I have a sore spot soft spot for dental horror stories; time and time again, I find myself across a table from someone, trading tales of trench mouth or root canals, wisdom teeth or adolescent mouth gear. Too bad I never ran into Kim Green before The Daily Mail snatched up her story; her sordid saga belongs in The Little Shop of Horrors.
Ms. Green made an appointment with Dentist Justin George after suffering from what she thought was an infected or decaying tooth. Dr. George X-rayed her mouth, but rather than actually look at the X-ray, just went ahead and let Green point out which tooth was giving her all the trouble. He yanked it out, then sent her right on home.
Green, in agony at this point, called up this Dr. George, wondering if the surgery should hurt so badly. It was then he decided to examine the X-ray, realize his mistake, and called her back in. He had a nurse find the tooth he extracted from the medical waste bin and sewed it right back in. The good Dr. George then told Green to make another appointment.
Green did not know about any of this, and that night her tooth was killing her. She went to the emergency room, and a surgeon pulled out both her teeth—the one that was healthy that morning and the original rotten one—and told Green to sue, sue, sue.
The bastard had this to say for himself: “It was a really weird day,’ he said. ‘We didn’t have our regular nurse, there was pandemonium in the practice, and then the nurse left the X-ray in the machine. I’m a new dentist. I was very stressed-out that day.”
Oh, poor baby. It must be hard, becoming a medical authority. People all the sudden put their trust in you, and all that schooling hardly prepares you for those bad days when everyone’s running around the office, forgetting which tooth to pull or whose X-ray is whose. Best to trust your gut in those circumstances; you can always back petal later, right?
Dr. George has been suspended from practice, and will be hearing from Kim Green’s lawyers soon enough. Till then, he take a good, long look at those statistics on how dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession. With cases like these, it’s hard to wonder why.