As a successful practice it is very important to learn from our patients when thing haven’t gone exactly as expected.
As a conscientious and transparent practice we try and publish positives, negatives, possible side effects and alternatives on dental treatments, so patients can decide before they come in if a treatment is correct for them. We believe we are one of the only dental practices in the world to do this. To see this simply go down the relevant treatment pages until it says click here for more information and consent.
implants, crowns and onlays, veneers, root canal treatments, invisalign, please see other treatment pages for relevant further information.
Here we publish some cases where dissatisfaction was expressed either verbally or implied (unhappy expression).
1. Dentists running late. Frequency : occasional.
This is an unfortunate consequence of when dental pathology (i.e. fractures, decay or gum disease) or dental treatment is more complex than initially thought. Unfortunately, the dentists must deal with this at the same time and hence can run late. This means the next patient runs late, but often also means the dental team get a reduced lunch break or none at all or finish very late, thus it is a lose – lose situation and we can assure you we do not like it either, but unlike mechanics we cannot just stop the job in hand and start again tomorrow! Where possible we try to inform patients before-hand if we are running late.
2. Tooth sensitivity during ultra sonic scaling. Frequency: occasional.
Ultrasonic scaling while great at removing calculus (tartar) and stains. Can also be sensitive in certain patients. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, because it emits cold water, patients may be sensitive to cold, and having cold water sprayed at the teeth may initiate the sensitivity feeling. Secondly, if the teeth are particularly dirty, and there is alot of tartar, which has been there for some time, after its’ removal the teeth can effectively “breath” again and feel cold and hot foods and drinks which they were previously shielded from by the tartar.
3. Tooth sensitivity after a filling or crown/onlay/veneer preparation. Frequency: Occasional/rare
It is thought after a drilling dentine tubules are opened up, which transmits sensation to the nerve of the tooth. This can occasionally lead to tooth sensitivity. We try to minismise this by using the best bonding agents such as, optibond Fl, please note this costs 400% more than normal bonding agents (but we do not charge 400% more for our restorations or crowns!).
4. Crown, onlay, veneer de-bond. Frequency: Rare/occasional
While adhesive dentistry has revolutionised tooth preparations, meaning we not have to drill as much tooth away to form crowns, veneers, onlays and restorations. This results in more tooth structure being saved, which means the tooth lasts for longer and we reduce the need for root canal treatments. However, It also means that the crown, onlay or veneer may de bond (i.e. come off) If this happens we merely bond it back on.
5. Crown, onlay, veneer, restoration fracture. Frequency: rare
Crowns, onlays veneers can fracture rarely. Unfortunately, it is impossible to replicate how the patient bites and grindes in day to day life especially when sleeping. The fracture may result from a number of reasons, patient eating hard foods, some sort of parafunction (tooth grinding), inadequate thickness of crown, micro weakness in porcelain. Thus the restoration may fracture. If in the guarantee period, we merely make another one free of charge!
6. Cost of treatment. Frequency: Rare
We try to be very open about our prices and have starting prices on our prices page. However, we rarely have had comments if the prices are slightly higher than advertised. We do have a clear disclaimer on the prices page:
Note: This list is meant to be a guide to our charges and is not exhaustive. Some of the charges are starting prices only and the quoted fee can increase for complicated or more complex treatment cases. Highly aesthetic treatments can carry higher fees, which may include laboratory visits for shade/colour matching. Treatment prices quoted can vary between individuals. Fees will generally be higher for our Specialists/consultants. A personalised treatment plan and estimate will be provided for you before beginning any treatment and will be based on your individual treatment needs, difficulty and requirements.
What this means in reality is, say a dentist is doing a medium restoration on the upper left first pre molar tooth compared to a lower 2nd molar tooth (at the back). The later, will be much more complex and take much more time, as access, isolation and actual treatment is more difficult. Also, as the patient needs to open wider, for the dentist to gain access to the tooth, the patient will also need more rests to allow the muscles to relax, meaning the restoration will take much longer. Thus the later will normally cost more. Every dentist has their own way of treatment planning patient’s, according to what they have been trained on. This can be quite confusing for patients as they can be given different treatment plans by different dentists, meaning they are not sure what to do. We try and justify our treatment plans and give patients full options before they start, so they can choice the option that is right for them.
7. Teeth not as white as expected after tooth whitening. Frequency: Occasional
Every patient reacts differently to dental whitening gels. Some patients can walk out upto 8 shades whiter while a few only improve by only one shade. We use the same whitening gel on every patient, so this is mainly due to the how susceptible the patients teeth are to whitening. We state this clearly on the consent form here. If the in-chair whitening has not had the desired effect, Take-home custom made tooth whitening trays have been found to have good results in these patients (as they hold the gel around the teeth for a prolonged period of time), although there is an extra charge for these customised trays and whitening gels.
8. Severe pain after deep filling or crown. Frequency: rare
This is known as a dentist’s worst nightmare. After a deep filing or crown/onlay preparation, the patient develops severe dental pain and the tooth later goes onto needing root canal treatment. The key here is that the tooth may have been painless before the deep filling or crown preparation and has only started hurting after the treatment. The patient naturally thinks it may be down to the treatment. We are still not sure exactly why this happens, but the current thinking is, during tooth preparation the bacteria are shook up within the tooth or the nerve is traumatised as the preparation is near to it. This, results in irreversible pulpitis and the future need for a root canal treatment. We try our best to avoid this by sealing the dentine tubules with good dentine bonding agents such as Optibond Fl.
9. Pain after a tooth extraction. Frequency: Occasional
Sometimes after tooth extraction the tooth socket does not heal as expected. A localised infection/inflammation known as dry socket may develop. There is a higher chance of this developing in patients with Diabetes, periodontal disease, smokers and patients with poor oral hygiene or those with delayed healing. It is treated simply by numbing the area, cleaning the socket and placing a medicament into the socket to enable healing and reducing pain.