USC School of Dentistry
by Liz H.
I've been a patient at USC dental clinic since the late 1990's. At the time, the dentist just got married and it was impossible to get appointments with him. Eventually, he got expelled from the dental clinic. In 2004, I signed a contract with them. Ever since I am having problems with them. I have become increasingly disheartened and exasperated at the level of care I have been receiving. This is supposed to be a world class facility.
Beginning in late 2007, I began experiencing pain in my left maxillary canine. I informed Dr.H, instead of performing an examination in order to allay my concerns, her response was that I should "not think about it, believe me it helps". On March 2009, Dr. K performed an examination of the same region and came to the conclusion that maxillary canine on the left side had an external root resorption and need to be extracted. This is exactly the same area that I had previously complained to Dr.H about. I think it is obvious that I could have avoided nearly two years of pain, and eminently feasible that my tooth could have been saved had this concern been addressed earlier.
In late 2008, Dr.T determined that a root canal performed in 2005 by Dr. L on that tooth was incomplete. This was an additional source of my pain in the upper right area of my head. The pain lasted for a long time due to Dr. H's refusal to give my any further treatment. Dr. H's rational was that she did not want to to do unnecessary work. Subsequently, in late 2008 Dr. H agreed to take x-rays and assured me that everything was fine. I than received pressure to go for final restoration, even though I was still experiencing pain, and communicated that fact to her. Regardless, Dr. H indicated that Dr. C, Director, instructed her to close my case. At this point, I insisted that I would not go for a final restoration without getting rid of the ongoing pain and seeking a second opinion. DR. T took x-rays and saw shadows in the radiography. Dr. T said the 2005 root canal was incomplete and he performed a root canal procedure which concluded in January 2009. I still have pain in the region.
I have complained to Dr. H about the pain numerous times regarding the area adjacent to the two implanted teeth. In the past, I was told their positions were moved due to the locations of an existing nerve. After I ordered and read my TX-History, I discovered that actual reason for moving the placement of the implants was because the block graft became unstable and came loose. The bone graft was removed and implants were placed at a more distance position. If I had been consulted on this issues, I may have opted for another graft instead of being rushed to finish the implant.In addition, Dr. V wrote " Dr. G ( supervisor) mentioned on the day of implant that we need to do gum grafting for the areas where implants were placed in the lower jaws". No one at the school of dentistry has followed up on this. Dr. V graduated from the school, and the dentist took over from Dr. V, Dr. Y's record is missing from my file.
In May 2009 meeting with USC director and manager, they alledged we acknowledged that there is an amendment to the 2004 contract. We have not signed nor seen such amendment till that date. Apparently they amended the contract without my consent. They produced an amendment later to me but with no signature on the amended contract.
On June 22, 2010, I finally received a new contract from the school of dentistry after several complaining letters and follow by a meeting with Ms.J, new Director of Quality Assurance, Clinical Affairs. The meeting was held on April 16, 2010. Ms J promised me a new contract the following week from the date of the meeting. I received On June 22, 2010.
In addition, The Acting Dean, Dr. A promised me in his Oct. 5, 2009 letter that Dr. K would not graduate but to finish my case efficiently. In late 2009, Dr. K left the school. I was assigned once again a new dentist, Dr.J earlier this year. Dr. J informed me via several emails that he could not start treating me until he received an approval for the new contract. I had no treatment done this year.
The new contract which I received on June 22, 2010 came with three pages Agreement and General Release for me to sign.
I am angry at this point. I am sick and tired of their cavalier attitudes. I had a condition called G.E.R.D. recently due to too much stress from dealing with this issues. My family doctor warned me to stop taking Tylenol as well. It showed up on my blood test result.
Greatly appreciated for your advise. As you could see that I am at the end of the rope. Please help!