“It was a Friday night. I had been at the emergency room with my 15-year-old daughter since 6:00 AM. I brought her in because of facial swelling following pain caused by a canker sore. On Thursday, I’d taken her to a doctor but was told there was nothing that could be done and was sent home. I did not suspect a dental problem because my daughter did not have a tooth ache.
By Friday morning at about 4:00 AM her face was swollen to a horrible degree. I drove her to the hospital ER, not knowing what was going on with her. At the ER she had a CT scan, and we were told it was probably a tooth abscess. However, by that time my daughter had been given two doses of morphine and was too out of it for me to drive her to a dentist. The hospital brought in a maxillary surgeon on call and I thought he could help my daughter. He ordered more x-rays and said he “thought” it was a tooth abscess. But he said he could not do anything to help my daughter because the hospital did not have “drills.” He hurt my daughter horribly, by draining her sinus without any pain medication.
Luckily at 5:00 PM on Friday, I contacted my daughter’s dentist. She called an endodontist she knew in Downtown Washington, D.C., who said he would treat my daughter. I put my daughter in a cab at Suburban Hospital and we drove to see this doctor on 18th Street. The endodontist was horrified at my daughter’s condition. He said she was too sick with cellulitis for him to treat.
He said I had two options: I could take my daughter to Washington Hospital Center or he could try and get Emma seen by Dr. Virginia Lee at Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center. He was able to contact Dr. Lee, who agreed to come in from home to treat Emma. We walked three or four blocks over to Dr. Lee’s office. Within an hour Dr. Lee operated on Emma, who was put to sleep. She extracted two teeth and said Emma’s infection had almost reached her eye. If had progressed further, it could have been life-threatening.
Dr. Lee saved my daughter’s life and I will be forever grateful.”