I’m kind of worried that I was misdiagnosed during a recent emergency dental visit. I had a tooth which I already knew needed a filling. I had been told that by my previous dentist. At the time, though, I had a pretty decent dental phobia and didn’t go back to have the filling done. Recently, the tooth started hurting beyond my ability to keep focused throughout the day and I knew I had to bite the bullet and get seen. I called an emergency dentist and let him know ahead of time exactly what needed to be done. They told me to come in that afternoon. After the exam, he told me I needed a filling. No surprise there. What did surprise me is he said it was the tooth next to the one I knew needed the filling. I mentioned that to him and he admitted that one needed a filling too. How did he miss that? Also, he didn’t fill either tooth. He just told me what I needed, which I’d already told him, and sent me home still in pain. I’m worried now he missed an infection. What do you recommend?
I can understand your concern. If you had to point out a cavity to a dentist that would be a reason to doubt his or her abilities. If he did x-rays an infection should have been easily seen. However, as he missed a tooth in need of a filling, I guess you have no way to be certain of his diagnostic abilities.
I noticed you mentioned struggling with dental anxiety as the reason you put off your filling. I don’t want you to have to go from one dental emergency to another, looking online for an emergency dentist who can fit you in when you’re in pain.
As you’re still in pain you’ll need to see another dentist anyway. I’m a little frustrated that the dentist you saw knew you were in pain and neither filled your cavities nor gave you anything to at least get you out of pain until he could schedule your fillings.
Finding a Gentle Emergency Dentist
I’d like you to do an internet search using the term “Gentle Dentist“. These dentists are much better and willing to work with fearful patients. Be sure to check their reviews, though, to make sure what they advertise and they way they actually deal with patients are the same.
Once you find a few that appeal to you, call to see who is willing to fit you in quickly given your situation. I’m sure almost all of them will be but it’s never good to make assumptions. Some dentists are even willing to give free second opinions in cases such as yours.
If it turns out you do have a dental infection, my hope would be they remove the infection then and there. If they say you need to schedule a follow-up appointment for the root canal treatment, don’t hesitate to ask them for something for the pain. Additionally, I’d like you to ask for some antibiotics. You’ll need something to keep the infection from spreading while you wait for your appointment. They shouldn’t have a problem with either of those requests.
Best of luck. Hopefully, the next dentist you find will be considerate and gentle enough for you to find your forever dentist. Then you can have regular care and never have to dread the dentist again.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.