Should I Get a Second Opinion on Dental Work?

Are you being asked to shell out big bucks on a treatment you’re not convinced you need? It might be time to seek out a second opinion!

In both restorative and cosmetic dentistry, second opinions are a valuable tool that patients can use to make sure they are comfortable with recommended treatments. A good rule of thumb: if you are ever in doubt, seek a second opinion.

Whether you’ve been recommended for major dental work or have been advised that a full set of porcelain veneers is “the only way” to achieve your aesthetic goals—any big decision requires thought. Taking a time out to consult with a second dental professional can help you make sure you are confident with your decision before you proceed.

Do you need a second opinion on planned or recommended dental work? Visit San Diego cosmetic and general dentist Dr. David Eshom. We will assess your oral health and symptoms, discuss the issue of concern, and give a frank medical or cosmetic opinion on your needs and goals.

When to Seek a Second Opinion

Patients sometimes feel bad about seeking a second opinion, that it means they don’t trust their provider. But the truth is that second opinions are a pretty standard thing in the dental and medical field. Like all people, dentists come from different backgrounds and have had different training. They also may have seen very different types of oral health problems in their practices. Getting more than one opinion on your situation can help you make an informed decision.

You should always feel free to seek out a second opinion, especially when:

  • You are not convinced a treatment is necessary.
  • A major procedure is recommended.
  • You are lukewarm about paying a great deal of money for the treatment.
  • You don’t fully understand the diagnosis or recommendation.

How to Get a Second Opinion

Just as you would do your research before selecting a new primary care dentist, devote some time to looking for a good second opinion dentist. Ask your friends and family about their dentists, and research patient testimonials on sites like Yelp and HealthGrades.

Ideally, you want to find a dentist who is experienced with the issue of concern. Be it periodontal surgery, implants, or cosmetic work, you should look for a dentist with plenty of experience treating patients with your needs. A specialist will have more familiarity with diagnosing and treating the issue at hand and may offer insights your general dentist did not.

Before you make an appointment with your chosen second opinion dentist, call your insurer to see if second opinions are covered. Many will cover second opinion visits, but there may be necessary steps involved and you don’t want to pay out of pocket if you don’t have to.

Once you have made an appointment, you will want to decide whether you want to “go in cold” or tell the dentist ahead of time that you are seeking a second opinion. The choice is yours. Some patients wait to get a diagnosis or assessment first, and then explain that they were seeking a second opinion. If you have a written treatment plan from the first dentist, bring it with you; you may want to discuss the recommendations with the dentist.

Keep in mind that your original dentist may have a better understanding of your unique oral health history that the second-opinion dentist does not have access to. This may be significant if you’ve had failed dental work or significant oral health concerns in the past.

Second Opinions in Cosmetic Dentistry

Unlike general dental procedures, cosmetic dentistry requires a combination of medical and artistic competence. Skills and capabilities with various cosmetic techniques can vary considerably between providers. You may have seen some impressive before-and-after pictures from your dentist, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is a master of all the most cutting-edge innovations in the field.

If you’ve been doing your own research and aren’t convinced your doctor’s recommended treatments are the best way to achieve your goals, visit a cosmetic specialist, like Dr. David Eshom. Dr. Eshom is constantly learning new methodologies and techniques, and offers treatments many general dentists do not. Plus, cosmetic consultations are always free with Dr. Eshom, so you have nothing to lose!

Call our San Diego dental practice at (858) 455-9151 to make an appointment with Dr. Eshom for a second opinion.

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