Tooth filling and ceramic crowns are common low risk procedures in most dental clinics. However, my experience with Dr. Lisa Wong at Hawaii Dental Clinic-Koko Marina, has turned out to be an absolute “nightmare”. I came to see Dr. Lisa Wong for a general dental cleaning on November 15th, and she told me that I needed one filling and two crowns to be done based on the results of the X-ray exam that was done in her clinic.
She arranged to do a filling (lower left) and a temporary crown (upper left) on the same day in the afternoon. The procedure lasted about 4 and half hours. In the middle of the procedure, my lower left tooth started to hurt very severely because the anesthetic had worn off! And Dr. Wong also told me she cut my cheek. When it was finished, I looked at myself in the mirror and was totally shocked; my left side of my face was so swollen. I could feel air bubbles under the skin on the left side of my face and neck. Dr. Lisa Wong appeared shocked and tried to press the air out of my my left cheek to no effect. (I later determined that Dr. Wong injected air into my face through the cut in my cheek.
I think this is called subcutaneous air emphysema which can apparently lead to breathing distress and worse.) She told me to go to the emergency room if the symptoms got worse. I managed to go to sleep that night with some pain-killers. The next morning, all the symptoms were still there. My husband and I were frightened. We went to the emergency room at the Queen’s hospital where doctors and dental team ordered a CT scan, blood exam and prescribed some antibiotics for 10 days. Basically, they couldn’t do anything with the swelling and air bubbles under the skin but warned me not to continue with the procedure until all the symptoms were gone. As a matter of fact, the swelling and air bubbles lasted about 1 week.
Dr. Lisa Wong called me and asked about my progress on November 17th. She made an appointment with me to do the permanent crown on December 2nd. However, my lower left tooth continued to hurt me. I can’t even drink warm water. On December 2nd, I told Dr. Wong that my lower left tooth still hurt, she redid the filling, but this tooth kept hurting and continues to hurt to this day. And the permanent crown didn’t fit correctly, so I needed to wait for one more week.
On December 9th, Dr. Wong did my permanent crown on the upper left tooth, which again turned out to a very painful procedure. Dr. Wong did a very poor job while fitting the crown and left the cement all around the outside of the crown. She try to use tool to dig out the excess but unfortunately she again cut my gum which bled for sometime. After all these distressing experiences, I totally lost trust in Dr. Wong, and decided to move on with a different dentist that same day.
A friend of mine introduced me to a new dentist; he requested my X-rays from Hawaii Dental Clinic. On December 13th, when I visited the dentist, he told me that Hawaii Dental Clinic only provided four X-rays when more that 10 were taken. Three of four X-rays were from OTHER patients. They redid X-rays and the news was devastating. First, the permanent crown that Dr. Wong did was poorly aligned, about 1 fifth larger than my original tooth which was accompanied with a lot of excess cement around the outside.
That’s why I cannot bite anything with this tooth until today. So, I need to redo the crown. The new and very prominent dentist told me that based on the new X-ray, I don’t need to crown the second tooth. It is likely was not necessary to crown the first tooth. He also suggested that if asked, an insurance provider would not have approved the crowns. As of today, the $1100 crown and filling work has turned into more than $6200 of medical expenses with more to come.
I have been very patient and trusted Dr. Lisa Wong and her clinic. However, this horrible “nightmare” has upset me and my family significantly. I can’t stop thinking about it. I also feel responsible to inform others of the poor dental service and apparently highly questionable work ethics of Dr. Lisa Wong and her clinic. I hope no more patients will go through the pain and suffering that I have been through. The story isn’t finished yet. I will keep writing about the “aftermath” of Dr. Wong’s dental service. At this point, my lower left tooth where Dr. Wong did the filling is still bothering me. And, I need to redo the first crown.