Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

This is a discussion on Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities) within the Medical Malpractice forum, part of the HEALTHCARE LAW & MALPRACTICE category; I went to a dentist to fill two cavities on the upper right side of my mouth. He proceeded to ...

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Old Feb 18th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Confused Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

I went to a dentist to fill two cavities on the upper right side of my mouth. He proceeded to tell me during the procedure that the cavities were real deep and that they could have lead to me needing a root canal. Well, I know that decay is the number one cause of root canals but I've never had much pain in the teeth except for when I eat certain sweets. All of my teeth are sensitive to cold so it was nothing new that these teeth with the cavities were sensitive as well. I figured as long as the cavity was taken care all will be fine now.

After I got home and the numbing went away I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't even eat on the right side of my mouth because of the pain. I assumed that it was just because of the drilling though I didn't recal it hurting this much when I was kid and got some cavities filled. I just took some OTC painkillers and hoped it'd be better in the morning. Well, it has been over a month and the pain is still present. It is no longer constant as it was the day of the procedure. My teeth are now very sensitive to cold (even cold air outside) and now even hot. If I eat anything hard or crunchy the pain is worse. I'm woken up in the middle of the night because of the pain and my only releif is OTC painkillers.

I got a second opinion from a different dentitst who took xrays of the teeth and he stated that the cavities are extremely close to to the nerve which why I'm having all my symptoms and that root canals are probably going to be needed. He also stated based on the xrays I brought in from before the cavitites were filled that he didn't understand why the cavities were made so deep since the cavities themselves were not that deep to begin with.

So as you can imagine I'm pretty upset. I'm considering getting a third opinion just see if that's really the cause. If so I'm seriously thinking about filing a suit against the original dentist. I know this post is really long (Sorry!) but I was curious to see if it sounds like Imay have a case?
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Old Feb 18th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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Default re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

I wish to inform you that after the opinion of third doctor you will come to know as to which of the two doctors report is correct. Now, if first doctor analysis appears to be wrong then you can file a suit for medical malpractice. In this your main arguments will be that the doctor has not properly taken care while providing you medical care and hence the doctor has failed in providing necessary care to you. Further you can claim for pain and suffering suffered by you because of negligence of your first doctor.

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Old Feb 19th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

It is certainly possible you have a case based on what you say here; you could take a brief description of these events as well as your medical records to a malpractice attorney and see if the attorney thinks you have a claim; often you need to contact several attorneys to find one to take the case; the review of your case and records is often free or low-cost and then they will normally take the case on a contingency fee basis if they think you can win; you would pay only if they collect for you.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

As someone who knows a lot about dentistry, I feel you do not have a case. The first dentist did warn you during treatment that the decay was close to the nerve and thus the fillings would be deep. It is often impossible to pre-warn patients about this as you have to appreciate that x-rays are only 2 dimensional images and due to factors such as super-imposition, decay often looks shallower than it is clinically. Thus, on radiographs, it may look like a restoration is not in danger of causing pulp (nerve) symptoms but then clinically after opening up a tooth the decay can be more extensive than first thought. In fact, it's often said to be about 20% greater than appears radiographically. Therefore, a second dentist could not possibly say that from the initial x-rays, the fillings should not have been that deep as they did not see the decay clinically at the time. What's more, operative dentistry can often be very challenging for reasons of access to the caries, patient factors (tongue, cheek stiffness etc), positions of other teeth etc that may make caries removal difficult. This often results in a need to remove some healthy tooth tissue to get rid of the decay for sure. It sounds like the first Dentist did keep you fully informed during the initial procedure and as caries is a preventable disease it is at the end of the day you own fault that deep decay was present in these teeth. The dentist has only done his best to remove the decay and give your teeth a chance to survive without doing root canal treatment. Why do all americans want to sue everyone for everything when all a health care professional has done is tried to help you.
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

You ask why patients may want to sue when all the medical profession was doing is trying to help them?

Of course this all is dependent on the suffering and damage a patient must endure at the hands of the professional and each case is different.

