Dental Malpractice!

I think more people think of medical when they think of "malpractice" but I think we just witnessed some gross dental malpractice that - to me anyway - seems like it could have cost a life!

Let's go back a couple months. Shirley took the boys in for their regular dental checkup, cleaning, etc for a 4 and 5 year old. They found a soft spot on one of Shayne's teeth, or maybe 2, that they determined should be drilled and filled even though they weren't even officially "cavities" yet. Apparently they don't know how to treat children's teeth and they did a bad job. How bad we had no idea until last weekend...

Shayne began complaining and was becoming sick, I'm not sure of the first symptoms. I know they started on Sunday. Kevin and Shirley took him to the local urgent care and they told them to take him to the dentist. Monday at 6:45 AM I got a photo message on my phone of one of my grandsons with a swollen face. I didn't have my glasses on so I thought it was Joe. "bee sting?" was my reply. No, it was tooth problems. Shirley was sitting in the dental office parking lot when they opened to get him in to be seen.

They checked Shayne out and said they couldn't do anything because of the swelling. They gave Shirley some antibiotics and said to come back when the swelling went down and - if it gets more swollen go to the emergency room to get it drained. That's just the kind of news you want to hear.

They took the feverish, lethargic boy home and were unable to sleep well that night, so they all camped out in the living room to be able to watch Shay more easily. Somewhere in the wee hours of Tuesday morning they see that his eye is now swollen shut, the swelling is moving down and back, half his head is now severely swollen. Shay says his throat feels "thick". Time to go to the ER.

I didn't get the whole lowdown on how the hospital visit went but eventually they got him in and hooked him up to IV antibiotics and made arrangements to get him seen by an oral surgeon. Kevin took him down the street to the oral surgeon when they opened. The place was very posh, a high-end surgeon. He looked at Shay's mouth and told Kevin that he'd do the work for only what the insurance would cover because of the horribly botched job the dentist did. He managed to take only one tooth even though 2 seemed to be affected.

Later that day I swung by the house with some ice cream and a "Get Well Soon" balloon-on-a-stick. They were again all sprawled around the living room. I gave Shay his balloon and put the ice cream in the freezer. Almost immediately he started smacking Joe with the new weapon. When I left it was business as usual, a house with 2 rambunctious little boys.

After the fact, though: Shay's tooth actually kinda rotted and may have had an impact on the adult tooth (or maybe teeth) beneath the surface. And if they hadn't gotten treatment I believe the poor kid was headed toward becoming septic.

I think this is what they call "malpractice", don't you?

1 cats hacked up hairballs:

Shirley August 7, 2011 at 7:57 PM  

I enjoyed reading your blog today!!! I also like the new? description under the header...

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.