Monday, March 5, 2012

Dr John E. Pratte, DDS is an asshole

When I first started blogging, I set myself some perimeters for my writing, some specific rules-of-conduct , which I’ve followed rather staunchly.  One of those rules: No matter how mad you are, do not use the real name (or give specific details that will betray the identity) of the person you are bitching about. Closely followed by: Your blog is not your own personal bitch-fest. Considering the public and unilateral nature of this forum, I felt that some unkind personal thoughts were best left unblogged.

Today, I am breaking both of those rules. Just this once. Because I don’t feel kind at all. Because people need to know what to expect before they put their well-being in the hands of this fucker.  Think of this as a public service announcement for the greater good. And it goes something like this:

So I had the unfortunate displeasure of needing a root canal. My dentist referred me to her usual endodontic specialist. Enter Dr. John Pratte, DDS, herein referred to as the asshole, prick, fucker, cheap fucker, or douchebag. Believe me, I AM controlling my language.

But let me backtrack for a second and set up the stage:
  • My dentist referred me to him: He was definitely recommended to me, and thus I trusted him implicitly. 
  • I needed a root canal, badly: Even breathing made my tooth hurt. 
  • I have a big gagging problem:  throughout the years it has gotten worse. No, it’s not all in my head; it’s a real physical reflex. And yes, dental work is a bitch when you have this problem. Luckily, it is very easily remedied with conscious sedation. 
  • When I’m under, I don’t gag… without it, I can’t even get one few-seconds X-ray done.  My dental hygienist, my dentist, the office staff, they all know what to do when I make an appointment. Whenever I see anyone new, dental-health-wise, I make absolutely certain that they have an ample supply of nitrous on hand, otherwise, well… I don’t.

not me, by the way, stole the photo from the internets

also copied from some dentist's website
Oh and a quick description about how nitrous oxide works, from the patient’s perspective: They roll in this apparatus made up of long, narrow tanks, knobs, dials, and tubes. They set up the plastic triangle on your nose, let you breathe in some oxygen first, then turn on the chemical. It smells kind of funny, but after a few breaths, you get into a dreamlike state, where you hear, see, and feel nothing. Or not much. Or whatever you do hear, see or feel is of the trans-like/dream quality, like it’s happening to someone else. Once done with the dental procedure, they slowly shut down the nitrous, let you breathe some pure oxygen to remove any lingering effects from the gas and clear your head. You get up, alert, pay the kind people, and get the hell out.

With me so far?

You can probably see by now where I'm going with this: I need nitrous, it’s a necessity not a luxury. The fucker’s office was amply notified, repeatedly reminded by me during the visit, but the douchebaggery, alas, was not  circumvented.

I'm gonna skip the part where I was made to wait an hour and a half for his prickness, on a confirmed appointment, because his time is so much more valuable than mine, you see;  how he is overpriced, and would have still been considered as being overpriced had he actually been the qualified specialist he purported to be;  how he literally spent 10 minutes cleaning the canals on my first visit and sent me home with a half-frozen face and tongue, which I then proceeded to try to throw up (my own tongue felt like a foreign object, ever felt that?) for the next three hours until the novocain's effect subsided; how the excruciating pain lasted three weeks before he “continued” the procedure on a second visit,  which I can only assume he has worked out as a way to justify the exorbitant price he was charging, like “See? This is complicated, even requires two visits, and therefore should be expensive” (I've never heard of a root canal being done in two sittings, have you?); how when I called a week later reporting the pain, you know the kind where I can't eat, drink or breathe without pain, I was summarily dismissed by their admission that "oh, there must still be some tissue left", oh REALLY, wasn't the whole visit's POINT for you to take care of THAT?

