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woke up from surgery with no front teeth

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Good evening everyone! I hope it's ok to post this here...not cancer related..
Some of you may have seen me mention that I was going to have surgery yesterday..I went, they operated
Doc found and removed adhesions, so, hopefully pain will be gone.
My problem?
I woke up to 4 strangers staring at me. When they removed the ET tube they pulled my two front
teeth out with it.
I don't remember much, I was still groggy..I basically remember a man introducing himself as the oral
surgeon for the hospital, said my teeth came out, they were in bad shape anyway and since I am a
smoker that contributed to it. There was a younger woman behind him with a surgery cap on who
said..you were biting on the tube so hard and when I pulled it out your teeth came with it. Kinda
panicky like.
The Director of Nurses came into my recovery area, gave my husband a card and told him to have my dentist
call her. She left. My recovery nurse whispered "she's telling you the hospital will pay for your dental work, she
just can't say it".

I cried my eyes out and they dismissed me. End of story.

Drove to my dentists office, my husband gave the dental hygienist my teeth, she said that biting on the
tube that hard would have cracked them or broke them before they just came out whole.

Im so confused. Hurting from my surgery, my mouth hurts. Dentist says I can't get perm implants because
I don't have enough bone to attach to (gonna get a 2nd opinion). Basically I will have a retainer with teeth
on it.

I was really looking forward to having this mystery pain gone so I could get out of bed and live again.
Now I won't go anywhere because I have no front teeth. )0:

Called a lawyers office today, they are supposed to call me back.

Anyone have experience with this kind of surgery mishap?
Chriss

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I had just had a new crown put in ..upper front...one week prior to surgery.They were aware that I had crowns. Came out of surgery with busted lips and loose crown. My onc. nurse said they did that to her husband too. "Too rough" is what she told me.

I'm sorry this happened to you Chriss. Make them pay for your dental bills.Fortunately my dentist loves me & my money so he replaced mine free of charge.

-Pat

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks Pat...My teeth were not even loose. They had fillings in the back, but they were not loose and I was planning on
having them the rest of my life. )o:

If a patient is biting on an ET tube (while they're asleep) is there nothing else they can do to manage that situation besides
pulling them out. gosh.

Kinda thought I would get a call from SOMEONE at the hospital today, I don't know who, but thought someone would call. Every other time I've had an outpatient surgery I get a call the next day asking how I am...course I never left toothless before.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6545
Joined: Feb 2009

Can't believe that happened. Definitely get a lawyer. Hope all goes well and hoping for a very speedy recovery for you. Sorry you had to go through all this.

Kim

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

What a nightmare. I'm so sorry that happened. Make sure that they pay for everything to put things back as best they can. It sux that no one even bothered to call and check on you post out patient surgery.

I am glad that they found adhesions to remove and hope that finally takes care of the pain you've been having. I was wondering how you were doing. I hope that you are able to get the dental implants after getting a 2nd opinion.

Try your best to get some rest and recuperate from your surgery. I can't imagine how this must be for you right now. Hang in there and I will say a prayer that the surgery healed your pains and that you have the best possible outcome with your dental problems. HUGS

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I can hardly believe this! I am so sorry!

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks everyone...I think I am kinda in shock about it and how it was handled....
I keep forgetting I even had surgery because my whole mouth is pounding, feels weird and bleeds on occasion.
I would post a pic, but it aint pretty, so I won't. (o:

Lori, I think the adhesions being taken out got it. Doc thought it was from my hyst in 09. Prayers appreciated!!

Thanks for your support even though I am not the cancer patient...

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Wow. I've never heard of that happening. I'm so sorry! I hope you get a good lawyer and get this straightened out soon.

*hugs*
Gail

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Ok first of all I am sorry about everything you have gone through. Implants are nice, but they are also a lot of surgery and dental visits to deal with. Sometimes even if you have the bone support you may need a sinus lift, etc. So they are not perfect. A fixed bridge will be fine. But I am sorry I am sure that was very truamatic for you. Please let us know how your dental visits go.

