once a dentist has moved on to have your problem sorted out.
By the way is there anyone out there with knowledge or experience of dental implants - any advise welcome.
Sorry to go on but i feel let down, are there any good and honest dentists out there?

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 15:57:01

sweetmonkey - don’t be scared, the only pain I experienced was the initial injection and that s only seconds. The rest was merely uncomfortable and a bit achy for the rest of the day after anaesthetic wore off.

Right, seeing as you have asked, here is my tale of woe concerning root canal work:
Noticed nagging pain, have no registered NHS dentist available in the area (rang up every last one in yellow pages!) So phoned NHS direct, got me onto an emergency one who is private but does one morning a month for the NHS of emergency cases - initial "first aid" patch up work is NHS, follow up is your call, private if you stay with him. I.e. his way of getting new private customers in through the door.
First consultation - x ray confirming problem - abcess under old filling affecting root badly, chip off side of tooth (I thought a bit of filling fell out ). Was told he could take the tooth out or patch me up with a temp. filling and a clean out, ready for a proper filling after surgery. Chose to pay for the root surgery so it was numbed, old filling removed, washed out with a "bleach" liquid and temporary filling put on. Cost £40.
Had to wait 8 weeks for the next appt. Cost £150. Temp filling removed, numbed completely with horrid injection. Lots of drilling noises, the root removed (no tugging at all but did catch sight of it as it came out...yuck...) Lots of prodding and poking as he cleaned up the cavitiy space. A permanent filling put in and a bleach stuff left inside to deaden and sterilise the space, stopping infection. End of phase two (35 mins)
Two weeks later appt. 3 Cost £150. (Today). Again, horrid injection, works almost straight away so nice and numb (incl. tongue and ear!) A hole is drilled into and through the permanent filling. The cavity is "drained"? , cleaned up. Then he used loads of different sizes of files to file down into the root space. Left three in, told to not bite down on them or they would snap off and never be removed ( rather scary thought and enough to make you want to close your mouth!) x ray told him how far down to fill/file. Then he put a wierd rubber "drip" tray thing over my mouth with little hole to isolate the tooth. Very uncomfortable as the rubber mat thing seemed to cover all my mouth and my nose so felt a little pannicky as couldn’t breathe easily, and very hot in there. He put a rubber filling stuff inside and got out a cigarette lighter and heated up the end of another tool (I kid you not) Saw I was pannicking a little and explained that the filling is made of a rubber type stuff and so he needed to melt it and set it into place. Very odd to see smoke coming out of my mouth but not painful, just uncomfortable and a little surreal. Once he had done that, he poked around a bit more and finally filled the hole up with fresh amalgam. Took one last x ray - this is where he went quiet and squinted at the screen, spotting a white bit at the bottom of one of the root bits - telling me that it was a snapped off file, but not to worry... I left, paid and started to worry at home. Time - 50 mins.
Sorry for the lengthy description, head still not clear and face still rather numb - nearly fives hours now so thought it should have worn off by now?

starlover - OMG, your poor cousin, I am so shocked at that. I really hope Jasper is around at some point and can give some advice.
mcca - what an awful time you have had. Are you all sorted now? I am so confused - like you have had awful experiences in the past and had been really happy to pay for this privately as he has been really professional, calm and not painful.That was until today’s episode of the snapped file... now I don’t know what to think. Should I find someone else, I have arranged an initial appt. for my 4 yr old in August and feel like cancelling now - but if not him, how do I know who to trust instead?

sweetmonkey Tue 21-Jun-05 16:07:22

i am with guys as im scared of dentists so they put me on their books. went up had xray told me easiest thing would be to have root canal. gave me injection into gum and then one into top of mouth so it all swells up. i was there for nearly 3 hours while they cleaned it all out , filed it put that drip tray on me ( i had a cold as well which just made it 100% worse) and then they filled it and said id prob need 2 or 3 other apps to get it fully sorted , lucky thing is with guys is that its free because they are medical students. booked in for couple of weeks though , still a bit scared. that might be because the injections had worn off and she started drilling and i felt the pain rush from my mouth to my ear which was excruciating!!

