Testimonial: Trusting that dentists as doctors will act in your best interest
...a person lost most of her healthy teeth and 6000€ while "gaining" tremendous pain
This is the story of a 30 year old woman with mostly healthy teeth who went to the dentist for some minor work and ended up with more than half of her teeth extracted and four seriously damaged to allow the fitting of dentures. What followed was serious pain and psychological and physical problems, all caused by a greedy dentist who took advantage of her childlike trust in "doctors" and ignorance. While this story may be shrugged off as an unfortunate exception to the rule, physician and dentist Dr. Lars Hendrickson says that "98% of my dentist colleagues are sharks".1
The following are excerpts from a testimonial posted on 27 September 2010 to a French blog devoted to mistreatment by dentists leading to pain and translated by © Healing Teeth Naturally. All rights reserved.
doing a search for the pain in my teeth, jaw, neck etc. as well as the anxiety I have suffered from since being fitted with false teeth three months ago I came across your blog! What a relief!
My dentist has extracted all of my teeth in my upper and four in my lower jaw for purely "esthetic" reasons while most of them were in a perfectly good state! I had simply gone to the dentist for some basic work to be done but allowed myself to be talked into this via the "esthetic" angle, my lower teeth being slightly crowded...
It took one month to extract all of them, with one appointment after the other, followed by the fitting of badly adjusted dentures (they keep moving, one of them has developed a crack and there is infection under the bottom denture).
All of this has cost me the modest sum of 6000€, only to end up with unbearable pain, constant anxiety about eating, as well as shame, yes shame, to go back to a dentist, fear also to go again through all I have gone through before (extractions, the fear of finding myself toothless etc…).
I am only 30 years old, a woman who's starting her life all over again but on the wrong foot, I am depressed, and even though I have met a man, I don't dare addressing the subject with him...
Here is what happened in detail...
I didn't know that dentist. In fact, I had an appointment with her associate (whom my sister had recommended (who today has lots of problems with him, oh well)... anyway, as he wasn't there, it was this dentist who took me on. She is 37 years old.
She started by doing a panoramic scanning X-ray followed by removing some tartar buildup to win my confidence before the extraction of two upper wisdom teeth planned for the next appointment.
The tartar removing hurt and she put the blame on my menstrual period...
She talks to me as if I were a child, which I like because I feel she is going out of her way to win my confidence. It's obvious that she's quickly sussed out that I was making good money in my job.
Very quickly, she's talking about extractions, but no longer regarding my upper wisdom teeth (at least not only) but practically all my upper teeth!
I was rather dumbfounded. Sure I had two front teeth which stuck out a little but which had never bothered me and I had a few teeth in bad shape, but from there to yanking out the lot...
She insists on the esthetics angle, trying about anything to convince me. She told me that in any case, by extracting the wisdom teeth and one molar, the rest would end up becoming loose and moving around... in sum that by refusing I would only be putting off the inevitable.
She hands me two quotes made especially for me. I sign the cheaper of the two.
One week later a journey begins that takes a month to complete with two appointments per week. Each time two or three of my teeth are extracted in one go.
This was very hard, morally and physically, but I held out thinking of the end result.
She does leave in my two upper incisors so they can support the denture.
Then comes the day of the fitting of the denture. It was horrible!!
On that day, although this wasn't agreed upon, she presents me with a quote for two of my bottom teeth!!
I didn't want to, that was purely for esthetic reasons, just two healthy teeth that were hardly overlapping, i.e. it was out of the question to have them pulled! And financially, it would cost me another 1500€. One could always think about it later.
She insists by telling me that my top teeth were now all aligned but the bottom ones weren't so great, and if it will anyhow take me several months to get used to my new upper teeth I might as well do the same with the bottom ones. I ask her if one couldn't simply straighten them by wearing braces but she replies that it's possible but would take too long and to wear braces at my age (30)...
She also suggests to pay in two installments. Tempting, but I am not a dentist. For me, she was above all a doctor, and I found it impossible to imagine that behind all of this there was above all a question of money... So I am trusting her, a doctor surely won't prescribe something which isn't right for your needs? So I am signing...
One week later, and I have a bottom denture fixed to the adjacent teeth. It's true, the result was beautiful.
But pain starts in my upper jaw at the joint. She says it's normal (she had broken my bone during the extraction of one of my upper wisdom teeth...) and that it would take time to form a scar etc.
Today as I finally get used to this new face with its beautiful straight teeth etc., the pain has become unbearable. I also have headaches (I thought they were caused by vision problems, but not so), I have great trouble chewing because it's painful and cumbersome since nothing in my mouth is stable, everything moves top and bottom. I have even lost weight (8 kilos), since I am terribly scared when faced with food which cuts my appetite. Sometimes in the day it's hard for me to speak since when I try to articulate, it hurts a lot.
I sleep very badly, between the pain and the anxiety, how can I sleep?
As I was talking with an old person I became aware that I had been had and that now that the dentist had sold me her stuff, she abandoned me with my pain.
My life has since changed a lot, and within a very short time, I got divorced, became ill and lost my job, finding myself alone with my kids. In other words, from a "normal" life I have gone to being jobless. Since several weeks now, I have been on the CMU (Universal health care coverage, a French social welfare program) and I honestly think that if she no longer wishes to see me at her dental office now, it's because I am no longer profitable for her.
I will add here that considering her refusal, I have challenged the last check I wrote out to her. This might put me in the wrong legally speaking but all I want is to be relieved of these permanent states of pain, this anxiety, I simply want to live normally! Before all of this happened, I didn't know what pain related to teeth meant!
In the shop, if you aren't satisfied, you either get your money back or you exchange the product, or something else.
Why isn't anything possible with the dentist? We are basically condemned to being satisfied, and if not, oh well, better get used to it...
I've reconciled myself to the loss, after all, it's also my own fault, had I been less stupid, I wouldn't be sitting here today wondering about my future life.2
I've met someone today, and I won't talk to him about it, since no-one suspects that some of my teeth are false...
I have to overcome those fears to find a good dentist since honestly, I am a bit ashamed, and afraid to again start on a journey that I have already made. Also afraid to hear that I may as well forget all of my teeth and find myself with complete dentures.
Anyway, this is roughly my experience and daily life. I've paid 6000€ for physical and psychological pain...
In any case, my life is beginning to look up again, and I will take advantage of this newfound wind under my sails to finally decide to find a good dentist!
Véronique (not my real name)