Complaints around Dentist - advice needed

Posted , 4 users are following.

Back in April this year, I revisited my local Dentist as I was noticing an increased sensitivity in my teeth and that it made for uncomfortable consumption of food and drink, so I decided to make an appointment for a check-up, which I had to wait 3 weeks for. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and once that day had arrived, I asked someone I knew to come along with me and offer some moral support.

Initially, the Dentist had a look around in my mouth and noticed there was some gum exposure and deep fillings that needed to be addressed fairly urgently, so he proceeds by, firstly placing a plastic plate into my mouth, clearly to take an x-ray, this, I had to bite on, but my "gag reflex" is pretty strong and started to kick in; after a few moments, I calmed down a bit and managed to relax, which worked out satisfactorily. Then there was another uncomfortable sensation, when I had this "plasticene-rubber" solution inserted into my mouth as well, where my gag reflex decides to kick in, but only for a short while, and once that was over, I was so relieved, and took a sip of some mouthwash to get rid of the plasticene taste. I was advised that I would need to attempt flossing, not just cleaning using toothpaste; he had advised me that I make a further appointment in a few weeks, to have the feelings fitted.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, I had someone come along with me for moral support once again. This time, I was to have the fillings removed; I was hoping that I would be under strong anaesthesia so this could be done painlessly. He proceeded by giving me an anaesthetic, shocked by the fact that this was a local one, and that, once I could feel the numbing effect, I was conscious that I was still wide awake and could feel the drill and the sharp needles going in. I just couldn't seem to relax my tongue which kept getting in the way, so the dentist stopped and couldn't carry on with the treatment, much to my anger. I then ask him about being fully sedated, which he tells me will be fairly costly and that there will be a waiting list, which didn't help me feel any better, just very alone and depressed, and angry.

The only thing he could do is write out a prescription for the painkiller, Amoxycillin, and said I wouldn't need another check-up until November. I feel my "doors have been truly darkened" and am too hesitant to go back there. Until I hear about any sedation, I am having to suffer, even after cleaning and flossing my teeth, increased sensitivity, so it's to the point I dread eating or drinking anything that is chilled, as when any of these pass over my gums, it makes me wince with the whole discomfort and pain. 

I have made an initial complaint, which I have recently received a response from the Manager, apologising that I have been made to suffer such discomfort and to keep taking the painkillers and await a date for my sedation. Could I bring this date forward? Could I make a more official complaint, which may involve a trip to my local Citizens' Advice Bureau?

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    It doesn't sound like you are getting much sympathy from your dentist.

    I would go elsewhere where they sympathise with patients that dislike dental treatment.

    I'm not one for the dentist either but my dentist I have now is lovely she never hurts me either. I always get numbing cream put on my gum before the injection if I need one. It's a lot less painful aswell.

    Do look on the web for dentists near you that sympathise with nervous patients not dentists like where you have succumbed to harsh dentistry. It's not necessary anymore.

    Dentistry has come a long way now to what it used to be! Thank god!! 😊

    All the best anyway😊

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    I'm really sorry to hear about your suffering, but I have to say it doesn't sound as if the dentist did anything wrong. As a former nurse, I can't advise you strongly enough to avoid having a general anaesthetic in the dentist's chair! This is a very dangerous practice that has been banned in most European countries, but is still alowed in the UK. A number of people die from this every year.

    You need to get your teeth fixed in a hospital - either a dental hospital (if there is one in your area) or the dental department of a major university hospital. This is where they'll have facilities to administer general anaesthesia or sedation safely. I don't live in the UK any more so I'm not sure whether you can self-refer under the NHS or you need a referral from a doctor or dentist. I suspect you'll need a referral but if you call the hospital they'll be able to tell you whether or not this is the case.

    If you do need a referral, you'll need to ask either the original dentist or your GP. Please don't accept sedation from your dentist, unless he's working in a hospital or a proper medical centre, where they'd have back-up in the event of complications. Calling in a local GP to administer the anaesthetic isn't sufficient. I suspect that UK dentists continue to offer sedation and GA because it's a nice little earner, but it really isn't safe. This has been known for a very long time. I can recall being told in my first anaesthetics lecture as a student nurse in 1965 that chairside anaesthesia wasn't safe.

    I realise that a lot of people still have it without any ill effects, but that doesn't mean it should be allowed to continue. Most hospital doctors are horrified that it's still done, and have been for a long time. 

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    • Posted

      Hi lily65668, thank you so much for your reassuring reply. It made such interesting reading, as I had no idea that I was placing myself under possible serious risks of complication or death if things went wrong. I will not be returning to my current dentist; initially, he gave me the impression of professionalism, care, friendliness and supportiveness but regrettably, found this not to be the case as much as I'd have wanted. 

      I will definitely get in touch with my GP regarding this, and I feel much more reassured at the prospect of going along to the Hospital, where, as you say, it will all be administered safely and that the anaesthesia, and general care and support would be much better - I cannot fault my Hospital, regardless of the negative press it seems to get from time to time, I have always come away from there feeling happy. 

      With much thanks to you, I will proceed down this route biggrin

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