gia and i are totally grateful and almost overwhelmed at the support we have received over this situation. THANK YOU for your kind words of support, for your prayers, and for sharing this story with your friends. in less than 24 hours after i posted about our experience, my blog received over 13,000 views, and we have already heard from two separate people that they actually had appointments with dove and canceled them!
perhaps the most important thing for us at this point was hoping and praying that bella would simply return to normal. as i mentioned previously, bella was far less enthusiastic and energetic than her “normal” self. one simple example was that gia took bella to the disney store at the mall — normally, bella would basically sprint to the store, with gia struggling to keep up. bella was so subdued on that day, however, that bella actually even asked to get in the stroller and go home. at any rate, i am VERY happy to say that within the last few days, bella has been a LOT better. she still says her teeth hurt a little, and even mentions going to the dentist (in trepidation), but we are hopeful that the trauma should pass — and are taking steps to re-build her trust in anyone in the medical field.
since so many of you asked about the steps we will take from here — and suggested everything from calling the police to filing complaints with dental boards and insurance companies — i’ll just say a quick word: first, let me say that it is very tempting for us to just leave it alone… there is so much within us that simply wants to move on with our lives, to leave this in the past, and seek a normal life going forward — rather than re-hashing all this over and over again. BUT, already knowing that because of my previous post, at least a few other children have already canceled their appointments with dove, i still feel the need to get the word out regarding this dentist. so please, if you are in Fresno, Bakersfield, Chatsworth, Lancaster, or any other place where dr. dove practices, PLEASE let them know about our experience (or point them to the blog). further, knowing that what really gets the attention of people like this is a dent in their wallet, i will be contacting lawyers to see if it will go anywhere. i doubt it will, and i have no interest whatsoever from profiting from this, but i’ll do it just to see what happens. i will also be contacting ALL of the dental boards that will listen.
we have already contacted kaiser, who referred us to this dentist, but they said while the complaint will be on file there, they will basically do nothing because we need to contact our insurance provider (delta dental). we have done this, and are waiting for a response.
some of our friends with media contacts have forwarded our story to them — if somehow this gets picked up by local media, i will certainly share our story.
in the end, after talking with a our dentist friend, unfortunately we think this kind of thing happens a little more than we would like to imagine. my friend referred to it simply as the “old school of dentistry,” where the dentist does whatever it takes to “do his job.” it’s all traumatizing, reckless, outrageous, etc — but not out of the ordinary and certainly not “illegal.” in other words, this guy is probably safe to continue practicing dentistry in this manner. i know — it’s incredibly disturbing and we hope that this line of thinking in pediatric dentistry changes drastically, but the most we can do is spread the word regarding this particular dentist, to raise awareness that this stuff actually happens, and the importance of choosing a GREAT dentist (rather than simply trusting the guy who says he’s a professional.
There are some GREAT dentists out there — don’t be skeptical of everyone. But do your homework, listen to your friends, send me an email, etc, before you see any pediatric dentist.
once again, THANK YOU ALL for your kind words and prayers. we are thankful for each of you.