Jump to content

Menu

Typical dentist behaviour, or do I have a reason to be annoyed?


AimeeM
 Share

Recommended Posts

My prosthodontist also acts as my general dentist. A couple weeks ago, he was doing a core build up and a crown on a tooth for me, and when he got half way through, he realized it needed a root canal... so, he put a temporary crown on, and set up an appointment for the following week with an endodontist next door (next door to his own office).

 

So I went in to the endodontist. Not a great experience. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting a root canal to be pleasant, lol, but it was more his behaviour that was odd. I expect him to leave while the numbing medication sets in, so that was fine... but then, as he was actually IN the process of doing my root canal, he kept LEAVING to tend to other patients. At times my mouth was left propped open with those plier things for no less than 15 minutes with no work being done. It took about an hour longer than my general dentist had said it would take. Over two hours, start to finish, for a root canal and then filling (he doesn't do temporary crowns, so I have to go back to my general dentist for that).

 

To top it off, I've been having problems with the tooth.

 

I've never had this experience with a dentist, but I also tend to stick with one dentist when I like him - my dentist just happens to not do root canals (and he's a specialist). Am I overreacting? Is it typical for dentists to treat multiple patients literally at the same time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had them step out while various stages are drying or the assistant completed a task but never for more than a couple of minutes.  I have had several root canals by different doctors. I haven't ever had that type of experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was a difficult procedure, I could see that he might step out to let additional anesthetic take effect but I would expect that barring that, he would not leave you in an uncomfortable position and he would finish with your procedure before moving on.

 

Also, having a problem with the tooth post procedure is not unheard of if there was a lot of swelling. I had one procedure that was no worse than a filling and one where I could not let my teeth touch for almost two weeks - so much swelling!!! Everything hurt. It took a L-O-N-G time until it settled down. And has been fine ever since. 

 

You might ask your dentist what he thinks about the delays in the procedure. And , remember, word of mouth is the best advertising. So, if your not happy, share your feelings.  Otherwise, this is probably one of those experiences you just have to let go for your own sanity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be really ticked if I was left with my mouth propped open like you where.  I think I have had four root canals and I don't ever remember being left like you where.  Your mouth is probably really sore not because of the tooth but because your poor jaw is aching. Is the tooth one of your molars?  I just had a crown put on my very last molar last week and it is not the tooth that hurts still today but my jaw aching because of all the stretching trying to get my mouth open wide enough and because of all the novicane that I needed back there. I hate all the work I have needed on my teeth but I hate the thought of dentures even more so like you I endure.  Be sure to tell your dentist about your experience so he knows not to refer patients there anymore.  Hope things feel better soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had them step out while various stages are drying or the assistant completed a task but never for more than a couple of minutes.  I have had several root canals by different doctors. I haven't ever had that type of experience.

 

Yes, I was expecting that. At random stages of the root canal, the assistant had to take a quick x-ray, but that only took - seriously - less than a minute because it was only one tooth and the x-ray machine was there in the exam room. He would step out for 15 minutes or so and I would hear him with other patients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps he was really trying to accommodate you by squeezing you in on such short notice?  Maybe he really did have a lot of other patients to tend too, also.

 

It wasn't short notice. I had it scheduled out at least a week (more than a week) so that I could secure a sitter for the morning. When I called for the appointment (had to cancel the first), she gave me a choice of several times that were open, for several days during that week.

I'm sure he did have a lot of other patients, but I've never had a doctor of any kind schedule 4+ patients requiring procedures for the exact same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would call a week short notice though. I wouldn't be that happy. I did have a dentist send me out to sit in the waiting room while he saw another patient briefly but that was because it had taken three attempts to numb me and although the different drug was working we were delayed and it was a slower drug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry you are having trouble after the root canal. Those are never fun. I've had multiple root canals done over many years and I also tend to stick with the doctor that works for me. In most cases for me it took 3 days for soreness to go away (with pain meds doctor prescribed- Tylenol and advil did nothing here) mostly due to keeping my mouth opened for 2 hours. Yes, it took two hours every time, sometimes 2.5 hours, but this guy is very, very good and never had I had a problem. You did not mention if the doctor put any medication into cleaned out canal and then had you come in a month later. That's what mine does every time -supposedly to make sure there is nothing else that flares up. Then, the next time he goes it and cleans out the medication, does some more x-rays and then fills it with permanent filling. Root canal is always a 2 appointment procedure (sometimes 3 appointments if you need initial consultation). And he is with me almost all the time working on the tooth unless x-rays need to taken or something needs to set. I usually ask for breaks 2-3 times during procedure to relax the jaw and he always accommodates me with that. his practice is very small he never works on multiple patients. He is good and usually booked about 3 weeks out.

