If your dentist has told you that you need to get major dental procedures done either for the health or beauty of your smile, you should get a second opinion. Even if you’ve been working with your current dentist a long time, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion, and you don’t have to worry about offending your current dentist.
Why You Want a Second Opinion
There are three major reasons why you want to get a second opinion about dental work.
Do I need this procedure? Dentists rely on their own judgment when recommending dental procedures, so there may be a significant amount of disagreement about whether a procedure is necessary or not. One dentist may think a procedure is necessary, while another dentist may say it’s just desirable, unnecessary, or even potentially destructive.
Is this the right dentist to perform the procedure? Even if you trust your dentist with routine dental care, you might want to work with a different dentist for more advanced procedures. Getting a second opinion allows you to talk to a dentist with different skills and experience so that you can decide which dentist is best suited to performing your procedure.
Is the cost right? Cost should never be the deciding factor in making a decision about your dental health, but you do have to evaluate whether you’re being charged a reasonable price for a service. If you get two estimates that are very different, first make sure that you’re comparing like to like–the services offered could be very different–then try to account for the difference.
How to Get a Second Opinion
The easiest way to start getting a second opinion is to just mention to your dentist that you want one. Remember, dentists are professionals and shouldn’t be offended at this. They should, in fact, help you. A second opinion is routine in medicine, and should be in dentistry, too.
The advantage of talking to your dentist about getting a second opinion is first that you’re being honest, which makes it easier to maintain the relationship in the future. Second, your dentist can help assemble all the information you need to get a second opinion, including x-rays, treatment plan, and more. Finally, your dentist may even recommend some people you can see for a second opinion, though you shouldn’t feel obligated to see any of these dentists.