Under advice of my attorney, I will only say that...
30 May 2016
9 months post
Under advice of my attorney, I will only say that I had a very bad experience at Sola Dental under the care of Tom Gent. Dr. Gent, a provider whom I decided to trust with my teeth and my health, hurt me--very badly--through a 9-month series of surgeries that was supposed to make my mouth healthier. Despite what he claimed, he knew very little about the procedures I allowed him to perform, leaving my good teeth--and the surrounding bone--a distant memory.
When I first came to Sola Dental, I needed to replace four teeth with implants. I now have 8 natural teeth left. I am disfigured, unable to chew, and am wearing a removable denture as I endure more painful and expensive reconstructive surgeries to repair what Gent destroyed. This experience has greatly affected my appearance, health, personal life, and finances for 16 months now.
If I could turn back the clock, I would in a heartbeat. This is not the way I planned to spend two years of my life. On the bright side, (if there is one after you now have the face of an 85-year-old without teeth), I have a great attorney who specializes in dental malpractice, and Gent has been under state investigation for standard of care and patient safety issues stemming from my case. Hopefully this will keep other patients safe, at least for a while, because this could definitely happen again.
Photos of Damage
31 May 2016
9 months post
FYI--I have included some photos so you can get an idea of what lies ahead for you if you venture into Sola Dental...one of an implant that was mistakenly placed near the OUTER CURVE of my jaw (he screwed a removable bridge over the handiwork so I didn't know about it until my oral surgeon saw it on an X-ray!), and another of what I think was Gent's first lingual frenectomy, done with a scalpel while an assistant held my tongue. No pain meds, during or after, as my heart beat out of my chest and I gagged on blood. I couldn't speak or eat for two days. Over a year later, the jagged scar still throbs, gets red, and bleeds. Did you know that lingual frenectomies are usually done with lasers now, and are typically referred to those with adequate experience to perform them? I didn't...until it was too late.
Update for Clarification
3 Jun 2016
10 months post
I wrote a review on disastrous and painful work done by dentist Dr. Tom (Thomas) Gent at Sola Dental in Austin, Texas. All of the information regarding my horrible experience, injuries, and cost and time required for restorative surgeries and recoveries is absolutely true, and the photos of surgical mistakes are of my mouth.
The Aftermath of Being A Malpractice Victim of Dr. Thomas Gent at Sola Dental of Austin...
What happens after you've suffered under a treatment provider who has lied, put you in danger, and mangled your jaw? After some brutal surgeries, much of the damage Dr. Gent caused is in a state of repair, and I am able to chew again. My lawyer is communicating with his, and we are planning on filing a lawsuit fairly soon. Hopefully, the financial hardship Dr. Gent's inexperience and lies have cause will be remedied.
I know now that one problem will never be resolved.
I am now unable to trust any medical or dental provider, and I don't know if I ever will. How can I know if a care provider is shooting straight, or if they are lying with a smile on their face like Dr. Gent so often did? How can I ever know if I am receiving proper care, or if I am being harmed? I don't think I can.
It's time to take my teen son for dental care, and the thought chills me to the bone.
Dr. Thomas Gent and Sola Dental of Austin will ALWAYS chill me to the bone. I hate to think of other potential victims who walk into that place having no idea about the harm that may come to them.
Terrifying, and chilling. This is a hidden cost of malpractice to malpractice victims. Avoid Dr. Thomas Gent, AND Sola Dental of Austin, like the plague.
It's Time: I Am Officially Suing Dr. Thomas Gent of Sola Dental for Severe Injuries and Disfigurement
We're about to officially file suit against Dr. Thomas (Tom) Gent of Sola Dental in Austin for his macabre butchering of my mouth over 9 months of surgeries.
He and his insurance company have been dragging their feet on even locating expert opinions on my case, because they all know it's going to be REALLY BAD for "Dr." Gent.
He is still under investigation by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners for the extensive, life-changing harm and disfigurement he caused me.
After all this time, Dr. Tom Gent is still proving that he is unable to accept responsibility for his actions and that he nurtures a "God"-like complex where he never makes any mistakes and shouldn't have to apologize. I imagine he still thinks I was blessed to have his hands on me.
Me? I'm heading into another reconstructive surgery in two weeks, with another big cash payment due...cash I don't have.
At least when we file suit, it will be a matter of public record FOREVER that this creep hurts people by chopping away at good teeth and bone for the sake of experimental, on-the-job training.
I can only hope with all my heart that he loses his licence.
Only then will justice be served.
Bad Surgery from a Really Inexperienced Dentist is a gift that keeps giving.
Looks like I am venturing into gum flap surgery and other measures to save the remaining eight beautiful teeth I didn't allow Gent to screw with. In the end, I might lose them all. It seems that the destruction of my jawbone and the delay in my knowing I needed to repair this creep's mess (after he let me think for months that everything was A-ok) caused major gum recession because the gum wasn't anchored where I lost teeth and bone...so it tends to rise higher on remaining teeth. I can't believe the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is still investigating my case after over a YEAR! while this clown still practices. Don't worry, buddy...we'll see you in court (because you're being sued to the ends of the earth) and pass all these new costs on to you. Nothing will make up for all my pain and trauma, so that would be on his conscience...that is, if he actually had one. I know he's paid his way into hiding my Yelp review, but Real Self shows up loud and clear. Do your research! Don't make the mistake I made. This SUCKS!
