Aussie 'Trench' fillings

Posted , 5 users are following.

in the early 80's i was treated by an australian dentist in london and given a lot of uneccessary fillings in the form of a trench

i have no idea of the name or address of this dentist other than he was probably on or near king st iin hammersmith

i am now suffering as a result, having lost several teeth in the past few years and my current dentist believes that most of this treatment was uneccessary

any other siimilar experiences or advice welcome

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  • Posted

    Don't get me started on that one Jan! I had masses of fillings (also declared unnecessary by subsequent dentists) done by an Aussie dentist in Guildford in 1975, though I don't know whether they were the trench kind or not. He managed to ram a large lump of amalgam (about 3mm wide) high up between the tooth and the gum on an upper molar - which ironically was about the only one he hadn't actually filled! I didn't know at the time because of the local anaesthesia. When I noticed the lump on my gum and the pain the next day I went back, to be told it was nothing, it would come out on its own - which it did a few weeks later.

    Thought nothing of it till 7 years later I started getting attacks of acute pain in the tooth which were clearly due to an abscess. This recurred several times a year over the next 10 years, during which time I saw five dentists in two countries. All of them X-rayed the tooth but couldn't find anything wrong with it. During this time I had repeated attacks of sinusitis on that side too. It eventually transpired that I'd had a slow-burning infection in the root of the tooth all that time, but it had started off in the inside root, which is invisible on normal X-rays. It wasn't till it spread to one of the outer roots that it was spotted. I ended up having to get the tooth removed by a maxillofacial surgeon and a lot of infected bone scraped out! The surgeon said the infection had almost certainly got in when the piece of amalgam was rammed in.

    So sorry to hear about the problems you're having now. My surgery was 25 years ago now and I think I got away with it. I still have frequent twinges where the tooth used to be, but my current dentist can't see anything on my yearly X-ray. I haven't had a single attack of sinusitis since then.

    Sorry I don't have any advice - except to be very careful about the nationality of your dentist in future! I don't want to commit libel on these hallowed boards, but I'd give the same advice to anyone else reading this.

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    • Posted

      thanks for this, it sounds like its gone on for a while, my current dentist doesnt have my records from the aussie dentist in london and i cant even recall his name or the name of the practice.  ive spoken to a specialist in dental law cases and they said i would have a case if i could get the name of the dentist or the practice - im stuck really unless i have a sudden recall of the info!  my second tooth on the top is about to be extracted and i believe it will possibly affect the shape of my face on that side.  

      I would appeal to anyone who had any similar dentistry in the late 70's early 80's on or around king st in hammersmith to get in touch in the hope (very slim i know) that i can track the practice down and get some redress!!!

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    • Posted

      Hope you get some answers, Jan, but don't hold your breath. I left the UK permanently just after the work in 1975 - ironically moving to a country with one of the best and cheapest dental services in the world, but I didn't know that at the time. However, I visit the the old country regularly to see friends, and they tell me most of the Oz and NZ dentists kind of disappeared in the course of the 90s. (Either got struck off or made a mint out of us gullible Brits and scarpered off back home I'm guessing!)

      If it's any consolation, as mentioned in my earlier post, my problem eventually got solved even if it did take 17 years for anyone to figure it out, and I don't seem to have been left with any permanent ill-effects, apart from a missing molar and the occasional twinge in the socket. And I suppose you could have an implant if you feel you've lost too many molars on one side.

      Good luck with your quest anyway! And I'm sorry if I've offended anyone from Oz and NZ with my remarks. I'm sure not all your dentists are rubbish. In fact, I suspect it was the ones who weren't up to the mark who all descended on the UK in the 1960s.


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  • Posted

    I used to be at PI in the US. So your case intrigues me a bit. The problem is I don't know anything about what you have in your country to look through but I'm going to try to compare it to some things I would look at in my country.

    Here we used to have books that were printed out every year or so that were cross reference books for businesses well maybe private persons to but it doesn't matter because you're looking for a business. These cross reference books would be at your local library at this point. You said you don't know the name of the dentist and you don't know the address but you do know the approximate location. So you know what street to look on. So I would first go to the library when you have some time to do some research and see if there is some kind of cross reference book that was published not necessarily during that time but close to that time and do some perusing in that book to see if you can find a dentist in that location. Another question i have is do you think you'd recognize the name if you saw?

    Also at the library they may have on microfiche a dentist or doctor directory from back in those days. Again you're going to have to do some cross-referencing since you don't know his name. But I would suggest you write down some other dentist names to help you with the next step

    And finally as a last ditch effort you might want to try to contact dentist that were practicing during that time and ask them if they knew of this doctor and if they could give you his name. However if you do this I would not tell them why you want his name. In fact before you call the dentist I would come up with a story as to why you want to know this dentist name so that you can tell the dentist in case he asks. And hopefully you're a good liar.

    Now all this can only be done if you live in the area still. Or if you have a friend willing to do the homework for you that still lives in the area. Of course you could still track down a dentist that worked during that time and call him yourself from wherever you live now. And if this dentist is an Aussie it is possible that he is back in Australia. So keep that in mind as well.

    If you have any further questions I'd be happy to help you out.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan ,

    I also had tons of work done by Aussies dentists in 1986/1987.I totally trusted them but when they said 14 fillings and four root canal I was shocked.My friend who also was seen in the same surgery by another Aussie dentist was told pretty much the same treatment was needed.We had no previous pain and both of us had nice teeth.We were 17 and naive .I have since then ended having loads of root canal on the filled teeth.Its funny but when the Aussies left that surgery ,the dentist there refused to treat me and I couldn't understand why? .I found out about the Australian trench about two years ago and sought legal advice ,but was told I had ten years from when this happened .The problem is that I trusted them and didn't know they were abusing our NHS system by carrying out unnecessary work on my mouth 

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  • Posted

    Inbox me on FB Anita kobal  

    I don't see how they can get away with it 

    I am very much aware I will need a full set of implants which will cost thousands as I can't have a bridge as most teeth are capped 

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    • Posted

      I only saw this topic yesterday 3 years on lol as i was googling for Australian trench diggers as they were known, as sadly i was a victim in the sixties. Anyway, to get to your comment, if you find a decent dentist who does implants, these days they very successfully only use a max of four implants in the upper or lower set and these are joined with dentures for want of a better word via bridges. I have a friend who had a similar thing done with bridges on her own teeth attached to dentures at very little cost, she has since recommended 3 friends who have had uppers and lowers done and are very happy. He did charge around £18k for one upper set but they are not moveable. When i saw him last week he felt I did not need an implant but suggested crowns with bridges if there are gaps to fill.

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  • Edited

    Oh dear brings back bad memories. I was only talking to a dentist last week and he remembers the Australian trench diggers in the 60s as they were known. Broke my mother's heart after she had looked after my teeth so well. I kept getting toothache which turned out to be wisdom teeth moving every so often. The office sent me to a practise in London. The guy drilled the whole of the top of my bottom teeth put both sides supposedly looking for decay!!!! Apparently Oliver Reed made reference to these rogues in his book "Reed all about me".

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