My name is Pam Grunwald and I live in Castle Hills/San Antonio, Texas and I have been in a dental implant nightmare for 6 years. I started out by getting 2 bone grafts, one on each side of my front 2 teeth for implants. After several surgeries I have got my upper denture and I can no longer maintain a smile on the right side of my face. I have staff trapped within my right cheek. I cannot sleep or rub on my right cheek without the possibility of setting the staph infection off. In 2009 I rubbed my cheek in an effort to regain my smile on my right cheek only to set off the infection. Dr Masters immediately started me back on antibiotics and cultured my right cheek again and found that I had a re-occurrence of the infection. I also lost the communication between my ears and brain so I walk like a drunk and fall all the time. I can no longer function in the dark, limiting what I can do at night. Dr. Robert Zajac told me he believes my staph is trapped in my scar tissue.
From August 2006 to May 2007
These were my symptoms: I had the feeling of a 1 “ knife stabbing my gums above tooth #5, located on the right side of my face and right next to where I had one of my bone grafts placed. I had a low grade fever, fatigue, and swelling in my right cheek and top lip. Also I had the feeling of being pinched in my right cheek every time I tried to smile and a difficultly with my speech.
From February to May 2007
I also had a lump the size of a 50 cent piece in my right cheek and all of my joints were hurting and inflamed.
It started in August of 2006 with Henry G. Schonenberg DDS., giving me a complete exam and recommending I go to John C Parsons DDS., of Parsons & Dacy for bone grafts and implants. I had the bone graft surgery and then I required 3 more surgeries all within 20 days to clean up the infection. A fistula (is a visible sign of abscess a bulging of your gums) formed next to tooth #5. Dr. Parsons never cultured the infection. The biopsy results I got later showed the antibiotics Dr. Parsons prescribed did not work on the staph infection I had. Dr. Schonenberg and Dr. Parsons kept implying I was just an unhealthy person. Dr. Parsons did refund my money for the bone grafts however, Dr. Parsons on 2 occasions did not return my calls on the emergency number he gave. Here is a photo of the swelling in my face that was taken 2 days after surgery when I could open my eyes and a picture of my mouth after Dr. Parsons’s surgeries.
I then went to Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates Dr. James E. Franco DDS., MD.
The 2 times I went and begged for help, I was denied antibiotics and was told I had developed a psychological need for antibiotics. When I told him I was still running fever after 2 months from Parson’s surgeries he told me to take an aspirin.
I went to David G. Liebold DDS., MD and he assured me Dr. Parsons did nothing wrong. I pleaded with him but was denied antibiotics and told nothing was wrong with me.
In November 2006 I went to San Pedro Facial Surgery Dr. Robert Lemke DDS., MD.
I now had the infection spreading in my head and I could hear the crackling of the infection. Dr. Lemke told me the dentists have done nothing wrong to me and he dinied me antibiotics. After I refused to get out of the chair in his office he agreed to do a biopsy on my cheeks. The biopsy showed I had a staph infection in my right cheek. I took antibiotics for 2 ½ months with some improvement.
February 2007: Dr. Lemke performed sinus surgery when I believed that he was doing a bone biopsy. And when he was making the incision into my right cheek a brown fluid seeped out. No culture was done. Dr. Lemke sent me home knowing I had no antibiotics on hand and without a prescription for any antibiotics. I came back to his office 1 week later sicker than I had ever been in my life. I begged and pleaded for help and antibiotics but I was denied. Before I agreed to the surgery Dr. Lemke took my hand and promised me he believed me when I said I was sick and he would be there for me if I had a problem. after the surgery I was told nothing was wrong and he quickly left the room, later his assistant came in to help me out of the chair and to the door. I was so sick.
I called Dr. Lemke’s office 1 week later in very bad shape and I was having a hard time pronouncing my words. Crying, pleading and, begging for help and antibiotics I was told he was out.
I called Dr Henry Schonenberg and begged and pleaded for help and antibiotics but he refused to help me and told me to call Dr. Lemke.
I called Dr. Lemke’s office again pleading for help. I received a call back 2 hours later saying they would call in a prescription for 10 day of antibiotics and I was to call back the following week for an appointment. The staph was now systemic throughout my body. I was now in a real hell hole.
Dr. Schonenberg saw me at least 25 times and I asked about tooth #5 and he assured me nothing was wrong. I had the opportunity to see my file in February2007 at Dr. Henry Schonenberg’s office, at that time it was 5 pages long and Dr. Schonenberg and I looked at the several x-rays he had take of tooth #5. When he turned over my file to me it was 1 ½ pages long. many of the visit and a bridge and x-rays were no longer recorded in my file. On my last visit to Dr. Schonenberg’s office he stood in the hall of his office and loudly told me he was sick and tired of telling me nothing was wrong with me. I wonder if he or his wife had a decayed abscessed tooth with systemic staph, if he would think it is nothing.
March 2007: DR. John Cantu, my primary care doctor sent me to Dr. Robert A. Zajac at Responsive Infectious Diseases Solutions. He was wonderful and gave me a prescription for 3 months of antibiotics without me ever begging. This doctor who is not in the dental field took one look at me and remarked that I had a swollen face and that I had speech problems. The first doctor to notice!!!! I thought the man was JESUS!!! His office staff then guided me to get checked out by other dentists to see if I had an abscessed tooth that was causing my problems. Dr. Robert Busby x-rayed tooth #5 and said it was decayed and abscessed. I also had Dr. Kurt Meyers confirm that the tooth needed to be removed. 4 days after I had my tooth removed the lump in my face was gone and I started the long road back to health, but never regained the health that I had once had.
I could almost forgive the doctors misdiagnosing me, but I will be haunted till my death remembering the pleading and begging for help and being denied antibiotics and their total lack of humanity.
I am now terrified of dentist, and with a temporary flippy I needed to find a dentist to get me a permanent dental solution. I went to the Masters Dental Group located at 7400 Blanco Road and there I found outstanding dental care. Dr. Lisa Masters did not promise me that she could make everything perfect, but through several surgeries she had made my mouth look more normal than I ever thought it would again. Dr. Masters placed 4 implants in my bone at 1:00 pm on a Monday and I was bowling at 9:00 am the following morning. I had very little swelling and the discomfort was managed with a whole Aleve. I also had surgery to loosen the scar tissue from Dr. Parsons’s surgeries so that I no longer felt that I had a ½ inch rubber-band taut in my mouth. Dr. Masters removed part of the roof of my mouth and grafted it onto my gums. Dr. Lisa Masters was written up in Texas Monthly as being the number 1 dentist in Texas.
Dr. Vicki Vickers is also with the Masters Dental Group and she made my snap in denture that is pictured below.
I have had my denture for several years and I am still very pleased with them. You do have to go have replacement clips put in every few months but the cost is low. I highly recommend Masters Dental Group located on Blanco Road.
What the Texas State Dental Board Did to Me
In 2008 I filed a complaint with the assumption that the Texas State Dental Board was protecting the public. WHAT A JOKE. I filed a complaint with all my records, 1 1/2inch worth of records. The Texas State Dental Board had to go to court to get my records from the dentist that treated me, if you could call it that. After several months I received a letter saying they did not have enough information. CASE CLOSED. Two highly respected Texas Dentist looked over the same records I had sent to the dental board and told me that they had enough information to clearly see problems with my care. Today I am still working to make the Texas State Dental Board protect patients and not the dentists, which has been clearly the case for years.