Visiting the same dentist for several years develops trust. Naturally, you will follow their advice and recommendations related to your dental health. However, if they recommend an extensive treatment that you are unsure of, or are not able to solve your problem then do not hesitate to take a second opinion.
While you may blindly trust your dentist, a few procedures can make you nervous.
You may not be able to get a root canal, implant or gum surgery without hesitation.
Especially, when there are simple procedures that can become alternatives.
Thus, if you wish to consult another dentist, you surely can.
This article discusses when you get a second opinion and how to get it.
Keep reading below if you have been looking to get a consultation or switch doctors.
Do You Need a Second Opinion?
If you think your dentist is reliable and are satisfied with their results then you probably do not need another consultation.
Taking a second opinion is not necessary but it is a patient’s right.
Don’t worry about disturbing your relationship with your doctor if you discuss this with them.
Any reliable and experienced doctor will not bat an eye over their patient’s consulting another doctor.
Hence, if you do not feel comfortable about your dental care you can always get another consultation.
Other situations where you will need it include:
- Getting diagnosed with a big dental health problem such as oral cancer
- Not being comfortable with your dentist
- Not having enough confidence in your dentist to treat your problem
- You are unsure whether you need extensive treatment for your diagnosis for example root canal treatment instead of fillings
- Getting prior dental work but the pain and symptoms remain
- The treatment is expensive so you need to be sure whether it is needed
- Your dentist points out several problems and you don’t think your teeth need all of that treatment.
- The procedure is scary so you need surety if it is indeed necessary
If any of these conditions apply to you, then there is no harm in getting another consultation.
Your comfort level with your dentist is important to ensure that you do not have dental anxiety during the procedure.
If your rapport with your dentist is not good then it is better to look for someone else.
This can make you more nervous during your procedure.
But even if it is good and they recommend an extensive and expensive procedure then it is best to ask one more dentist.
Pros of Getting Another Consultation
If you have always stuck to one dentist then they do not define every other doctor.
Every dentist has a unique background, experience in different oral health problems, and training.
The perspectives of each dental practitioner are different regarding the condition pertaining to their experience.
Hence, if you doubt your dentist cannot look into your problem thoroughly then another one with a different experience may be able to help you out.
Furthermore, you may need to consult a specialist for a dental problem only they can handle.
This way you can continue seeing your general dentist but also get an expert opinion and treatment.
Seeing the specialist will help you make an informed decision about your diagnosis and its subsequent treatment.
As you look into more options, you get a rather clear perspective of how your procedure will go.
Also, if you are not comfortable with your current dentist then you can build a good rapport with your next one.
This will allow you to convey your problems and symptoms more easily.
Also a dentist you share a good rapport with, gives you more confidence to face the treatment.
Greater courage will be required for major treatment.
If you are not comfortable with your dentist enough then they cannot even encourage you properly to go ahead with the treatment.
If you look around for other options then, in fact, you can find a more affordable option as well.
This is especially useful for extensive procedures that will require out-of-pocket expenses.
Do not hesitate to take the step of consulting other dental practitioners.
It isn’t wrong and as long as you have reservations regarding your treatment you can always refrain from getting it( but that affects your oral health) or look into other options.
Searching For a Second Opinion
Well, now that you know you want to get a second opinion, it is time to look out for one.
There are a bunch of people, in your circle, that can recommend you a trustworthy dentist.
Your Current Dentist
You may feel uncomfortable while asking this but your dentist is one of the best people to recommend you another doctor.
If you have a good relationship with them then they will not hesitate in guiding you.
They can give you a referral making the procedure to reach the doctor easier.
Also, if you are seeing a general dentist then it is even easier for them to recommend a specialist.
Don’t hesitate, it’s not rude! Rather it is a very common request that dentists get many times.
It is understandable if you still don’t ask your dentist. Don’t worry, you have many other options to consult.
You can contact your local dental organizations or even search for it online.
A dental society is a good place to look for a specialist or any dentist as they are the biggest resources for dentistry.
Hence, they can provide a referral.
Dental schools and colleges are good places to find a reputable dentist.
Dentists also teach in these future dental practitioners here.
Moreover, they can also guide about locating a dentist.
Peers and Family
Asking your friends and family members living in the same area is a good idea.
Ask them about their experience with their dentist and if they can recommend any.
If no other option works, this will.
Your insurance provider may know about relevant dentists for your treatment.
They are resourceful in this matter and can connect you with the right practitioner.
Plus, your insurance may also cover your second opinion consultation.
Learn more about why you should not be telling dangerous lies to your dentist here.
Before You Go For A Second Opinion
While you are going to another dentist, keep your expectations realistic with them too.
Either they can tell you the same thing as your original dentist for the treatment or a different one.
In that case, you may even have to consult another dentist for a third opinion.
Also, it may not give you as much confidence as you require.
So the bar of your expectations shouldn’t be set high, rather it should be realistic.
Usually, it is better to go for a dentist with a specialization in the concerned area.
Their prior experience will generate trust and confidence.
Moreover, if you are looking for a specialist for your problem then they can look into your condition more keenly.
Before you go for your consultation, check with your insurance if getting a second opinion is covered.
It may be! Hence, there is no need to spend extra when your insurance can cover it.
But also, if it does not, you may want to check the price before booking your consultation.
Even if you need the consultation, it should not be overwhelmingly expensive for your pockets.
Moreover, always check the provable credentials of any health practitioner.
It is also important to not ignore the word of mouth and past experiences of patients.
You do not want your condition to worsen so you should at least see a trustworthy doctor.
It is best to consider the outcome you will get out of your consultation, the costs involved and if it is the best option available.
If you are all set for your appointment then proceed with it by asking important questions from your dentist.
Let’s find out what are these below!
Questions to Ask
Your dentist will first examine your entire mouth.
They will look for any previous treatment, find out the treatment required and find out why you needed a second opinion.
Besides that, this consultation is important for you to make up your mind.
Hence, you may prepare the following questions beforehand for more clarity.
- What is my diagnosis? Do you agree with my earlier diagnosis? (Let them know what your previous dentist diagnosed)
- What treatments will I require?
- How will this improve my health and how long will it take to complete it?
- What are the causes behind the problem and your perspective on it?
- What are the risks involved?
- How much will this treatment cost?
- Do I really need the treatment, what if I skip it?
- Does this treatment provide long-term benefits?
- How can I improve my condition?
- Do I need future treatments and checkups?
- Should I follow up with you or my previous dentist?
Once you have an answer to all of these questions, you can decipher what you want to do next.
If you get a similar diagnosis then you can simply go ahead with your treatment but if there are different ones then it is a problem and you may have to go for another consultation after the second opinion.
Either way, make sure you get the right treatment timely.