A root canal treatment is a very common procedure, yet somehow a dentist from Q&M Compassvale Crescent managed to leave their patient with a lasting scar on her lips and multiple ulcers at her throat. What’s worse, they didn’t even bother giving any explanations or offering any support, and it has been about a month since the incident. Read the story below.
Good day to you. It is my reluctant self writing this email, with the purpose to share my experience with the general public. I absolutely did not want to publicize this initially, but I know I have given enough time for the organization in question to revert and chance to perform any necessary service recovery. It is to my dismay and disappointment that they do not respond to my feedback timely, giving me a cold shoulder and are seriously lacking professional ethics in what they do. I have been very patient and very reasonable throughout the past 3.5 weeks intending to resolve this amicably, but I must now speak out for myself and share my experience. The organization I am talking about is Q&M Dental Group.
I woke up with a bad toothache on one of my lateral incisors on Friday (6 May 2022) morning, and immediately called up Q&M Dental Surgery @ Compassvale Crescent as the clinic is located closest to my dwelling, to fix an earliest appointment. I was told to come at 7pm that evening.
1) The dentist did not bother explaining the procedures to me
My toothache was very intense to begin with, and thus the dentist (Dr S) ordered an X-ray scan to try
to figure out the root cause. She ruled out infection in my gums from the x-ray scan and suggested that I’ve only 2 options to ease the pain; Tooth Extraction or Root Canal Treatment. She did not immediately fill me in on what I could anticipate from the 2 options. She just continued to stare at me as if I understood those treatments and to make decision on the spot.
I was understandably in shock, and I asked her all the questions which I could relate at the moment. I was quite reluctant to go with any of the two solutions offered, as I in my “layman mindset” think that even root canaling is a major surgical procedure and whatever done is permanent. It surely isn’t a trivial procedure, at least to me.
I was told by Dr S that I had no other less intrusive options to ease my pain (say with medication), which may or may not be true for my case, but she could have delivered the suggestions in a much more compassionate way.
2) Dr S did not make sure that the anesthetics were working on me
The real trauma came from the 40 minutes I laid on the dentist chair. Dr S couldn’t care less about how much pain I was already in before, and during the procedure. After two jabs of local anaesthetic shots, she proceeded to clean my teeth ignoring my call for help. I was kicking my legs, waving my hands, pulling the saliva ejector gently, flinching my body, and even at one point knocking against the hand of an assistant in response to the pain as she cleaned and probably already drilling into my tooth.
She may have given a couple more of anaesthetic shots along the way but clearly, she failed to check or at least ask the patient if she could still feel anything. There is no exaggeration when I said I could feel every bit of pain from the drilling through the tooth enamel and dentin (not sure if it reached the pulp). Dr S proceeded to drill into the tooth and rushed through the needful, much like she’s only intending to complete the task within a stipulated time. Nothing else matters to her.
3) Leaking disinfectant burnt my throat, they only realized I was calling for help 5-10 minutes in.
Throughout the session, the doctor was continuously grumbling at her assistants about them giving her incorrect tools, or giving it all at once, or at the wrong time. She was impatient and grumpy. Everyone in the treatment room were in stress.
During the treatment, the disinfectant leaked through the rubber dam and retained inside my mouth between my throat and my tongue for extended period of time. I was gagging and tears flowing down the side of my face in pain. The chemical solution was extremely bitter and it was burning my tongue and throat. I tried gesturing through numerous ways to show that I was in pain, but neither the dentist nor her assistants paid any attention to it.
It was only when squinted my eyes so hard and tried making some noises that the dentist asked “Why? What is it?” and moved the ejector to clean and suck out the solution from my mouth. It was by then a good 5- or 10-minutes in. I don’t even know the time already it seemed forever. As a result, I suffered from burnt and now ulcerated throat, tongue, top of my mouth and inner side of my cheeks, mostly concentrated on the right side of my mouth.
You may see my burnt throat in Figure 1 and 2 below. For ulcerated tongue which is at a location very deep into the mouth and on the sideways, I couldn’t take a good photograph using on my phone. I have visited another dental clinic for assessment of my injuries and I could ask for a report if deemed necessary by Q&M.
4) They also left me with a scar on my face.
Upon returning home, I realized a deep hook mark outside the right side of my lips. I know they hooked something metal onto my mouth, but I am not sure how it left a mark on me. The scar is painful and I now look like I have laceration scar on my mouth.
5) They didn’t bother offering any solution or explanation
After the painful experience, I first sent in my feedback via their website’s feedback form, and subsequently dropped them emails and letters on 7 and 8 May. I tried to call their HQ but it all went unanswered.
On 8 May, I received only a prototypical email reply from their customer service officer, saying that they will look into it and asked if I wanted to see another dentist to review my condition. After what I’ve gone through, it is not possible for me to step into another Q&M clinic ever again in my life.
I recalled that right before I visited the Q&M clinic, I was warned by a friend to avoid Q&M clinics due to the bad reputation they carry. I remember telling him that “I do know that beforehand, but then it can’t be ALL its 70 clinics nationwide and ALL their dentists are all crappy right? I wanted to give Q&M the benefit of doubt”. I gravely regretted my decision.
I have visited another dental clinic on 9th May 2022 to confirm the multiple injuries I sustained, and was told that the ulceration will last for at least a week or so. I had to bear with the pain and let it heal by its own due to awkward and hard to reach locations of the ulcers.
In the past 3 days I can’t drink, and eat well (or even swallowing my own saliva) due the ulceration and the bleeding off the corner of my mouth. I have yet to receive a meaningful response from anyone in key-personnel’s position offering any explanations, apologies or support. All I am looking for is a fair investigation into the matter and a sincere apology from them and the dentist.
It’s been more than 1 month after I first made my complain to Q&M, I have not received any update on the “investigation”, no apology from the dentist (1 of my requests), no refund, no calls, no compensation, and no nothing from Q&M. Although I have recovered from the multiple ulcers in my throat after suffering for a total of 10 days, I am still left with prominent scarring on the corner of my lips. They have appeared to see no immediate need to address my distress call, injuries, and inquiries.