It took a lot for me to go see a dentist. I’ve had dental anxiety for a long time. But, I tried to put all that aside to get some work done. I opted for sedation because I thought it would make things go smoother, but while I was “under” my dentist did some work we hadn’t agreed to. Is he allowed to do that? I know the work needed to be done at some point, but shouldn’t he have my permission? I wasn’t planning on that big of a bill my first time back. One of the things he did was extract a tooth that I wanted to think about my options first.
Let me apologize on behalf of a colleague. That should never have happened. In fact, he can get in serious trouble for this. Dentists are never allowed to do work without getting express permission from the patient ahead of time. Here’s what I suggest you do:
First, call your dentist’s office and tell them you’ve consulted with another dentist and they informed you what he did was unethical. Either they give you the unapproved procedures free of charge or you go to the dental board.
Second, I don’t want you to allow this to scare you away from any further dental work. It was very brave of you to take the steps necessary to get your oral health care on track. Most sedation dentists are honest, compassionate people who use this as a means of helping patients with dental anxiety.
Obviously, for any further work, I don’t want you to go to this dentist. He can’t be trusted. However, you’re in the tough position of needing to have a tooth replaced as soon as possible. You didn’t mention where the tooth was he extracted or if he put in any type of temporary replacement.
Options for Replacing a Single Tooth
If your missing tooth is in a visible place when you smile, he should have at the least provided you with a dental flipper. This is an easy, temporary fake tooth so you won’t feel self-conscious about your missing tooth while you decide how to proceed.
The top of the line replacement is a dental implant. This puts a prosthetic root into your jawbone then places a dental crown on the top. It’s like having a healthy, natural tooth in its place, but it does require surgery.
The next best option is a dental bridge. This is a false tooth suspended between two crowns. It makes more sense if the adjacent teeth already need work. Then, it’s like getting two procedures knocked out at once.
Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.