When it comes to getting a major dental procedure, whether it includes an extraction, root canal, or dental implants you may wonder if a second opinion is warranted. For simple dental procedures like a filling, you’ll find the procedure is most likely covered by your insurance plan and a second opinion may not be needed since it tends to fall under preventative dental care. For other dental procedures, however, a second opinion is not only your right but an advisable course of action when deciding on your dental care. Check out these tips for when, where, and how a second opinion for dental treatment is needed.
What the ADA recommends
The American Dental Association (or ADA) is an institution that most respected dentists belong to. It requires all of its doctors to ascribe to the Hippocratic Oath, ensuring your dental health and well-being are always put first. It also requires that its dentist members allow their patients to decide on their own dental treatments. This being the case, if your dentist has recommended a major dental procedure that you’re second guessing the necessity of or simply aren’t comfortable with, it’s best to get a second opinion. Any competent dentist will have no problem with this and may even be able to recommend a fellow dental professional in your area to help make an impartial evaluation.
Where to look for a second opinion
There are a few different perspectives you may want to seek out when looking for a second opinion on a significant dental procedure you may be facing. First, you need to find an office you are comfortable with. If you don’t trust your current provider, it is imperative that you find one who you can trust as any significant procedure adds up to considerable time spent in the dental chair. There are several ways to seek out a provider you trust. You can contact any local dental associations or societies in your area, as many competent dental care professionals will be members or registered with them. Another avenue to check out is the ADA’s “Find-a-Dentist” online tool which can show you qualified dentists in your area and their contact information. Finally, a trusted friend or family member will no doubt know of a dentist they prefer who can provide a reasonably priced evaluation.
What to expect during a second opinion evaluation
During a second opinion dental evaluation, the dentist may require a copy of your dental records to understand your oral health history better. He or she will then schedule a time to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, perform x-rays, and other diagnostics that will give a better picture of your current dental health. After completing these diagnostics, the dentist will meet with you to discuss the findings, and they should offer an unbiased opinion with different options to meet your needs. While this process may require more than one visit, you’ll find their expertise and insights to be invaluable when forming a decision about an upcoming dental treatment.
Understand your dental and health genetics
Believe it or not, your family’s dental health history may have a significant impact on whether you’re a prime candidate for a dental procedure. For patients whose families suffer from oral cancer, excessive gum bleeding, or other health issues, extra precautions may have to be taken into account before dental work is done. Likewise, if you suffer from heart issues or have had other surgeries such as joint replacement, you may need to pre-medicate with antibiotics before dental visits. Asking family members about any heart or congenital health problems is advisable, as is scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss these concerns before moving forward with the procedure.
Evaluate your oral pain and dental health
One question to ask yourself is, do you feel your biting, speaking, and chewing functions are inhibited by the condition for which your dentist has offered a procedure? If you’re feeling ongoing oral discomfort or pain, or a limited ability to enjoy the foods you love or the lifestyle you want, then the prescribed dental procedure may be warranted. Most patients feel not only relieved when a dental procedure is over, but they also find they have more energy and feel absolutely no discomfort. Dental procedures available today use anesthesia during the treatment so you won’t feel any pain and if you’re nervous about getting that procedure done, your dentist has solutions to help with that as well. If you feel anxious about a dental procedure, be sure to communicate this with your dentist. Many dental care providers offer oral sedatives and sedation dentistry that will ensure you feel absolutely no discomfort or anxiety.
Move forward with confidence
If you’re like many dental patients in America, you may feel anxiety or uncertainty about having a dental procedure done, but with an expert second opinion and the confidence the procedure can only improve your quality of life, you should feel more than comfortable in your dentist’s recommendation. Be sure to check out the online resources mentioned above to get a second opinion and communicate with your dentist to ensure he or she understands your concerns. If you’re looking for a second opinion in Colorado, we provide expert impartial dental evaluations and affordable dental care.
Find out more by contacting us today.