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Painful Dental Implant Failure

I cracked an upper tooth and my dentist said it could not be saved. The best option he proposed was a dental implant. When he did the shot for the Novocaine I am convinced something went wrong because it felt like he hit my brain. Ever since them my whole palate has been burning. I mentioned it to the dentist and he told me some burning was normal after a procedure. I’d returned several times when the pain and burning didn’t subside. He then diagnosed me with with thrush and gave me a prescription. That prescription did absolutely nothing. My mouth burns constantly. I did some research on my own. I know… the old Google Medical Degree. However, I found something called Burning Mouth Syndrome and it fits my symptoms exactly. Is that a possibility?
That wasn’t the end of my troubles. When he placed the crown for the dental implant he had some trouble and had to press down extremely hard. It was excruciating. A couple of months later and the crown fell off. I was out of state helping my mother after her surgery. I went to a dentist there and they told me that the dental implant was infected and needed to come out. He did the surgery and removed the implant, then suggested a dental bridge in its place, which I did after some healing.
All totaled, I’ve been to the dentist almost twenty times and now have no dental implant to show for it. I’ve contacted a couple of attorney’s hopting to sue for damages to recoup my money. No one seems interested in the case though. What do I do? I’ve spent thousands.


Dear Lana,

Illustration of a dental bridge versus a dental implant

Let’s start with the burning mouth syndrome. I do agree that this is a strong possibility. One of the causes of it is anxiety from a traumatic appointment, which you certainly had. Your problem in getting a lawyer likely lies in the fact that dental malpractice suits do not bring in a lot of money. Even if you had a lawyer take you on, then you would need an expert witness on your side.

I do think some mistakes were made. First, was the misdiagnoses about thrush, which frankly was laughable. Then, there was the crown falling off. I’m a bit sceptical about the infection. You didn’t mention anything about pain in the implant itself or a fever. These are common signs of an infection, plus I think the implant would have started to loosen.

I haven’t examined you, but based on your description of how the implant was placed, it sounds like your dentist placed too much force on the implant. That could have damaged the bond between the implant and the surrounding bone, leading to later implant failure.

Placing dental implants is an advanced procedure that requires post-doctoral training. Not many dentists invest in that training and there are countless dental implant horror stories to demonstrate that.

Unless you can get another dentist to diagnose why the dental implant failed along with some proof it will be hard to get money back on the implant itself. The misdiagnosis on the thrush and the crown falling off are easily proved. That would get you at least a partial refund.

I am sorry this happened to you.
This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.

Getting Porcelain Veneers While Pregnant

I am afraid I’ve screwed up big time and need some advice. Three days after completely finishing my porcelain veneers procedure I found out I was pregnant. I looked it up and you are not supposed to have dental work done in the first trimester of pregnancy. Is there anything I can do or is it too late?


Dear Lacey,

A porcelain veneer being held up to a tooth.

Take a deep breath. This is going to be okay. Dentists are told not to perform unnecessary dental work in the first trimester of a pregnancy because that is the most sensitive time for the baby and you don’t want to introduce chemicals that can be harmful. Fortunately, for you, the only chemical that should have been used in the porcelain veneers procedure is Lidocaine. This has already been approved for use during pregnancy and is even used in the delivery room. There should be no issues of adverse reactions with your baby.

So you know, you will be better off to schedule any regular dental work during the second trimester, so I’d get that appointment scheduled now. We have already discussed why we avoid the first trimester. We avoid the final trimester for the sake of your comfort, more than any actual safety issues. You’ll be a bit larger because you’ve got a whole baby you are holding on to. This tends to make it less comfortable for you to sit in a dental chair for any length of time.

The exception to avoiding dental work is if you have a dental emergency of some kind. It is important and infections, including dental infections, are treated promptly so you don’t have any lingering bacteria that can be passed to your child. You also want to keep up with your cleanings. Untreated gum disease is linked to low birth weight in babies. So, as much as you are probably exhausted right now and feeling a little nauseated, go ahead and schedule your cleaning.

If you end up dealing with a lot of morning sickness during your first trimester that leads to vomiting, call your dentist and ask about ways you can protect your teeth during those early months.

Congratulations on your new baby!
This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.