We read on a dental blog (mynewsmile.com) about an experience reported from a patient they called Benson at the ClearChoice Dental Implants Center in Metairie, LA. He said he had asked to be sedated. So they sedated him for the appointment, but he woke up in the middle of it. Instead of giving him more medication, they just held him down and pushed their way through the surgery. The trauma of the experience has left him having nightmares about it ever since.
But even beyond that, when he got done with the procedure, he said that he wasn’t able now to comfortably close his lips together because the top teeth are too far forward. As a result, he dribbles saliva down his cheeks at night, and there is a terrible odor in the morning on his pillow. Further, he reports still having considerable pain. What have they done? Nothing beyond telling him that this is normal and he just has to get used to it, and he has to eat soft food now.
Of course, we’re only getting Benson’s side of the story and not ClearChoice’s, but this sounds pretty bad. We have said in an earlier post here about ClearChoice that we have heard that they have competent surgeons and prosthodontists. But quality care in dentistry is more than having a dentist who has adequate skills and knowledge. Caring about the patient is a key ingredient, and without that, there won’t be quality care. If we believe this account of Benson’s there was a serious lack of compassion here. We imagine part of the dentists’ side of the story could be that Benson was thrashing around during the appointment which make it extremely difficult to do quality work. That could easily be true. But we don’t think that excuses them from making more effort to keep their patient comfortable.
We’d like to philosophize a little here. Dentistry, as a whole, is a highly ethical profession populated by truly caring professionals. Women and men go into dentistry, to a large extent, because they want to help other people. However, there is a growing amount of what we call corporate dentistry. These dental corporations exist for the purpose of making money. We believe there is a tendency for the corporate owners to put profitability above quality care—they may cut corners and won’t have the same level of compassion for the patient. This is what we think we are seeing with this incident at the Metairie ClearChoice Dental Implant Center.
This blog is brought to you by the implant dentists at Cheek Dental in East Cobb, GA.