Getting a second opinion on a dental problem is sometimes the most important decision a person can make. In most cases, when a patient wants a second opinion, he or she lacks confidence in the dentist and has doubts about how best to treat their dental condition. In some situations, it is the dentist who requests a second opinion from a dental specialist in order to obtain additional information about a dental problem. Second opinions are important because they may confirm, refute or clarify the situation.
Most people come to their dentist in good faith and with a cooperative attitude. The dentist is often someone they have known and trusted for many years. These dentists are usually able to provide the dental care necessary for their patients, and both are satisfied.
When a person starts going to a new dentist, the situation is completely different. The patient and dentist have no experience or history with each other, and problems can sometimes occur. The dentist's style or communication skills may present a barrier to the patient. The patient may perceive a lack of confidence or competence from the new dentist. In these situations, it may be wise for the patient to seek a second opinion.
I do not recommend that any patient proceed with dental treatment unless they have a high degree of confidence in their dentist.
Sometimes it is the dentist who needs a second opinion. In fact, I will ask my patients to get a second opinion when the need arises. A good example is when I find what I suspect may be oral cancer. In this situation, I will refer my patient to an oral surgeon to get his diagnosis and treatment recommendations. A second opinion and teamwork between the dentist, dental specialist and patient are often vital to getting the best possible outcome.
There are some instances when second opinions are not helpful. It is when the second opinion becomes a fourth, fifth, sixth opinion, or more. These are the patients that keep hearing the same thing from each dentist, but hope to hear something different. If they do finally hear what they want to hear from the seventh dentist, it may not be in their best interest.
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.