A tragic story of misdiagnosis and inappropriate care
A lack of education and oversight of obvious parafunctions and systemic risk factors results in enormous funds, time and energy spent on ineffective and potentially damaging treatment plans.
He’s a 30-something professional with impeccable home care, routine professional dental care and seemingly excellent overall health.
He has never smoked. He eats well and gets plenty of exercise. He does everything right. Then, one day, he is told he needs full-mouth root planing to address the severe inflammation and redness in his gums; he has been diagnosed with active moderate stage periodontal disease.
“But how could this have happened?” he asks. “I have done everything right.” The usual answers are given. He is told he has a bacterial infection and tartar buildup under his gums and that a good deep cleaning is recommended. Three months later, following the first round of root planing, there is no change to his tissues. He is treatment planned for another round of root planing, and this time his insurance will not be covering it. No blood tests are performed to identify possible systemic health issues, and nothing out of the ordinary is suspected. The patient is thought to have bacterial infection. Several months after the second round of root planing he continues to have severe inflammation and redness, with moderate generalized bleeding on probing, and apparently no change to disease activity. He is referred to a periodontist.
Surely the specialist can help this patient, right?
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