How should I deal with this inadequate dental care?
July 5, 2014 8:52 AM Subscribe
I had some dental work done this week that I consider unsatisfactory. I'd like advice on what to do next.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Because of a highly-sensitive gag reflex, it is quite difficult to do dental work on me. Generally it’s necessary that I be sedated, using either oral ("conscious") or more frequently IV sedation, to do the work. I’ve had this done 5-6 times. The sedation is quite expensive and not reimbursed by insurance but it’s the only way I’ve found to get it done.
Yesterday I went in for a root canal, the filling of a couple of small cavities, and a deep cleaning, under IV sedation with a dentist who was new to me. The sedation felt subjectively much lighter than normal, and I was much more aware of the work being done than usual, but he carried out the root canal. However, I then became much more awake, and when I conveyed this, the dentist declined, for safety reasons, to administer more sedation, and was unable to complete the work, including putting a crown over the root canal. He told me that I needed “hospital sedation”, which I find difficult to believe since I’ve had similar, and even more extensive, work done as an outpatient before.
I’m now in a difficult position: I have a root canal with no crown, which I understand means I’m likely to lose the tooth at some point. I’m out of pocket some thousands of dollars for work that was not completed, and I’ve used up all my dental insurance for the year. In order to complete the work that was begun, it seems I’m going to have to find another dentist who can successfully administer the sedation, and pay more thousands of dollars.
Am I reasonable in thinking that I’ve been done wrong here? It’s clearly possible to sedate me, as it’s been done several times before, and if the dentist had done so successfully everything would be fine. His inability to do something that he advertises as the major focus of his practice is going to cost me a lot of money. I have not discussed this with him as I spent yesterday recovering and now we're into the holiday weekend. How should I proceed?
(Note: suggestions on how I might do without sedation are not particularly helpful. I’ve lots of experience with lots of attempts to do so, and I’m confident that sedation is what I need if I’m going to have dental care at all.)