5 Benefits of a Dental Second Opinion (Dentist’s Perspective)
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 16, 2024
Visiting a dentist is stressful enough. If you’re diagnosed with hundreds or thousands of dollars of dental work, your stress goes thru the roof.
So do you take the dentist’s word or seek a second opinion? What are the benefits of a second opinion?
Second opinions clarify proposed dental treatment and potentially save you thousands of dollars.
As a dentist, I’ve seen many patients for a second opinion, and statistics show many of my patients have sought a second opinion.Recommended Reading: Dental Second Opinion | The Ultimate Guide
5 Benefits of a Second Opinion
There’s no reason to feel uneasy about asking for a dentist’s second opinion.
If you don’t feel confident with your proposed dental work or have second thoughts about treatment, seek a second opinion from a nearby dentist. Most patients are reluctant to seek a second opinion, especially if they’ve seen the same dentist for many years.
Did you know American Dental Association (ADA) recommends seeking a second opinion if you have doubts about your planned dental treatment? Empower yourself and seek understanding before agreeing to major dental work.
1. Provide Clarity
As a dentist, it’s paramount to foster trust with patients.
A patient won’t commit to dental work without adequate explanation and clarification of the proposed dental work. In fact, lack of understanding or clarity is a common reason patients seek a second opinion.
Patients are hesitant to proceed with dental treatment because they need help understanding the dental issue and the recommended solution.
In addition, patients that receive an expensive treatment plan may desire confirmation from a second dentist to validate the plan. When you have more treatment opinions, patients will better understand potential remedies.
Extra confidence will help solidify the treatment plan when you need major dental work.
2. Seek a Diagnosis
A common complaint I hear from patients is why dentists disagree with proposed dental treatment.
As a dentist, I understand how confusing and frustrating this can be for a patient. Although all dentists are trained at qualified dental schools, each has a unique treatment philosophy.
For example, some schools teach a more conservative approach while others instruct a comprehensive one. In addition, dentists will have different philosophies acquired during years of practice.
Occasionally a dentist may be stumped by a patient’s complaint or be convinced no treatment is necessary. A situation like this is ideal for a second opinion to have a second set of eyes evaluate and diagnose a potential issue.Recommended Reading: 10 Reasons You Need a Second Opinion on Dental Work (Dentist’s Thoughts)
3. Desire Superior Care
Every dentist is uniquely trained, and all have varying skill sets.
For example, some are better at crown and bridge dental work, whereas others excel at cosmetic dentistry. What does your current dentist excel at? Understanding your dentist’s strengths and weaknesses will help clarify decisions for improved oral health.
For example, if you recently had a dental crown placed on your back molar that’s caused persistent pain, you will think twice before having more work completed. Is the dentist competent? Will I receive superior care elsewhere?
These are vital questions to consider before any treatment is completed.
Talk openly with your current dentist and ask any pressing questions to make an informed decision.
4. Cheaper Alternatives
Are you uncertain of the procedure your dental practitioner suggests for you?
For example, say you cracked a tooth, and your clinician advises removing the remaining tooth and placing a dental implant. However, you would rather have a more conservative approach, such as a cap, also known as a crown.
Speak with your dental practitioner about the more traditional option.
After the discussion, if you’re still unsatisfied with the suggested procedure, seeking a second opinion from another dental practitioner might be your best decision.
Major decisions require clarity to move forward with dental care confidently. In addition, some dentists may not take your dental insurance, whereas others will. Find a dentist that considers your well-being and puts your concerns first.
Dental health is tightly connected to systemic health, and seeking the best care is paramount.
5. Better Experience
Have you had a traumatic dental experience in the past?
Did the dentist fail to listen to your concerns and validate your complaints? Unfortunately, most patients have had at least one bad experience at the dentist.
Therefore, an excellent benefit of seeking a second opinion is searching for a dentist to provide a non-judgmental, safe and comfortable experience during treatment.
An honest and ethical dentist will not discourage you from getting a second opinion; they might even suggest it.
When would you need a second opinion?
You should only seek a second consultation if you’re satisfied with your dentist and treatment options.
However, there might be some instances where having multiple consultations could help.
For example, you may feel uncomfortable with the dental specialist you’re visiting. In addition, your previous experience with your dentist may not meet your expectations. Consider seeing another professional for advice on a serious issue.
Although it may be tempting to seek a second dental professional’s advice, it is essential to remember that a second view is not always the best choice. If your current course of action feels wrong or inconvenient, you can ask for an alternate suggestion.
Trust your instincts and choose a dentist offering a different perspective.
How to Get a Second Opinion From a Dentist?
Ask your friends and relatives for referrals if you want a second opinion from a reputable doctor.
You can also look up dentists online, contact your local dental association, or talk to someone at a nearby dental school. To see if a particular provider accepts your insurance plan, visit your insurer’s website.
Dental plans vary depending on whether they’re open or closed networks. Available networks usually allow you to choose any dentist within their provider list. However, if you’re enrolled in a PPO plan, the insurance may desire you to select an in-network dentist.
If you want to know whether your health insurance covers the costs associated with your procedure, ask your benefits provider for specifics. You can get a second opinion at no charge, but you won’t be able to get another set of x-ray images without paying extra.Recommended Reading: Should I get a Second Opinion on Cavities? (Dentist’s Thoughts)
MDA Verification Report
What is the My Dental Verification Report, and why is it important?
Our board-certified dentists will review your case and provide an unbiased second opinion on how you should move forward with your proposed dental treatment.
We respect all dentists suggested treatment; however, we desire clarity for your dental needs. You should understand what dental work is necessary to move forward with treatment confidently.
How We Help
- Avoid unnecessary dental treatment
- Potentially save you thousands of dollars
- Information reviewed privately and securely
- Unbiased assessment that brings you peace of mind
- Quick response time to review the report at your convenience
- Clarity and confidence moving forward with dental treatment
- Completed from the comfort of your own home
With My Dental Advocate, patients of all ages now have an unbiased, expert second opinion to securely review their proposed dental treatment and learn to improve their oral health.
Step 1: Complete Questionnaire
The questionnaire includes a brief medical history, oral hygiene habits, and an opportunity to explain your dental concerns.
Step 2: Upload X-rays
Contact your provider to request your x-rays or take a photo of them at the office. You can also upload dental photos, current treatment plans, periodontal probings, and other supporting documents.
Step 3: Submit Payment
We will privately send your information to a board-certified dentist who will securely assess your case and provide a detailed second opinion for your proposed dental work.
Step 4: Receive MDA Verification Report
We will email your MDA Verification Report second opinion within hours for review at your convenience and from the comfort of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
My Experience & Expertise
Let’s face it: asking a dentist for a second opinion can be uncomfortable.
You may feel judged! Seeking a second opinion is essential to improve your oral health and ensure you receive the best available dental care.
If you’d rather get a second opinion without going to a second dentist, send us your info and receive clarity on your proposed dental work.
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
- Huff K. Providing an ethical second opinion. Spear Education, 2018.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
Gain Clarity with Our FREE Second Opinion Guide
Receive clear, expert second opinions online within 48 hours. Start today!
Our 250+ dental product reviews (and counting), curated by an experienced dentist, are the most comprehensive online.
State-of-the-art chatbot designed to help you discover your perfect toothbrush in just a few simple steps!
Cutting-edge digital tool designed to evaluate your individual cavity risk based on your responses to a series of questions.
Discover your gum disease risk with our quick and engaging 6-question assessment!