Hello Dr. Hall,
I went in for a normal root canal. As my numbing started to wear off it felt as if someone had taken a bat to my face. The next morning I woke up in terrible pain and a very swollen face for about 3 days. This was on tooth # 10 [upper left lateral incisor].
I called the dentist and he put me on Flagyl. One week later still in pain he did an x-ray said root looks fine continue with Flagyl.
After weeks of visits with doctors I was told the injection had caused irritation with a nerve. One doctor told me I have trigeminal neuralgia. They told me to let the dentist know. I did so he called me in and started to be very rude telling me no dental procedure could affect a nerve from simple numbing procedure. I didn’t argue I don’t know. Just doing what the other doctor told me. He then pulled up my pharmacy history and started asking about all my medication not pertaining to any of this.
I scheduled my appointment for my crown and when the nurse calls me back she says I need a clearance letter to be treated any further and the doctor stands at the door and again is telling me no injection can cause pain to a nerve. He won’t even enter the room. At no point have I accused him of wrong doing or been angry I have just seemed treatment for pain and to get my tooth fixed. I call the office to yet again make another appointment with a clearance letter and the lady tells me I have to send the letter and once the doctor reads they will call me back to let me know if he will continue treatment or not. At this point I feel like I am being treated very poorly at no fault to myself so I am seeking the completion of my treatment elsewhere but I would like my money back since he did not follow through with completion of my procedure and billed my insurance for an office visit when he failed to even see me.
– Tonya D.
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My goodness, what a reaction by your dentist!
There are several things that are odd about what he is doing, and you definitely need to sever the relationship and of course you should be entitled to a refund of any treatment that isn’t completed. Logically, it would seem that your dentist would welcome this and gladly hand you a check, but there seems to be a lot of emotion wrapped up in his actions, so I’m not sure what he will do.
The post-operative infection after the root canal treatment was unpleasant, to be sure, but not any certain indication of anything significantly wrong that your dentist did. There are sometimes these flare-ups and sometimes they happen in spite of the dentist doing everything right.
However, the use of Flagyl for your oral infection is a little odd. Flagyl is generally used for lower GI tract and vaginal infections—not for oral infections. It is an alternative antibiotic that is maybe a fifth or sixth choice for an oral infection when there is a reason not to use one of the others, and because of its limited spectrum it is usually combined with another antibiotic like amoxicillin in this type of setting.
But the oddest thing is your dentist’s extremely defensive reaction to the suggestion that you could have had irritation to a nerve from his local anesthetic injection. Now, just from what you’ve told me, it doesn’t add up to trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by extreme facial pain that is triggered by touching or stimulating an area of the face. It is something that recurs from this touching or stimulation, and so diagnosing that from a single instance and from an injection is a bit of a stretch. But my gosh, how about a simple “I disagree” and move on? Instead, he gets extremely defensive about it and feels this need to counter-attack the messenger. With that type of aggression being displayed by him, I can’t imagine you feeling safe under his hands.
So yes, go find another dentist to finish this, and insist on a refund, and, if you feel so inclined, report the “non-visit” to your dental insurance company. If I were you, though, I might ask for the refund and threaten to report the non-visit if this dentist gives you any flak over the refund. You could also report this to your state board of dentistry if he doesn’t cooperate.
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