When to Get a Second Opinion for Your Dental Care: Make an informed decision about your treatment

So, you were told you need a root canal, but do you really?

You’ve been seeing your current dentist for a long time, but you don’t think his or her latest diagnoses concerning your oral health sound exactly right.

You might be right.

Sometimes a patient doesn’t really need the expensive procedures their dentist recommends. Whenever your dentist recommends something that you’re unsure about or uncomfortable with, it probably means you should get a second opinion. One dentist may think a procedure is necessary, but another may see that it could cause even more damage or be unnecessary. Here’s why.

When to get a second opinion

When it comes to getting a second opinion, there’s no rule of thumb on when to seek additional opinions. You have to use your best judgment. It may be best to consider a second opinion for major dental procedures that can be costly. You don’t want to rush out and get a second opinion on a small cavity or other minor dental problem.

If your dentist is recommending any kind of surgery, you might want to check with another dentist before going through with the treatment. Consider getting a second professional’s opinion if:

  • Your dentist diagnoses a major problem, like oral cancer
  • You’ve had previous dental work that hasn’t fixed your problem
  • You’re concerned about the costs of the treatment
  • You’re not sure if the treatment is even necessary
  • You haven’t had good experiences with your current dentist

What are the benefits of getting a second opinion?  

Each dentist is different. They’ve been trained differently; they’ve seen different dental health problems in their practice; and, they have specialty training in certain oral health conditions. Getting multiple perspectives on your dental health problem can help you make an informed decision about the treatment.

It’s also a good idea to go to a specialist for a second opinion. Some dentists have very specific training in certain procedures, so seeing a specialist that has more experience in diagnosing and treating problems similar to yours can be beneficial.

How to get a second opinion

The easiest way to get a second opinion is to ask your dentist for a referral to another dentist. Your dentist can gather all the information you’ll need for a second opinion, like x-rays, which will make the process much easier. A second opinion is routine in health professions, so don’t worry about offending your dentist. But, if you’re not comfortable asking your dentist who you should see for a second opinion, you can always ask your friends and family to recommend a dentist.

Weigh your options

Your decision about a dental procedure may be easier or more difficult, depending on the outcome of the second opinion. Keep in mind each different professional perspective. If the second opinion is the same as your dentist’s suggestion, you probably need the procedure. If the second opinion is completely different from your current dentist’s opinion, it won’t hurt to get a third opinion. Be careful not to make any major decisions about your dental health before you feel entirely comfortable with the treatment plan.

If you’re concerned about making a major dental health decision or you’re just looking for a dentist to see for your regular checkups, give us a call at 303-759-5652. We’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

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