Second (And Third!) Opinions On Dental Procedures: What Dentists Have To Say And Why It Matters

Patients often decide that a medical diagnosis is incorrect and they want a second opinion. They may even want a third or fourth opinion just to confirm what the first doctor said. Yet, what do you do when you disagree with what a dentist says? Dentistry is not typically a profession that experiences an influx in "second opinion" patients, but you are actually allowed a second opinion (or third) if you disagree with what your first dentist said. Here is what dentists might have to say on the subject and why it matters.

Fresh Eyes and Fresh Equipment Sometimes Yield Better Prognosis

If you have been seeing the same dentist for decades and that dentist does not have the latest equipment, then a second opinion could save you a lot of pain and misery. For example, if the first dentist tells you after just visually examining your teeth and looking at an x-ray that you need a wisdom teeth removal. Since this is a painful, long, and difficult procedure, a second opinion with fresher eyes and newer equipment may be in your best interests. The second dentist may decide that you just need a little orthodontic work to correct your bite or give your mouth more room for the wisdom teeth, which definitely equals less pain than fracturing four teeth and surgically removing them piece by piece.

Oral Cancer, Abscesses, and Cold Sores: Misdiagnosis Relieved 

A misdiagnosis of oral cancer is a terrifying thing. Now imagine if you got a second and third opinion and the next dentists felt you only had a cold sore in your mouth or an abscess. Makes a world of difference, doesn't it? When the second dentist says it is not cancer, you may want a third opinion to confirm what one of the two previous dentists declared was the problem. That way you know for sure if you have oral cancer or if you just have a cold sore or abscess that is being mistaken for cancer. (It also goes hand in hand with new equipment, since a sample of what the dentist sees is placed on a slide to confirm or deny the diagnosis and the new equipment helps.)

Second Opinions for Multiple Treatment Options

Second opinions also yield multiple treatment options. Many patients assume that the loss of one or a few teeth means that they have to wear dentures or install dental implants. But, other dentists may be able to provide you with options your original dentist cannot. It helps to ask around.

To discover more about this, contact local professionals.