Preliminary expert comments on Dr. Tom Gent of Sola Dental's "handiwork"...
The story of my ill-fated treatment has circulated through Austin and beyond. Dr. Gent is pretty much a punchline in professional circles throughout Central Texas...a cautionary tale, as it were.
His former assistant disclosed to me that I was NOT THE FIRST to suffer under his hands.
Yeah, this guy is still practicing.
As my personal injury lawsuit proceeds, (and the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners investigation of Gent passes the one-year mark), the well-qualified oral surgeon who is serving as our expert has weighed in...
...and since he reviewed my records, our expert's comments regarding Gent have encompassed "charlatan"; "he BUTCHERED her mouth", "hoax"; "wouldn't want him to TOUCH me or anyone I know!"; and "should NOT be practicing"...for starts.
Yeah, this guy is still practicing.
Another fun photo of my mouth post-Dr. Gent....
Here's a fun photo I'm posting from my post-Gent, pre-surgical correction days, well over a year ago. There are some important features here that show some of the major errors in my installation.
This little post demonstrates the importance of ASKING TO SEE YOUR X-RAYS WHILE you are being treated.
First, you will note that there are lots of "vertical tunnels" in my jaw. Those are places where Gent madly and gleefully extracted teeth and didn't fill the holes up with bone grafts. What you're seeing is bone loss.
That might be okay in the spots where he didn't place implants...maybe?...but he didn't graft in the spots where he placed implants, either. Rather, he left them sitting for three to six months, so there was substantial bone loss.
***You HAVE to graft if you're not immediately placing implants in the extraction sites.***
Since he didn't bother, the implants he DID place those months later were just rattling around in big holes in my jaw.
You see the implant in the front that's shorter than the rest? That's the one that was BURIED in my jaw. He PLACED IT TOO CLOSE to another implant, and realized it couldn't be used, so he just decided to not tell me about it and left it there. It's not even in line with the rest of the implants on the crest of my jaw...it was almost on the outer edge, closer to the curve of my chin.
I didn't even know it was there until my new oral surgeon spotted it on our first x-ray--that's when he knew there was something "bad in the milk"...because...
...Gent crafted a removable bridge that COVERED the ridge of my jaw--(you're never supposed to cover the tissue around implants--it's unheard of--you can't clean them!)--and then SCREWED it over my gums and implants so I couldn't see, OR CLEAN, underneath it. By the time my new providers removed it, it was a festering, irritated, smelly mess.
Unfortunately, the tissue around the misplaced, hidden implant had also become irritated...the gum had turned WHITE around the hole where Gent had placed the implant (that I couldn't see because it WAS COVERED by the attached bridge) and bacteria and food residue was collecting in it--causing infection and EVEN MORE BONE LOSS.
It would have been nice to know it was there...but Dr. Gent is the KING OF COVER-UPS. When I finally confronted him about it at the end of "treatment"--after my consult with an oral surgeon exposed all of the MALPRACTICE committed over NINE MONTHS of PAINFUL SURGERIES--he said he was "maybe planning on refunding for it after treatment"...since it was one of the six implants I'd PAID FOR...and "he thought he'd told me about it during surgery, WHEN I WAS SEDATED." (Over-sedated, that is...we've since discovered that Gent likes to dangerously over-sedate patients...then collects their leftover sedative pills for other uses. That's part of another investigation.)
So why did Gent just throw that implant in that bizarre spot? Turns out that he planned to place it elsewhere, as he'd planned on computer...but the planned spot was "a huge hole"...there was NO BONE. You'd think the guy would have accepted that my jaw was too unstable for implants at that time, but he plowed ahead with the surgery.
You might notice that the upper implants are poking into my sinuses. He didn't place THOSE implants until SIX MONTHS post-extraction. Thus, the bone was already egg-shell thin.
You guessed it...since he already had my $80,000 up front, he wanted to space my treatment times out around other, new, income-producing appointments. When we had started the charade, he'd said everything would be completed in six months. Nine months later, I still had months of work ahead of me. Delay, delay, delay...
Because of the delay in placing the upper implants and corresponding bone loss, Gent screwed them into a SLIVER of bone that was SO THIN on the outer side, you could feel the screw threads through my outer gum. When the oral surgeon opened up the side during surgery, the screw was falling out of the bone from the side. (We have a nice photo of THAT spectacle for legal purposes).
Notice how the implants are not even sitting straight in my jaw...how they're all sticking up at different levels and slanting to the side? It kind of looks like a child put them in there. That doesn't work when you're planning on placing a full denture over the whole thing. Hmmm....I guess that's why I couldn't pin him down for appointments to put some teeth on top of the whole mess after surgery.
I PAID $80,000 for NINE MONTHS of painful surgeries and lies. Sixteen months AFTER walking away, I still have more reconstructive surgeries in my future.
All in all, I have been in and out of painful, gory, debilitating surgeries for 2 1/2 years now. It took Gent NINE months to destroy my jaw, and so many more to reconstruct my mouth after the damage.
He NEVER apologized...he simply altered my patient chart notes when the state dental board came knocking.
Nice guy, huh?
ASK TO SEE YOUR X-RAYS, people! Collect your patient records AFTER EVERY APPOINTMENT.
I believe that MOST dentists are honest and ethical and have your best interest in mind. I just had very, very BAD LUCK.