 

In your position, I would find another specialist (do a lot of asking and research-don't just go by what the general dentist says) and seek another opinion. It could be just a swelling, or he missed another nerve, or tooth got cracked in the process. Could be many things.

 

Hope you feel better.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would call a week short notice though. I wouldn't be that happy. I did have a dentist send me out to sit in the waiting room while he saw another patient briefly but that was because it had taken three attempts to numb me and although the different drug was working we were delayed and it was a slower drug.

 

You would call a week short notice??? I have to disagree. It's completely normal to make all manner of appointments with a week's notice. My son saw an endo repeatedly for two years to monitor two broken teeth before finally having the root canals done. Making an appointment a week ahead of time is just fine.

 

OP--I think the endo's behavior was both inconsiderate and unprofessional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He hasn't mentioned me needing to come back at all, actually. When I called to tell him my tooth was still hurting, he called it a post-op flare up? And he called me in steroids and more pain meds - I'm out of town and asked to see him when I got back, to check on it (it's been a week now since the root canal), the admin said that coming back in probably isn't necessary, that I'm to see my prosthodontist for the crown.

Sorry you are having trouble after the root canal. Those are never fun. I've had multiple root canals done over many years and I also tend to stick with the doctor that works for me. In most cases for me it took 3 days for soreness to go away (with pain meds doctor prescribed- Tylenol and advil did nothing here) mostly due to keeping my mouth opened for 2 hours. Yes, it took two hours every time, sometimes 2.5 hours, but this guy is very, very good and never had I had a problem. You did not mention if the doctor put any medication into cleaned out canal and then had you come in a month later. That's what mine does every time -supposedly to make sure there is nothing else that flares up. Then, the next time he goes it and cleans out the medication, does some more x-rays and then fills it with permanent filling. Root canal is always a 2 appointment procedure (sometimes 3 appointments if you need initial consultation). And he is with me almost all the time working on the tooth unless x-rays need to taken or something needs to set. I usually ask for breaks 2-3 times during procedure to relax the jaw and he always accommodates me with that. his practice is very small he never works on multiple patients. He is good and usually booked about 3 weeks out.

 

In your position, I would find another specialist (do a lot of asking and research-don't just go by what the general dentist says) and seek another opinion. It could be just a swelling, or he missed another nerve, or tooth got cracked in the process. Could be many things.

 

Hope you feel better.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately root canal's can hurt for even a year after the procedure. Pain right after the procedure is almost a given.  When I had mine done the dr left several times to see other patients. One was for the  numbing, once after he put in the stuff to sterilize the inside of the tooth. He told me that it the stuff used to sterilize the tooth had to be in there for fifteen minutes.  He left when the lady took the x ray.  I am guessing the problem is a lack of communication on the dr. part.

 

It seems like the medical professionals do the same thing all the time so they know whats going on. They forget that to their patients this is all new and know very little what's going on. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I thought! He insisted that I might have some minimal soreness around the site for a couple days, but nothing bad, and that it would feel "great" after a couple days. Here I am, sitting in Philly at my FIL's, 12+ hours from home, terrified that I have an infection, and afraid that if I called him he would think I'm some kind of drug seeker - then when I call, the admin says it's common, called a flare up, and had meds (steroids and more pain meds) sent immediately to the pharmacy here. I don't know why they didn't tell me it was common when I was there - I spent days not wanting to call, and worrying, because I'm already on antibiotics.

Bah humbug.

Unfortunately root canal's can hurt for even a year after the procedure. Pain right after the procedure is almost a given.  When I had mine done the dr left several times to see other patients. One was for the  numbing, once after he put in the stuff to sterilize the inside of the tooth. He told me that it the stuff used to sterilize the tooth had to be in there for fifteen minutes.  He left when the lady took the x ray.  I am guessing the problem is a lack of communication on the dr. part.

 

It seems like the medical professionals do the same thing all the time so they know whats going on. They forget that to their patients this is all new and know very little what's going on. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's uncommon.  I have had similar things happen.  I don't like it one bit though because I worry the dentist might absentmindedly not change gloves every time and wash his hands. 

 

It was just odd for me. I see my prosthodontist regularly, and I can't recall him ever, ever leaving me mid-procedure, and I've had some very lengthy procedures with him. Maybe he's just abnormally... good. Lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...