chicagomum Tue 21-Jun-05 16:40:00

as long as the canal is cleaned out and effectively sealed and the fragment is within the canal and not poking out the end ot the root it shouldn't cause any problems, obviously its not ideal but these files are pretty fine and can sometimes snap if they are in use. usually the canals are sealed with a special type of rubber, but some dentist do/did use metal posts, and a "post crown" uses a metal post in the root canal to hold a crown on the tooth so putting metal in a canal is common in diff aspects of dentistry. the description you gave of the proceedure sounds the norm (the lighter thing is usual i promise) try to relax and just see how it goes i would imagine if you saw a diff dentist they would advise to monitor and onlt attemp to remove the piece if probs occured

i know it sounds horrendous that a piece of "equipment" is stuck in you but it is nothing like a surgeon stiching you up and leaving someething in your stomach etc

hope this helps a bit

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 16:47:33

thank you so much chicago mum. You have put my mind at rest. You sound very knowledgeable
sweetmonkey - would be very concerned if the aneasthetic wore off so quickly and you had excruciating pain. I had this with last dentist and only found out later that loads of locals called him the cowboy dentist - thanks to me moaning to loads of people !
When I was first told I needed root canal surgery my initial reaction was "OMG - that is going to hurt" and my new dentist was very quick to say that a good dentist should make it virtually pain free if given a proper injection correctly. Apart from the sharp initial injection pain, I never once experienced pain, only mild discomfort and the psychological discomfort of having someone "invade" your mouth space which I find quite difficult and intimidating, being a wimpish sort of person. If you feel pain, I would let them know asap and don’t let them continue until they numb you again.
Good Luck

sweetmonkey Tue 21-Jun-05 16:50:32

i told them straight away and they gave me more injections. my mouth felt so big after LOL
roll on 2 weeks tomorrow . not!!

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 16:54:13

lol - I know what you mean about the swelling feeling - I went to the local garden centre with DH (he came with me, bless) for a cuppa to "cheer me up" I felt like an alien as it felt as if my head had expanded on one side and my tongue turned into an old man’s slipper. Drooled tea all over my white top (why did I wear that top - too low cut and felt self conscious lying down with grey bra and cleavage on display to good looking dentist. Oh well, suppose it took my mind off things

sweetmonkey Tue 21-Jun-05 17:00:12

LOL what you like!! i was worried about asking for train times at the station and them thinking i was talking jibberish.

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 17:03:39

Ha ha - yup, my 18 month old made more sense than me for a while Maybe worth pretending you are foreign for a while, carry a guide book and writing it down on a notepad

starlover Tue 21-Jun-05 17:32:52

sweetmonkey.. i was SO scared of having a root canal as i know 4 other people who had had ones done and had ntohing but trouble with them

bu trust me, you have had the worst bit! after all the cleaning out and everything it's absolutely fine!

have had mine for over 6 months now and not had a problem! but going back on wednesday to get it re-filled as i only have a temp filling in because i was pg when i had it done!

sweetmonkey Wed 22-Jun-05 08:37:58

ah thanks for all yr advice , felt coz i seemed to hijack thread, which wasnt intentional .thanks for all yr help!!

basketcase Wed 22-Jun-05 08:39:51

don’t be daft sweetmonkey - nice to find out that I am not the only wimp who worries about dentists

jasper Wed 22-Jun-05 21:56:44

basketcase I doubt there is a dentist in the world who has not lost a piece of file in a root canal. It happens .
It will most likely be completely fine.
From your description of the procedure your dentist is extremely thorough.
Full marks for him telling you there was a piece left in.

chicagomum Wed 22-Jun-05 22:24:26

JASPER - Have just realised that you are the resident dentist on this site, for several years hope you don't feel i'm treading on your toes

jasper Thu 23-Jun-05 00:56:12

Chicagomum, quite the opposite! I am hoping to retire now you are here .

As I still work within the NHS I am due a nervous breakdown, divorce, suicide attempt or decline into alcoholism at any moment.

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