Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bad Dental Visit

You know how they say someone who has a bad experience will tell ten people opposed to when they have a good experience and they only tell one person?
Well, I had a bad experience yesterday/three weeks ago when I was at the dentist and I would like to vent. Besides, I already told one person over the phone (family friend who is a retired dental assistant) and I have no desire to speak it all again - too long of a story. Much easier to type and tell everyone at once.
Mortenson in Hillview with Dr. Owens is (about to be WAS) my dentist.
Here's what happened -
Three weeks ago I went to the dentist for a routine teeth cleaning.
I ended up needing a crown and two cavities to be filled so I made the appointment for the very next day and paid the $800 it was going to cost after insurance.
With one of my new fillings, even the dental assistant who did the filling was unable to easily get floss to go between these two teeth. She used some sort of floss that reminds me of sandpaper and still couldn’t get between them. She told me as I chewed, it would loosen and correct itself on its own. In hindsight, I should have complained and had her correct the issue then.
As for my temporary crown, she put it on and checked my bite and told me I was good to go. Keep in mind my mouth was really numb due to having it numbed again half way through the procedure because I had feeling in it while she was drilling. If you have ever had your mouth numbed, you know I couldn’t tell how my teeth were meeting offensively.
It hurt to chew on the temporary crown side that evening but I just figured it was sore from being bothered.
The dentist office was closed for the next three days and when I called the following week - I wanted my bite checked given that my friend (who I have known since high school and is currently a dental assistant) told me this was probably the issue. I was told they would check it at my next appointment before putting in the crown. As in two weeks from when I was calling in to complain about my tooth bothering me. I DID NOT think that made sense, but what do I know. Again, in hindsight, I should have pushed a bit more to have my mouth checked immediately.
I called again at the beginning of last week to ask again about having it checked now opposed to later and was told by someone different the same thing. I even asked if I should come in early and she told me 'no'.
In the meantime, I can barely get floss between my teeth where the one tooth got a filling. The few times I was able to get floss between them, it would get stuck and I had to pull it through opposed to back up between my teeth. The other times, the floss would either break in half or the floss would break in strands between my teeth and then I wouldn't be able to get them out unless I kept trying to floss (sometimes painful). Because of this, I stopped flossing in the morning before work - too much time was being spent on this one spot.
After the stupid responses I got from my first issue (both times), I never bothered telling them about this issue over the phone.
Yesterday, I had my appointment to put on the permanent crown. I immediately told this different dental assistant my two issues. First she checked the filled tooth with the floss issue and she too couldn’t get floss through. Imagine that! She tried using the sandpaper floss with no luck. Then told me she would have the dentist look at it and see if it needed to either be completely re-done or if it could be fixed.
She took an x-ray and showed me how between the two teeth there was a 'ledge' which is what the floss kept catching on. When the x-ray was shown to the dentist, she immediately said it needed to be re-done. I am happy I can now floss between those two teeth, but I was not happy I had to have my mouth numbed AGAIN and have the filling removed before having it re-done.
As for my temporary crown, this dental assistant told me it was definitely a major bit issue. I wanted to say 'Duh!' - I didn't though. She removed it which caused me a lot of pain. Badly! Badly enough that I made moan noises out loud! She took an x-ray of this side of my mouth at some point as well. I better not be getting a bill for it either! I will complain! She then put in the permanent crown - painfully I might add. She told me it probably hurt because the tooth was aggravated because of the bad bite. When the dentist came in to look at the permanent crown in my mouth, she had to correct the bite since the current dental assistant hadn’t done it yet. Three times she took it out and put it in before telling me she would adjust it while in my mouth. I assume she could see how much discomfort this was causing me.
In the end, she decided to keep the temporary crown in my mouth for another week after having it adjusted. This is what I wanted (I just didn’t tell her - YET). I would hate to have the permanent crown put in and then need a root canal. This means I now have to go back to the dentist next week to have the permanent crown put in if the tooth no longer hurts.
Thankfully, as of now, it does not.
I told the current dental assistant I did not want to see the original lady at my next appointment. She made my appointment with herself which I am glad for seeing as she seemed nice and competent.
I was told by my dental assistant friend if I end up needing a root canal, it is probably due to the amount of stress placed on my tooth while my bite was wrong. This explains why my upper tooth directly above this tooth seemed to hurt. I had thought it was my imagination playing tricks on me. I am going to continue to monitor both the tooth with the temporary crown and the one directly above it. If my pain continues and I do end up needing a root canal, I can assure you it will not be on my dime. They will need to fix what they caused. Of course, I don’t want any more dental work and I sure the heck don’t want to lose one of my roots so I really hope all is well now. I am making a conscious effort to chew as much as I can on that side of my mouth to make sure everything feels alright.
Matt and I will be looking for a new dentist. I can't go through something like that again. And Mortenson, if you somehow found this blog post, I want you to know I haven’t decided if I am going to place a negative review online yet. (Besides this blog.) I feel I should because this office needs to work on this type of issue. Perhaps the dentist should check her dental assistant's work before letting the patients leave. They already do this after having your teeth cleaned. And really, she is paid the big bucks to make sure I, the customer, am satisfied.
After 5 years of my business, you have lost a customer (two counting my husband). After next week's visit, goodbye Mortenson Family Dental.
And because this post needs to end on a good note with a cutie, here's a recent picture of my little guy - with grass on his face:
Soon, I'll post more of his pictures from this day. Be prepared for some extra cuteness!


  1. Ugh! I was afraid of this. Dump this dentist NOW!

  2. I’m so sorry about your experience. Finding a good dentist is such an underrated thing. Did they offer you any kind of refund after the trouble they put you through? There are some good dentists out there, though. Your post has made me thankful I haven’t experienced anything like that. Anyway, I’m glad you’re not in pain or anything anymore.