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks for the info on implants, I didn't know any of that. Dentist #1 says can't do a fixed bridge either because of the teeth that would need to support it, he says there is bone loss happening there also. I really am looking forward to seeing another one.

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Gosh I'm so sorry to hear that!

My mother got implants and she is so disappointed. It took almost 2 years! She didn't have enough bone and needed the sinus lift. They took bone from her hip and cadavar bone. All that work and all that money.... and a few weeks ago she was eating out and the implant broke in half and fell in her food!

Agree about the lawyer!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

or they will be false for you" as my Dad used to say. Sounds sort of complicated and there are not many facts here. What type of surgery was it? I do know that smoking is murder on one's teeth, especially if they are not taken care of or if there are underlying issues like gum disease. If you have enough bone underneath to put implants into it sounds like your teeth and gums were in real bad shape. I can see how teeth could just fall out and not crack first. If the base was strong, then they might crack first. I know chemo can be rough on teeth too but you said that this has nothing to do with cancer at all so that rules that out.
Good luck

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

I had my appendix out and an adhesion removed from a previous surgery. My teeth had some fillings on the back. They were not loose. I brush 2+ times a day and went to dentist twice a year unless I had an issue.

The anesthesiologist that put me to sleep was not the one that removed the tube. I assume she was a CRNA, she said I was biting into the tube when she pulled it. I guess that is the problem I am having understanding. Why did she pull it if I was biting into it. In fact, one tooth was still in my mouth (or stuck back in there) only came out when I started talking, just fell out of my mouth root and all.

I am so depressed about this, very mortifying. I am a realtor (besides being a nurse) and am in the process of working with an offer. Everytime I talk to the buyers realtor I hang up and cry...I sound like daffy duck. I go Monday to dental climic for 2nd opinion and they have lab onsite, should be able to work up something temporary for me before closing on Monday.

My Aunts husbands family are friends with some Malpractice lawyers, I called, they refused the case. Not a good sign for me.

Thanks everyone for listening..)o:

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

Has the hospital officially offered to pay for the dental costs? You need something in writing from them or make sure to have your dentist get in touch with them and make sure that the dentist knows that the hospital is paying the costs. The best thing to do is get something in writing from the hospital. You don't want to go in and get work done and then have them refuse to pay the costs. Have you discussed with your Aunt's husband's family if you might just get the malpractice lawyers to write a letter for you requesting an official document stating that the hospital is responsible for payment and how much they intend to pay?

Unfortunately, a whispered statement by another member of the medical staff might not be enough to get the hospital to pay if that is what you want to happen.

462lt's picture
462lt
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2010

I'm so sorry this happened. Like we don't have enough to deal with.

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Lori you're so level headed! A letter is a good idea. I keep telling my husband we need to get something from hospital stating they will pay before we put ourselves in bigger medical debt...it would have to be charged. He keeps telling me he doesn't care we'll pay whatever it costs. He hates to see me cry.

Honestly, I don't see this going my way...I know waa waa, I need to get out of the victim mentality..I guess it's hard to crawl out of it once you've wallered in it..I0: (not a frowny face but not quit a smiley face yet)

turaj
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2010

I would agree 100% with Lori S and frankly unless you had documented teeth problems as evidenced by repeated visits to your dentist for problems related to loose teeth, major gum issues etc. they owe you way more than the cost of the dental work. Every hospital has a special department that will take over speaking with you to avoid their saying anything incriminating for them... a damage control department but they have other names to make you think they are trying to help you. you really need to pursue this now...don't listen to your husband on this one.I know you have other things to deal with but time is critical. This is not normal at all and is clear negligence...someone yanked while you were under the influence. Honestly I can't believe a malpractice attorney would not take the case although they do like cases with damages over $100,000.00 . With pain and suffering, loss of income and the dental costs you might come close. I would start making calls...you will get put on hold and shuffled around but you have a major claim. Good luck with everything...

