Routine Dental Visit Leaves San Diego Woman in the Hospital for More Than a Week

What was supposed to be a typical crown replacement for one San Diego woman led to a severe infection and an 8-day hospital stay

<p>Getty</p> San Diego woman says she ended up with an infection from a dentist visit.


San Diego woman says she ended up with an infection from a dentist visit.

San Diego resident Traci Parker spent 8 days in Sharp Memorial Hospital with a severe infection following a dentist visit for a crown placement  — and she says her dentist didn’t listen to her when she said something had gone wrong.

After getting a crown — a tooth-shaped cap that goes over a damaged tooth or implant — on August 3, Parker was in pain and reached out to her dentist, according to a report from CBS-8.

“I called the following week, the 16th, and said, ‘My pain is getting worse’,” Parker said. “I feel like it's infected. I feel like there's something else going on besides just crown pain and she said, ‘You probably just need a bite adjustment.’ ”

<p>Getty</p> Dental instruments


Dental instruments

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Pain after a crown is unusual, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which notes, “While it’s normal to have some sensitivity after crown placement, you shouldn’t have pain or discomfort that keeps you up at night.”

And tooth infections, such as an abscess, can spread to the body, the Mayo Clinic says, leading to severe complications like sepsis, a “life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body.”

After Parker returned for a crown adjustment, however, she says the pain didn’t go away — it got worse.

"I asked the dentist, 'Also can I please maybe get some antibiotics, I feel like there's something else going on,' [but] she declined and gave me some Tylenol cream instead. But then by that Sunday the pain was so bad that my entire face hurt," Parker said.

<p>Frank Duenzl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP</p> Sharp Hospital in San Diego.

Frank Duenzl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Sharp Hospital in San Diego.

She said she reached out to her dentist’s answering service, but she never heard back until she left a negative review on their website.

Parker visited a specialist, who she says "took one look at me and said, ‘You need to go to the ER immediately.’”

She went to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where she ended up staying for more than a week.

"I just urge physicians and dentists to listen to their patients when they think there’s something else going on. Listen to their patients because I shouldn’t be in this position just because I'm getting a crown put on," said Parker.

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