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Dental xrays misread by dentist for two consecutive years

This is a discussion on Dental xrays misread by dentist for two consecutive years within the Medical Malpractice forum, part of the HEALTHCARE LAW & MALPRACTICE category; I am in Idaho. I went to the dentist a couple of months ago for a check up and regular ...

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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #1

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Unhappy Dental xrays misread by dentist for two consecutive years

I am in Idaho. I went to the dentist a couple of months ago for a check up and regular scheduled xrays. My dentist shocked me by saying I needed an upper molar extraction because of excess tooth decay. I asked him how something like this could happen because I had been seeing his office for the last two years either 2 or three times per year for dental cleaning and maintenance on my teeth since I have implants on my two front teeth. During this time, I had been telling the hygentist and the dentist when he popped in that the space between my upper molars was so sensitive that I had to thread it to floss. On at least two occasions, (perhaps more), I had to be numbed by injection to clean the area between the teeth. He responded by saying that sometimes these things progress real fast or sometimes it just goes real fast (I thought he was talking about the decay in my tooth). He showed me last years xrays compared to this years xrays and said that they were fine last year, but this year there was decay. He said he wanted to schedule the extraction the following week so that the decay wouldn't effect tooth next to it. I said I couldn't do it then. So, I made another appt..

After thinking about it, I contacted the office manager and expressed my concerns on how the problem could be missed. I asked for a second opinion and was sent to an endodontist. He said that the decay was such that he didn't have enough structure to work with. At this point, I told the office manager that I felt that they missed something and I would like an implant to replace the missing tooth. He said he would submit my case to a peer review board.

So, they scheduled me with an appointment to see an oral surgeon to do the extraction. By this time, I hadn't slept in a month, I was having nightmares about my mouth. So, when I went to my appt., I was so upset about having this tooth extracted. I talked to the dental assistant who said I should talk to the surgeon who was contracted to work with the group I am in. He asked me if I was presented any options. I said that the only option that was presented was extraction. He showed me the xrays and he pointed out that the decay was there on the first year xray (very small), the second year xray ( a little bigger), and now the third year xray (which is pretty bad). This was the first time I had been told I had decay in the tooth-two years later. The oral surgeon is now sending me for third opinion with a periodontist for another option of crown lengthening. He said it could be too late, but at least I will exhaust all options. He also said that sometimes braces can move teeth to work on them in hard areas, but he wasn't sure about my case with the excess decay in the tooth and will need to consult an orthodontist.

Also, I received a response from the peer review commitee that they felt the problem was hard to detect until this current year and the dentist acted in good faith. Also, they said they don't recommend implants in that area because of complications and failure rate. So, basically, I will be toothless in the back molar region or find a dentist to take the risk for the implant and wait 10 or years and more to see if it successfully takes to the bone in my jaw. I called the patient spokesperson of this board and spoke with her about the sensitivity for two years, the report from the endodontist about the decay and they have reopened the case.

Also, the general dentist on the review board said that it was his opinion if found earlier, that an extraction would of taken place anyway. I feel like I am getting the run around. I am a mess. Do I have a case here? I am so hurt and angry. By the way, at all of my appointments for dental care, I have been told I have excellent hygiene with very little plaque.
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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #2

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Default Re: Dental xrays misread by dentist for two consecutive years

Just wanted clarify my above message. I meant at most of my appointments about good hygiene, and certainly the last year especially. Even before, it wasn't too bad. And I have left out some minor parts and thoughts parts because of the length of the message, but the bottom line is an extraction and in my opinion, because it wasn't diagnosed earlier.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 05:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dental xrays misread by dentist for two consecutive years

You should meet some other doctor and you should talk to some medical attorney with your detailed case. Your case seems to be a case of medical negligence.
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