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Dentistry/Major Dental issues causing distress and pain


QUESTION: Hi. I am thirty years old and have a lot of dental problems. To complicate matters further I have a bad case of TMJ, which makes keeping my mouth open for a long period of time causes me excruciating pain, and sometimes even causes my jaw to lock on me! I have lost four teeth already, and I am terrified that I am going to lose more. I was devastated over the loss of my teeth, and am still very depressed over it (it makes me self-conscious, ugly and unloveable). I lost two teeth (bottom row) on each side, and I am so afraid that the five other teeth will go next (like a domino effect!). The teeth that are next to the ones that broke/came out don't feel steady to me, and I'm afraid to eat for fear of breaking them! I currently don't have a dentist (I had a disagreement with my former dentist, and he dropped me during the holidays via a letter that came in the mail!). I thought that was extremely unprofessional, not to mention downright mean! How am I supposed to find a dentist over the holidays? No one wants me because basically I am a high maintenance patient, and am on a disability pension so I can not afford things like crowns and veneers or implants. And even if I could, I don't think I could handle getting implants. Way too painful for me! The disagreement was he kept pressuring me to go and have the teeth that broke/fell out removed because he says they are going to get infected. But I am too afraid to go! I had a REALLY bad experience once in O.R. and even though it happened a while ago, I still have nightmares about it. I am a very anxious person and I feel panicky just thinking about it. I don't handle pain well, and I am afraid that something will go wrong during the surgery. When I met with an oral surgeon he mentioned a lot of risks, including the possibility that another tooth could break, my jaw could be broken, my sinuses could be injured requiring painful surgery etc etc I don't know what to do. I don't want to go for surgery, but everyone keeps pressuring me to so. What do you think? Could it possibly cause my TMJ to worsen? And honestly, how painful will it be? I was told that in the case of two of the teeth the gum has grown over them, so they will have to be dug out! That sounds AWFUL! Also, I am very overweight with diabetes and other health problems, and so I am afraid of being put under (they want to do it under general anesthetic). I would appreciate it if you could give me your opinion of the situation and also any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I realize this question is long already but I have one more quick question if you could please bear with me! I have these very painful sores (I think they are canker sores) on my tongue and cheek, but the most painful one is on the side of my tongue. It is making talking, chewing and even swallowing very painful! I tried applying some baking soda to it, and oh my god! It burned so bad it felt like someone was trying to cut off my tongue! It was terrible pain! And I have not been able to brush on that side of my mouth either (and if I go even a little while without brushing due to my very dry mouth I get cavities!) because toothpaste also makes it burn like fire! It's just painful all the way around, and it refuses to go away! It's been there for weeks now! I was able to get into see a dentist on an emergency, walk in basis (he knew my mom so he agreed to see me, but is retiring soon and no longer has hospital privileges so he can not be my regular dentist even though he is very nice and I would like that)to file down one of the broken teeth that was cutting my tongue. He said that once the root of the problem was gone (sharp tooth cutting into my tongue) it SHOULD go away and feel much better. But it hasn't gone away, and feels about the same if not worse! Any suggestions? What can I do to make it go away, or at least alleviate some of the pain? Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.



ANSWER: I gave you solid advice and tried to make you understand the gravity of infected teeth.  What a whiner you are. I feel sorry for any health professional that crosses your path!  You want to know how to have less pain and I told you but you don't like the answer so you whine that I am mean to you! Poor thing. Infected teeth will just get WORSE and effect your whole body. Get over it and get treatment.  If you don't you are even dumber than I think you are.    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Oh my! Clearly you can not handle criticism.  Of course, one would expect nothing less from a total narcissist, with a God complex such as yourself! It seems to me that YOU are the whiner, pouting because I did not give you the glowing review YOU and your grossly overinflated ego seem to feel that you deserved. Get over it!

I am once again completely shocked at your unprofessional (and downright rude!)behavior. You have no right to speak to me, or any other patient in that way. Likewise, I feel very sorry for any patient who has the misfortune of crossing YOUR path!! It is clear that you are only in this profession for the status/money, and not because you care about people and want to help them. Perhaps you are used to people being intimidated by you, but I am not. You are nothing more than a big bully! I gave you what I felt was an honest and fair rating, and you contact me again (without my permission I may add) to complain about how unfair you feel I was to you. That is totally unacceptable! And it was not WHAT you said, but HOW you said it! You need to practice your communication skills. Because quite frankly they are atrocious!

And you are VERY rude! You do not even address a person by name when you are speaking to them. It would appear from your answer that you are very arrogant, and think that you are above your patients and the people who seek your medical advice via this service. Well Ms Baxter, I am here to tell you that you are most certainly not above me or anyone else. So get off your high horse!

And lastly, I am a big believer in karma. So it is my hope that one day you or someone you love (presuming you are capable of such an emotion) will be sick, in pain and afraid and someone will treat you or your loved one in the exact same manner that you have treated me (no better, no worse!) and with the same lack of sensitivity and compassion that you showed me. Perhaps then you will learn to treat others with a little bit of respect, dignity and humanity. I hope you grow up, and soon! For the sake of anyone who has the misfortune of coming into contact with you in the future!

PS: I ask that you please do NOT contact me again. I do not wish to have any further contact with you. Thank you.

My Karma is quite intact with patients bringing me cookies and home made items every year with notes of thanks. I have dismissed uncooperative patients like you in the past, generally with great applause from my staff members.

I do not get paid for this service and most people are grateful for the advice.  I care about your "grade" less than I care about the turds in my cat litter box.

People like you make me wonder why I bother, so feel free to complain to TPTB, I don't get anything from this anyhow. My resume is huge, tripe like this does not even go on it.

You have been dismissed from your own dentist's practice, ignored the suggestions of at least one oral surgeon and I have been too "hard" on you.  Who has the problems here?  Is there a mirror in your home?

By the way my title is Doctor, not Ms.....  


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Crystal Baxter DMD< MDS


Dental malpractice issues, Prosthodontics. Geraitric dentistry, complications from dental treatment including nerve damage, TMJ, brain abscess, infections, sinus perforations, fatalities.


30 years of dental practice, 17 years teaching, University of Illinois, and Northwestern University. National lecture series on dental implants and treatment planing, 18 years as dental expert witness in dental leagl issues.

14 publications, see CV on website.

see credentials at Includes, graduate of University of Pittsburgh, DMD, certificate of Prosthodontics, Masters of Dental Science, certificate of Geriatric Dentistry.

Awards and Honors
National lecturer, various TV and radio spots including CNN and interviews by Debra Norville.

Past/Present Clients
National expert witness experience, plaintiff, defense, and personal injury.

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