Have you ever been in a situation where your dentist informs, that you need several complicated procedures but you are not at peace with their diagnosis? If any such condition ever arises, do not hesitate to go for a second opinion.
Getting another consultation will help to identify if you really need the treatments.
Moreover, if your dentist makes you uncomfortable or is unable to treat your condition then you can go for another one at any time.
As a patient, you have every right to look for a second opinion.
A reputable dentist will not be offended by it either.
But when and how should you do it?
This article is here to help! Keep reading below to know in what circumstances you should go for a second opinion.
When to Get a Second Opinion?
There are certain situations where you have no option but to get a second opinion.
This usually happens when you are seeing a general dentist but now have to contact a specialist instead for your condition.
Therefore, your dentist may not be qualified to treat your problem specifically.
In this case, they may give you a referral themselves.
If your doctor treats you and the pain persists then you have no other option but to see someone else.
Thus, you may feel that they are not the best choice to deal with this problem.
Another situation is when your dentist diagnoses a serious problem.
If they say you have oral cancer then it is best to also confirm the diagnosis from one specialist.
Though, there are certain conditions where it’s only the dentist that makes you doubt the diagnosis.
- You have been recommended several treatments for teeth you do not have any problem with
- Previous dental work is not working and you are still in pain
- The treatment is too expensive and you want to search for other options first
- You are not satisfied with the diagnosis and have doubts about it
- Your relationship with your dentist isn’t great
- The procedure is rather scary so you want to know if you can avail another option instead
- You are not sure about your dentist’s abilities to deal with the problems.
Other than that, there are certain things you should keep in mind that can be red herrings:
- Your dentist wants to change old fillings when it is not needed. Ask for an X-ray to see if they are causing trouble or your dentist is only replacing them because they are old.
- Does your doctor explain why you need the extensive treatment or do you feel you are being rushed into it?
- Your treatment is rough and painful.
- Dentists add costs or treatments after you are promised a lesser expensive treatment
- They do not respond well to your request to see another dentist.
Go to your dentist while keeping these points in mind.
As a patient, you have a right to a second opinion from another dentist, even if you have a good rapport with your current one.
Do not hesitate as a second opinion may in fact, just confirm that your dentist was right and you can proceed to get treatment from them.
The Benefits of Getting a Second Opinion
If you are unclear about your diagnosis, consulting another dentist helps to remove those doubts.
Hence, you get a clear picture of what’s happening inside your mouth the more you take other dentists’ opinions.
Remember that every dentist goes through different training, experiences and cases.
Therefore, maybe your current dentist does not have prior experience in that issue but some other dentist may have it.
Their different perspective can make your treatment easier.
Moreover, if you are uncomfortable with your current dentist, you may have a completely different rapport with another one.
Don’t stereotype all dentists if your experience with one was rather unpleasant.
Also, you may never know your treatment becomes less expensive.
Another benefit is getting an expert opinion.
If you consult a general dentist on a regular basis, you can now go to a specialist that deals with your condition.
Also, another dentist can give you the confidence to deal with the extensive treatments.
If you cannot develop a good rapport with your current dentist, they cannot give you the courage to go ahead with the procedure, especially when you doubt their abilities.
However, another dentist can help you gain that confidence and go along with the treatment.
Remember, that you do not have to necessarily continue going to your current dental practitioner if you have reservations regarding their work.
You can switch anytime, though it may cost you a little more and you will have to spend some time looking for another doctor.
That said, it is not as difficult to find another dentist.
Want to know how? Let’s find out below!
Looking for Consulting Another Dentist
It may seem like a daunting task but looking for a new dentist is actually quite easy.
You may have to tap into several resources to find the right one.
But that’s exactly what’s good.
You have several options to look out for.
Your family and peers
If there are many dentists in the city, not all of your friends and family members are going to the same one.
Consulting your peers, colleagues and family members is the easiest way to get to know a reputable dentist.
They have prior experience with the dentist so they can also give you a fair suggestion.
Ask your friends and family if their experience has been good with their dentist and you can trust them with your treatment.
Ask Your Dentist
Don’t be shy about it!
If you have a good rapport with your dentist then you may as well ask them for a referral.
If they are reputable and also trust their diagnosis then they would not mind.
However, it can become a little uncomfortable for you. Then you can go for other options.
Calling Dental Societies, schools and Insurance Companies
Dental societies usually have the contact details of several dentists specializing in your concern.
Try ringing them up asking for a referral or give some consultation on what dentist you should go for.
Similarly, dental colleges and schools usually have assistant professors that are dentists.
This is also a good place to ask for a reputable dentist.
Don’t hesitate to call your dental insurance company.
They usually have the contact details of several dentists and you can also find out if getting a second consultation is covered in your plan.
Once you find a good doctor it is important to prepare beforehand to ask relevant questions.
Preparation Before Your Consultation
Right before embarking on choosing your second dentist, keep a few considerations in mind:
- Are you going for a specialist approach? It is better to have a second opinion from an experienced specialist.
- Your second dentist may tell you a completely different thing from the first. Hence, it may not be your final consultation, a third opinion isn’t that uncommon either.
- Check the prices before you proceed. Your insurance may not cover it so contact them first.
- Check the credentials and experience of your doctor. Ask friends and family beforehand.
- There is a possibility that you may not get enough confidence to proceed with the treatment. In that case, again, you will have to ask another doctor.
Once you are sure about these factors, you can proceed with the treatment.
During the treatment, keep a list of questions handy that you may want to ask your dentist in order to ensure that they are the best choice.
Do not hesitate to ask your dentist important questions and get a firm answer in response, not a vague one.
- What is the treatment and when will it complete?
- How much will it cost?
- Are there any alternative low-cost treatments?
- Can I go treatment free or is it absolutely necessary?
- Why do I have this condition?
- Are there any recommendations to improve my condition?
- Will the procedure result in long-term oral health benefits?
- What are the risks involved?
- Do I need to come for follow-up treatment? If so, how often?
- What is your overall perspective on this condition?
If you are not satisfied with the answers, look for a third or fourth opinion.
However, do not delay required treatment for a long time.
What to do After Getting a Second Opinion?
After your consultation, you can choose whether you want to proceed with your treatment or not.
Chances are, your second doctor will tell you the same thing as the first.
Hence, getting the treatment is necessary but with the doctor, you are comfortable with.
In case, they tell you a different diagnosis then it is a matter of confusion.
One of the doctors may be overplaying or underplaying your condition or they could also be right.
Let your doctor know what your prior doctor said and see if they agree on it.
However, you can always get a third or fourth opinion.
Choose critically between all your options and do not confuse yourself by consulting several doctors.
Taking a second opinion is usually enough and there is no compulsion to follow through with the same doctor or go back to your first one.
If you feel like you need more confidence before an extensive treatment and your current doctor cannot solve it then do not hesitate anymore and book your consultation with another doctor as soon as possible.