He gets the asshole award for the sadism (or at the very least the blatant disregard for a patient’s well-being) with which he insisted upon (and succeeded in) administering pain without proper sedation. He charged me (overcharged me, rather) for the nitrous upfront, but kept shutting it off before the end of the procedure, presumably to save a few bucks, and yanked me back to consciousness, abruptly and unsafely, to a mouth full of instruments, covered by the horrid green plastic gag, choking on my own vomit and struggling to gasp for air. Whatever happened to administering oxygen till completely recovered? I went home woozy and nauseous, and the foggy head and gut-wrenching puking required a whole day of rest to recuperate from. ON TOP of the root canal pain.


What kind of man of medicine tries to shortchange a patient’s well-being for a few milliliters of a chemical that she had ALREADY PAID FOR?? He did this THREE TIMES! With the last time done AFTER he saw me gagging and grasping for air. What kind of douchebag justifies this kind of behavior, to himself and to others? How is this cheap fuck allowed to continue to practice?

Let me repeat this: Dr John Pratte, DDS, CHOKED me, ON PURPOSE, to save a few minutes of nitrous oxide which I HAD ALREADY PAID FOR, AMPLY!! 

The thing is that I would have forgiven him the wait, the pain, and the half ass job. And never have written this post. But he looked me straight in the eye after he did it. No apologies, no excuses. Like I'm some demented idiot who can wake up from a full sedation on her own volition.

So Dr John Pratte, DDS, you fucking, fucking douchebag, the next time you Google yourself and see this, know that though I may not have been able to do anything while you had me helplessly pinned in your chair, I am not at your mercy now and I am here to tell you that I am livid with how you conduct yourself. What have I ever done to you to give you the right to put me in this state of discomfort and pain? I showed up when you asked me to, paid you what you asked me to, and followed the pre-and-post treatment instructions to the letter. Who gave you the right to mess with my well-being? What kind of society are we living in, when the men and women who took an oath to “do no harm” cannot be trusted to uphold that sacred oath? How much money did you save yourself with your fucktardery? Was it worth it? I sincerely hope that you choke on it!

Oh and you're not the only one who will see this when your name is Googled. Payback is a bitch, asshole, and today, her name is Megan.

Welcome to the age of accountability.


At 3/5/12, 10:37 AM , Anonymous Zoelee said...

I'm afraid I can't read all of this... I have dentist phobia and need to go desperately!!

At 3/5/12, 10:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gah. That's all I can really say. **hugs**

At 3/5/12, 11:01 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. May I recommend nitrous oxide and anybody OTHER than Dr John E. Pratte, DDS?

Seriously though, since I started getting nitrous a few years ago, I have not skipped one tooth-cleaning (I have them done twice a year). It is extremely helpful with anxious patients.

At 3/5/12, 11:08 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

That's very sweet of you, thanks! Feeling much better now that I stood up for myself.

At 3/5/12, 11:10 AM , Anonymous April said...

This was really hard to read because it's awful that you had to go through this. Did you tell your dentist about this? If not, let him know so that he doesn't refer any more patients to this idiot. I'd also see if there is some board in your area that monitors dental professionals (and I use that term loosely in relation to this guy) and report him.

At 3/5/12, 11:13 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks April. And sorry it had to be so graphic. I'm on it.

At 3/7/12, 5:20 PM , Anonymous Heather said...

Oh geez, what an asshole. Good on you for standing up for yourself!

At 3/8/12, 8:18 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Heather. Long time no see. Everything okay in your neck of the woods?

At 3/18/12, 8:00 AM , Anonymous andy said...

Root Canal Procedure is not painful but it relieves from it. Root canal by using latest technologies and anesthetics, root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Root canal filling is safe and effective procedure.

At 3/18/12, 10:18 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Precisely my point. Thanks :)

At 5/20/12, 1:21 PM , Anonymous Leanne said...

I would write a letter of complaint to whatever governing body he practices under. In no way, ever, should this be acceptable.

At 5/20/12, 1:30 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I researched it, Leanne. The dental board's requirements for a complaint were extensive. Plus, he did it in a way that makes it my word against his. And he probably could get his assistants/nurses/whatever-you-call-them to concur. The only resort I had was to make this public, tell my dentist to stop working with him, and hope that people heed my advice.


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