Many people get anxious about wanting to get a dental second opinion or any second opinion from a medical professional. It just seems rude, for some reason, or are afraid of calling their dentist incompetent. Don’t fret, not only is it your right to seek a second opinion dental work, a good dentist won’t be offended by it. After all, no one professional is an expert at everything.
So, while it may be uncomfortable or a bit awkward if you feel you need a dental second opinion, here are some tips on how to go about it.
When You Should Get a Second Opinion
While it’s true that you should listen to your dentist as they are the ones trained in oral health and care, sometimes you may disagree with a choice in treatment or diagnosis. Even if you agree with either of those, perhaps your dentist doesn’t have the experience level you’re comfortable with in administering treatment. Any of these reasons is enough to seek a dental second opinion.
Though perhaps your dentist has failed to fix a problem and you want to make sure they’ve done the treatment correctly. A dental second opinion can be used as a way to verify that your current dentist is doing all they can. It’s a good way to make sure that you’re getting the proper care.
Where to Get a Second Opinion
A lot of people will jump into looking for a dental second opinion online, perusing WebMD or something. That isn’t the best course of action and you already have a great resource at your disposal, which is your current dentist. Any professional wouldn’t be offended if you’re wanting a second opinion and being that much of the medical community networks, they should have another dentist that they know to be a competent one. When any kind of doctor makes a diagnosis or suggest a treatment, they should be confident enough in their abilities that another professional take a look wouldn’t threaten them.
If you’re uncomfortable asking your dentist, there is always friends and family. There is rarely only one dental office in town and, even if that is the case, commuting a bit to get a dental second opinion is worth the drive. It may be best not to ask your dentist if you don’t or no longer trust their opinion or feel you’re being overcharged for their services. There are plenty of resources from online review boards to coworkers. Just never be afraid or ashamed to ask for a second opinion.
The Benefits of a Dental Second Opinion
All medical professionals, while meeting the same necessary standards in education and ethics, have different experiences. That’s why there are subfields in all medicine. If you find you’ve been suggested, for example, braces and you want to be sure that is the best course of acting then see an orthodontist to make sure. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with a type of oral cancer or need a particular kind of oral surgery performed, then seeing professionals in those areas would be a dental second opinion perk.
Seeking a second opinion doesn’t always mean your dentist isn’t competent, sometimes it means they just don’t specialize in a particular kind of dentistry. There is nothing wrong with that as no one is an expert at everything.
Preparing for the Appointment
After you find a dentist that can give you an appropriate second opinion, you do have to contact your current dentist office to send over the medical records. There is no way around that part, you need to get that dental second opinion professional up to speed so they can give you an informed assessment. Remember, there is nothing to be embarrassed about or to apologize for. You’re just making an effort to take your oral health seriously and do what is best for you.
Also, the new dentist would most likely do a complete exam themselves. Verifying your records and become familiar with you in ways that files can’t communicate. It’s also for legal reasons, they need to sign off on what they find and what not.
Another thing to check before your appointment for a dental second opinion is insurance options. You don’t want to be stuck with a large bill after settling with a dentist you like. So, be sure to check with the dental office and your insurance company.
The most important thing to remember is that it is ok to seek a dental second opinion. It’s your right, it can help improve your oral health, and no one should prevent or shame you for making that decision. Though, if the second dentist agrees with the first then they’re more likely to have recommended what you need. Don’t fall into the trap of disagreeing with a medical professional because it isn’t what you want to hear.