man touching his sore tooth talking to dentist in dental chair

We trust our healthcare providers to recommend and provide the best treatments to help our bodies stay as healthy as possible. However, if a recent trip to the dentist left you with a long list of pressing issues with a significant estimate attached, you may be starting to second guess your dentist. As a patient, how do you know if you can trust what treatments your dentist recommends, what is urgent, and what could wait?

In these cases, it may be beneficial to seek a second opinion from another dentist. After all, dentists have varying specializations, experiences, and backgrounds. Hearing from another perspective can help you make an informed decision.

When a Second Opinion May Be Beneficial

Suppose your current dentist recently gave you a printout with a long list of restorative dentistry treatments and recommendations. In that case, it may not be a bad idea to get a second opinion from another provider. It certainly isn’t necessary to have multiple dentists give a second opinion for small cavities and other minor dental health issues. A second opinion can be beneficial, especially for larger, more extensive dental work recommendations.

We recommend getting a second opinion from another dentist in these situations:

  • Your dentist has diagnosed you with a significant health issue, such as oral cancer.
  • You have had previous dental work completed, and the issue is still present.
  • You’re unsure if the recommended treatment is necessary.
  • You’re concerned about the estimated costs of the recommended treatments.
  • You’re questioning if your dentist is qualified to treat your dental needs.
  • You’re unhappy with your current dentist for any reason.

How To Find a Second Opinion You Can Trust

All dentists are not trained, nor do they all operate, equally. All dentists have unique backgrounds and different levels of experience they can offer to their patients.

When searching for a second opinion, the best ways to find another dentist is by:

  • Asking friends or family who they recommend for dental work or a second opinion.
  • Contacting a local or national dental society and ask for a recommendation.
  • Reading reviews of other practices on the internet.
  • Asking your current dentist for a referral to another dentist for a second opinion.
  • Contacting a local dental school and asking for the offices they recommend.
  • Asking your insurance provider. Many dental plans will cover a second opinion, but there are specific steps you will need to make to cover the cost of a second opinion. Making a call to your insurance provider beforehand may save you some time and provide you with a list of covered providers.

What Questions To Ask Another Dentist

Once you have found a dentist you’d like to use for a second opinion, you may want to prepare by writing down a list of your specific questions regarding the recommended treatments. This way, you will leave your second opinion feeling confident in knowing what choices to make moving forward.

A few questions we recommend asking include:

  • Do you agree with the diagnosis my dentist has made for the suggested dental treatments?
  • Are there any other treatment options I should consider other than the recommended treatment?
  • How much would each of these treatment options cost?
  • How much of the treatment costs would be covered under my dental insurance plan, and how much would be the out-of-pocket cost?
  • Will the recommended treatment improve my dental health?
  • What are the risks of each treatment option?
  • How long will the treatment benefits last?
  • Will future treatments be necessary for correcting the problem if not treated?

When getting a second opinion, the different perspectives of the two can aid you in making an informed decision. While your current dentist has the advantage of being familiar with your dental health history, a second opinion dentist may have the advantage of a fresh outlook.

Aubrey Baudean DDS is happy to help you in making the most informed decision on recommended dental work. Whether you’re looking for a new dentist or a second opinion in Marrero, contact us today to schedule an appointment.