Woman sues dentist who gave her 4 root canals, 8 crowns and 20 fillings in a single visit

Originally published at: Woman sues dentist who gave her 4 root canals, 8 crowns and 20 fillings in a single visit - Boing Boing

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(Maybe not for everyone but I quickly thought of this)


Obligatory LSoH:


Well, that isn’t a story calculated to do my anxiety about the need to face the music and get some dental work done any good.


Given the poor accuracy rate of dental diagnosis in the first place and the wildly divergent estimates of costs from one practice to the next, this woman might not have needed that much work at all.
I read an article from a person who had visited a dentist in every state and asked for a basic exam and x-ray. The results were impressive-very few said the same things were wrong, and what they wanted to charge ranged over thousands of dollars.


Wanna hear my I am not a fan of dentists story?

A few years ago I needed my wisdom teeth pulled. I signed all those documents saying I was aware of potential bad things that the surgeon assured me never happen.

See where this is going?

He cracked my jaw. That healed okay and not too much pain but what I really didn’t expect or need was what followed.

He prescribed a lengthy course of a broad spectrum antibiotic which promptly killed all the good bacteria in my gut that turned into a horrific bout of c-dif.

I would not wish that on anyone. The process to diagnose at a specialist wasn’t fun.

And the antibiotic to cure it cost 600 bucks that insurance didn’t cover.

I think long and hard before going to dentists. And I especially ask a ton of questions before taking any antibiotics.


I hate going to the dentist, but here’s a good news story.

About 30 years ago I was going to get married, and I thought I had better get my teeth checked before I did because I had avoided the dentist for over 10 years. I thought my teeth probably were in a terrible state and I should get myself fixed up. So I found a practice near my office and booked a checkup.

The day of the visit I had extreme trepidation but I stuck with it for my future wife’s sake. They did a whole bunch of checking including a full set of X-rays. I waited while the dentist looked over everything and made their diagnosis. They came back in with a smile and said, “Well, Mr XXX, that’s one of the best sets of teeth I’ve seen in a long time. You’ll take those to the grave.”

They sent me home with nothing but a hygienist appointment to worry about.


That’s wonderful! When my kids grew up and moved out, I went to the dentist because I thought I could afford it after 20 years. I ended up buying the dentist another new boat. My dental bills were actually more than my income for that year, which probably gave shivers to more than one IRS clerk. But at least the work was spread out over the year, with detailed discussions on the priorities.


You’d think with the portability of x-ray imaging, you could get the imaging results consulted on, so you’re not getting recreational dentistry. I know the tenderness and softeners found by dental probes are another parameter, but getting less wobble in diagnosis is pretty important. Sounds like a potential application for AI.

I have both a horror story and a “well, that turned out rather pleasant” story.

the horror story was about eight years ago; the practice I went to was owned by the hygienist, as it turns out, which meant that over the multiple visits there, I never saw the same dentist twice. I had my bridge replaced, which got screwed up so they had to do it a second time, and the last visit the dentist numbed the wrong tooth, leaving me in agony while he put a crown over a live tooth. (apparently, they don’t automatically do root canals with crowns anymore.)

Fast forward to the end of 2022, when I had the crown break again, another filling fall out, and another tooth that needed a root canal and crown. This time, I went to a local place (literally a five minute drive from the house) and this group… wow. Night and Day difference.
They took the xrays using what looks like an oversized hand-held power tool, and the ‘film’ was actually a USB connected imaging sensor. They also listened to my concerns post x-ray, and the hygienist was MUCH more gentle than the old place. They have a lab attached to the practice which can make permanent crowns and bridges essentially on the fly, and they use a 3-d scanner instead of algenate to get the shape of everything.

As far as finance? the old place wanted a rather lot of money on top of my insurance, whereas this place had pricing that was not much more than what my insurance pays, so my co-pays were reasonable and within my ability to pay. It’s also a family owned practice, and most of the dentists are within that family.


I’m so glad you had a good outcome from that!

I don’t know the psychological drivers but dentists seem to be a class of person who horrifies us or leaves us numb, but never delights us.

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My dentist said I needed a root canal, a lube job and some aluminium siding.


Mine said if I didn’t get the undercoat, everything was going to rust through in a few years.


When I finally got a job with dental insurance, it had been about ten years since I had been.

Here’s a tip: Don’t pick a dentist based on how close they are to your house.

After a complete cleaning, they shot a full set of x-rays, then I finally got to see the dentist.

“Hmm… Your teeth look OK… You have all your wisdom teeth.”


“We’ll pull those.”

“Um… Why?”

“That’s my policy, it prevents problems in the future.”

What it actualy prevented was me ever returning to the office. I found a different guy, and still have my wisdom teeth 40 years later.


Clearly they worked as intended :wink:

Off to dentist and hygienist later - wish me luck!

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