Dentistry/Dental Inplants & MRSA
QUESTION: In 2010 I contracted MRSA post a back fusion. After 2 months it was contained and I was released MRSA free from the hospital. About 8 months post surgery I needed dental work which resulted in my dentist insisting that I replace my two back molars on left side with and implant. I could not afford this and said no, I wanted to try a bridge or anything less expensive. He was relentless and said I could pay on time, not on my credit card. I am not working and have only my SS. I said OK, thinking that it would be $4000, not the $8000 that he charged. Post the first stage of drilling the post I found a bump on the under side of my jaw. It protruded about 1/8". I went to an oral surgeon for a second opinion, and he confirmed that my dentist had drilled through my jaw. My dentist is not an oral surgeon, and when I asked him about the bump (after the 2nd opinion) he just ignored me and did not answer my question. My issues/concerns are: He did not seem concerned or worried about the fact that I had had MRSA. He ignored my question about the protrusion. He used me for practice, yet initially letting me believe he had done many of these. I feel that he mislead me about the charge and about his experience. And I feel that $8000 is way too much for a "practice" patient to have to pay. What do you advise?
ANSWER: Dear Becky,
I'm sorry about your situation.
If a dentist performs surgical implant placement s/he must do so to the standards of a specialist. If the dentist cannot perform the surgical implant placement to the standard of care, s/he should not be placing implants and refer the case out to a specialist recognized and trained for placing dental implants. The 2 dental specialties trained for dental implant placement are Oral Surgeons and Periodontists.
If it indeed is confirmed with your oral surgeon that the implant was drilled through your jaw and has caused you harm, this is something that must be remedied first so it does not get worse. I would then consult the oral surgeon you saw for further advise if your current dentist is ignoring your concerns and complications, instead of following through on your dental treatment.
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QUESTION: Thank you very much for your immediate reply. To date, the protruding post has not posed any physiological problems, but I am concerned about the following: Can it cause damage to the surrounding areas? Does the fact of having had MRSA put me in a more vulnerable position for a reoccurrence? As I do feel the $8000 is excessive cilium of his drilling through the jaw, would you advise on how I should proceed on this matter? I do want to discuss this with him, not in a confrontational manner; but I also would like to feel as though I have reputable support. I know this implies a legal step, but I don't want to go that route as I have known this man for about 25 years. I've been a very loyal patient, inspite of the fact that frequently I've had my doubts and professionally he does not receive high marks via other patients and online reviews, i.e., Yelp, etc. Not that I take those into 100% consideration when researching something, but after reading ~25 negative reviews I do wonder. I've stayed with him because most of my dental problems are route canals(which he farms out) and other pretty standard stuff.
I do not have any x-rays or ct scans to review for me to give you advice regarding "damage to the surrounding areas." I can only go by what you told me the Oral Surgeon told you and the surgeon's conclusion should be support enough.
As for how much your dentist is charging for Dental Implants and Crowns, I've seen far more than what you stated and also far less than what you stated. Good luck to you.