A MARYBOROUGH man has been left without any upper teeth after a dentist mistakenly pulled all of them out instead of repairing them.
He visited Ian Harvey Dental with badly damaged teeth and was given two options - remove all five of his upper teeth and receive dentures, or pay more than $3300 to remove one upper tooth and one lower tooth and fix the others.
The man, a chef who did not want to be named, opted to save his upper teeth as he was concerned about dentures affecting his ability to do his job.
Last week, he went in for his appointment with Dr Harvey and was given injections to numb his mouth.
"I don't like dentists so I had my eyes closed the whole time and I couldn't feel anything the dentist was doing," he said.
After settling the bill for the higher amount, he went home to recuperate.
But shortly afterwards, he realised something had gone dramatically wrong.
"I went to the bathroom to clean the blood out of my mouth and removed the padding," he said.
"My tongue touched my gums and I realised he's ripped all of my top teeth out.
"I was so angry I couldn't speak."
The man was given a refund by the dental surgery but said it did not make up for the loss of his teeth.
"They told my fiancee, we've made a mistake and gave her the money back," he said.
He said the error had left him furious and humiliated, and he feared for his employment future.
"I'm a chef so even though my teeth weren't great, I wanted them - I need my own teeth," he said.
"I basically haven't left the house since it happened because I've been too sick and embarrassed." "I haven't slept properly since."
When contacted, staff from Dr Harvey's office declined to comment and directed the Chronicle to their spokesman at Dental Corporation, which is in partnership with the Maryborough surgery.
Dental Corporation director of strategy Gordon Towell said they
were doing everything possible to help the man.
"My understanding is that Dr Harvey has admitted responsibility," he said.
"The patient has been fully refunded and offered to have dentures fitted at no cost."
The company flew a senior manager to Maryborough to speak with the patient, who refused the meeting because the manager was late for the appointment.
"The dentist is utterly devastated - he has been in practice for 30 years with never a blemish on his record," Mr Towell said.
"He is an excellent dentist and this situation is highly unusual."
Both Dental Corporation and Dr Harvey's office are investigating how the error occurred to ensure it never happened again.
Mr Towell said Dr Harvey had also spoken with the Australian Dental Association and his insurers, as the man planned legal action.