As a professional in the instance above, if there were ANY indication the decay could go that close to the nerve, or that drilling the decay may necessitate deep fillings that may super impose the nerve the professional in the professionals opinion should have refused to perform the drilling of this decay and opted for root canals in the best interest of the patient, hence the patient relies on the professional opinion of the care giver. Its the same as telling a patient the risks of certain medications and that some of the risks may outweigh the benefit or vise versa, you see it is always the professional who must guide the patient, in the best interest of the patients care and if during the course of such a CVA ( cover your butt ) scenario comes into to play, its best safe then sorry, wouldn't you agree?
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Old Oct 8th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
As someone who knows a lot about dentistry, I feel you do not have a case. The first dentist did warn you during treatment that the decay was close to the nerve and thus the fillings would be deep. Why do all americans want to sue everyone for everything when all a health care professional has done is tried to help you.
You didn't read the intial post too closely. The person indicated that the cavities WERE NOT DEEP so your wrong buddy! Why don't you, who obviously must not be an AMERICAN, get it right?

My daughter's going through the same thing. Her dentist filled a very MINOR cavity, one surface or rather it should have been. The idiotic dentist drilled too deep and had to put in a pulp pack, which didn't help. If you or your child were going through the pain that this can cause, not to mention the addtional costs for a root canal, you want to be compensated as well.
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Old Oct 8th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

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You didn't read the intial post too closely. The person indicated that the cavities WERE NOT DEEP so *your* wrong buddy! Why don't you, who obviously must not be an AMERICAN, get it right?

My daughter's going through the same thing. Her dentist filled a very MINOR cavity, one surface or rather it should have been. The idiotic dentist drilled too deep and had to put in a pulp pack, which didn't help. If you or your child were going through the pain that this can cause, not to mention the addtional costs for a root canal, you want to be compensated as well.
typo correct above - *your to you're*
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 09:02 PM   #8
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Angry Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

My current case is similar - though I had no decay, no cracked filling. The dentist indicated that four filling should be replaced as "they were a bit worn down" due to "grinding my teeth". I had no discomfort or any bother with these teeth. NO warnings or cautions were given by this dentist at any time, before, during or after her drilling out these four teeth.
Now, one is nearly constant, often severe pain. I've been back, she said it's merely that one of the filling "was a bit high", drilled it down, and advised me to take ibuprofen and the pain should be gone within 48 hours. Not so much, it hasn't subsided much.
This is just beginning, I'll be into her office again tomorrow. I anticipate "root canal" this time around, we'll see. My problem is, I don't want this dentist drilling anymore! I've had her work on my teeth only once, and it hasn't worked out very well for me.
I think the best solution is for this dentist to pay another to fix this problem. Not bill me or my insurance.
I plan on obtaining the very recent x-rays taken before the drilling. The drilled cavity shouldn't really be any larger than the old one, as there was no evidence of decay, the old filling was intact. It should be very demonstrable whether she drilled deeper than needed to just remove the old filling.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 09:26 PM   #9
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Wink Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

All arguments above have points of validity and could be used in a court of law in due process to determine due diligence or lack thereof.

The big ? is the type of filling being used, composite or the old style using liquified metal hardeners with merc. All cavities using composite material must be drilled 30% deeper in order for them to hold. The mass of this product in the tooth is important for it to take. Most dentists ignore this, therefore opening litigation, due to a remedy that is not 100%.

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Old Apr 5th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Drilled too deep (went to a dentist to fill two cavities)

At best all I can say is sometimes, we either brush too hard ....too much, ...when we could be just gargling with toothpaste and water,...it's got real flouride and calcium plus mildly flavored minty tasting NOT FULL OF ALCOHOL and ABRASIVE CHEMICAL LIQUIDS like astringents.

If we're not really cautious with over abrading our teeth we cancel out the effects of the flouride by stripping the enamel down.

I overbrushed and also used way too much cavity., scope rinse, or listerine, even when I did this I knew then that it seemed odd to put alcohol, a sugar derivitave in a COMMON MOUTH RINSE>
Alcohol, even SD alcolhol is a solvent and will degrade enamel !!!

WE weren't taught to use it , I just thought it felt so clean, and I ate all the wrong foods too much.
Good dieting can place a burden on us to eat right, but not our teeth in so doing the right things. We can all benefit yrs of aching teethpains from good diet, and eating right.

Please teach your children to not eat candy. I have no molars now. Trust me, it's just as infection prone as scratching off wounds on their knees and elbows. If candy is a wound than the not brushing is comparable to scratching a wound. Teeth are alive.
Now.... I hope this helps!

We all need to stop blaming dental communities.
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