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Gum graft for implant

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: vikings12  (5 years ago)
My wife had a gum graft for one of her front top two teeth. She said it was a pedical graft.

She was in surgery for 5 hours and had around 20 stitches. She went in today, 10 days after the surgery and the graft did not take. It was all white dead skin and they scraped it out.

They told her she would have to have another one. They said the doctor(who was not there) made a mistake by placing too much gum on the front tooth area. They also said he took way too much gum for the graft as well.

They have apologized and said they will not charge for the next graft. That did little help to comfort the 10 days of pain she was in and the fact that she had a surgery for no reason.

Is this normal? We had one doctor saying the other doctor messed up big time. The area looks worse than it did before. In fact she has less gum now than before the surgery. 20 stitches seems like alot.

I have tried everywhere online to find someone who had 20 stitches during a gum graft for one tooth to no avail.

She has had multiple visits over the last 6 months and they have been ok..but they messed up big time here.

I want to switch dentists but its alot of money.

I talk to them on monday and am looking for any advice, what questions should i ask? Is 20 stitches normal? Do i have a right to be upset?

I almost want them to pay her for the pain and suffering she endured. But i realize there is risk with any surgery.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
User Level:
Dentist
My wife had a gum graft for one of her front top two teeth. She said it was a pedical graft.

She was in surgery for 5 hours and had around 20 stitches. She went in today, 10 days after the surgery and the graft did not take. It was all white dead skin and they scraped it out.

They told her she would have to have another one. They said the doctor(who was not there) made a mistake by placing too much gum on the front tooth area. They also said he took way too much gum for the graft as well.

They have apologized and said they will not charge for the next graft. That did little help to comfort the 10 days of pain she was in and the fact that she had a surgery for no reason.

Is this normal? We had one doctor saying the other doctor messed up big time. The area looks worse than it did before. In fact she has less gum now than before the surgery. 20 stitches seems like alot.

I have tried everywhere online to find someone who had 20 stitches during a gum graft for one tooth to no avail.

She has had multiple visits over the last 6 months and they have been ok..but they messed up big time here.

I want to switch dentists but its alot of money.

I talk to them on monday and am looking for any advice, what questions should i ask? Is 20 stitches normal? Do i have a right to be upset?

I almost want them to pay her for the pain and suffering she endured. But i realize there is risk with any surgery.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks


Do patients have a "right" to perfect healing, and do they deserve money if their bodies reject a graft? I will leave that silly question for you to ponder. If a patient is on the operating table for a cancer removal, and the cancer later comes back, should the patient be entitled to a full refund, and compensation for the recuperation time? If not, why is dentistry treated differently from its big brother medicine?

Why, indeed, are dentists blamed when bodies do not heal properly after good care, and physicians are not?

20 sutures is reasonable for a large graft. Better too many sutures than too few. The thing unusual to me is not the number of sutures, but the surgery taking 5 hours.

Grafts don't fail often, but they fail. It's a shame that they do.
Posted 5 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: vikings12  (5 years ago)
Thanks for the response

I mentioned in my OP that i realize there was risk with any surgeries. It was frustrating to have doctors contradict each other.

i just found out that they scraped too much gum in the intial surgery that they bothered the screw and had to take it out and put it back in.

If you say 20 stitches is not completely out of line than that makes me feel better. I just feel that they made mistakes during surgery and then tried to correct them during it. Thats why it took 5 hours. That would be ok if they told us straight away there were a few problems. But, we are just finding out about these problems 10 days later.

Thanks for the response again.
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: dphob1  (5 years ago)
Even sillier question

"If not, why is dentistry treated differently from its big brother medicine?"

Maybe because dentistry operates for the most part, like a cash business and so it is a commercialized, fee for service industry that drives patients to respond like consumers. No money .... no treatment. Screw it up...I want my money back or make it right.
User Level:
Dentist
Dental surgery is elective. You won't die if you don't get a graft / implant / whatever. So it's more like a cosmetic procedure, as opposed to most medical procedures. dphob1 is correct. This drives patients to think like consumers.

The REAL issue here is one of informed consent. The surgeon who carried out the original graft had an ethical and legal responsibility to explain all the treatment options, including doing nothing; to explain the risks of the surgery, including failure; and to explain the benefits of the surgery.
If he did not explain these 3 things, and get your wife to sign a consent form stating that she understood the risks, benefits and the alternatives, then he may have been negligent. If this is the case, you should consult a dental malpractice attorney for further advice.
Richard from www.dental-health-advice.com
Posted 5 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
Even sillier question

"If not, why is dentistry treated differently from its big brother medicine?"

Maybe because dentistry operates for the most part, like a cash business and so it is a commercialized, fee for service industry that drives patients to respond like consumers. No money .... no treatment. Screw it up...I want my money back or make it right.


I fail to see your distinction between medicine and dentistry. Medical patients do not respond like consumers? Why on earth are there so many ads for hospitals and medical clinics, then? You have got to be deluding yourself.

Both professions have procedures that are totally elective and paid for out-of pocket. Both depend on immune responses from the body for healing. Bodies sometimes heal abnormally or not at all.

People can die on the operating table despite the best care. Grafts can fail in dentistry. Why, in either of the instances, do patients deserve money?

I do root canals all the time. Most patients heal uneventfully. In a few patients, the body cannot fight the bacteria. Their faces swell up like balloons and I have to lance and drain the abscesses. In a couple of cases, the patients had to be hospitalized. If these latter patients want to "blame" anything, it should be resistant bacteria or their own inadequate immune systems.

It is a shame Americans are always looking for scapegoats so they can use shyster lawyers to hit the jackpot.
Posted 5 years ago
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