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

WOW....Lawyers should love this one. Hopefully the Hosp will do you right & cover it all. Keep us updated.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Phil,

I think that picture needs to be on the calendar!! *LOL*

*hugs*
Gail

WhatsA_Mom2Do's picture
WhatsA_Mom2Do
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Chriss,

What a terrible experience you are going through. I can't imagine how you feel right now and you have every right to cry, scream, yell, curse and feel sorry for yourself. Our smile is our pride and joy, I know mine's is to me.

I would suggest, as someone mentioned having everything in writing. Every hospital has a Risk Management and Quality Assurance (or Quality Improvement/Performance Improvement) departments. I would suggest you call or go online (some hospitals have a lot of info that can be found online) and find out the names of the directors of both departments and the hospital CEO. YOU should then write a VERY DETAILED letter, including the comments made by the Anesthesiology team, about your experience. Address the letter to the CEO and copy the directors of Risk Management and Quality/Performance Improvement. That should start the ball rolling. Contacting someone and asking them to put something in writing to you may not work. Oh, make sure you have the letters delivered "signature required".

If you have not heard back from anyone after a week, I would follow up with a call the the Risk Management person. Make sure you write down date, time of call, and to whom you spoke. The CEO is the overseer of the hospital, the Risk Management department is the "legal" team, and the Performance Improvement focuses on the "how can we prevent this from happening in the future" and also the department which does mandatory reporting of surgical errors and the like to city, state and federal agencies.

In your letter, indicate that you expect a reply as to how the issue can be resolved by (choose your date).

I hope this is helpful and that you are able to get this issue resolved. Some lawyers are reluctant to do medical malpractice cases. Should you decide to get a lawyer (I'm not advocating one way or the other), get one that SPECIALIZES in medical malpractice. Your best bet would me and MD/Attorney or an RN/Attorney because they know the medical system, as well as the law. I will say that loosing your two front teeth is definitely not the "standard of care".

All the best,

Dee

PS: Did you go to a "general" dentist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon? Please go to the latter as they are experts in your problem. If you don't have enough supporting bone, they should be able to do a bone graft. As someone mentioned, the process can be tedious and cumbersome but there should be a solution for you.

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you Dee! I just responded on your thread! Then I read your post to me and I have to smile (toothless, but smile...) it is so wonderful to have this board to support each other, it makes dealing with our own worries a smidgen better. (o:

So much wonderful information! I will do what you suggest. The law firm I called were medical malpractice lawyers, but I think my case was probably not big enough for them.

I connected with a co-worker of my cousins prior to Jacks surgery, she had had a resection by the same surgeon...we exchanged several emails, come to find out her husband is a Dental Malpractice Lawyer...I am going to call him on Monday, this was Medical, not Dental, but he might be able to direct me if nothing else.

I did go to my general dentist, but have an appointment with a larger dental office in the major town next to me on Monday.

I am shocked how much it has brought my mood down, I guess I keep having to remind myself that it can be fixed, but the way they handled it was humiliating not to mention the way I look. sniff sniff...

LOUSWIFT
Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Sorry I don't know if I spelled intubation correctly. But what is it when you have surgery they use a larynoscope (metal blade with a light in it) to open your mouth and see into the larynx so they can slip the tube into the trachea. You have to be careful since it not done correctly the larynoscope will put pressure on your front teeth and crack or force them to come out if gums are weak. I was a paramedic for a number of years and have see this done correctly and incorrectly.

Erinb
Posts: 295
Joined: Apr 2010

I can't believe that happened! What a disaster. I hope the other pain went away and hopefully a dentist will find a better solution about the teeth.
Erin

okthen's picture
okthen
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2010

Louswift--Yes, laryngoscope, that is really the only time I HAVE heard of dental damage is during INtubation, not EXtubation as what happened in my case.

Went to Dentist #2 today, 7000 to fix my teeth, that is with temp fix, then wait 6 months for bone healing etc, then implants.

Thanks Erin for the well wishes, I am feeling better all the way around. (o: The 7000 is making me dizzy a little bit...haha

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