Have you ever visited a dentist and felt uneasy after the appointment? Maybe something they shared didn’t sound quite right to you, or maybe their style of care was not a good fit for your needs. In any case, it may be time to seek a second opinion.
Especially here in Los Angeles, there are quite a few dentists, and it’s expected that you will connect better with some than with others. But when it comes to your treatment, it is vital to know you are receiving the best medical advice. Here are six warning signs that should prompt you to get a second opinion on dental work.
1. You’re Suddenly Recommended Multiple Procedures That Likely Aren’t Necessary
Perhaps you’ve taken your car to a mechanic only to hear that a component you have never had problems with suddenly needs replacing. Unfortunately, a visit to the dentist can sometimes feel like a similar experience.
If it is your first check-up (alondradental dotcom) at a new dental office and the doctor recommends multiple procedures, be sure to ask questions. The dentist may suggest replacing a filling or crown, even though you have not noticed any pain or discomfort in that area. This could be a warning sign that you need a second opinion from another dentist.
While there undoubtedly will be times when these procedures are necessary, your dentist should always present the data to you by showing you X-rays and discussing the pros and cons of waiting.
Most restorative dental work should last for at least ten years, often longer, so you are right to have some concerns if the dentist wants to redo work from only a few years ago. Especially if they push you toward expensive work during your first visit, be sure to consult another doctor before scheduling your appointment. After all, a second opinion from a dentist is never a bad thing.
2. You Don’t Feel As Though Your Dentist is Being Transparent
One of the most important elements in a doctor-patient relationship is trust. It can be hard to maintain a high level of trust if the professional you’re working with is not entirely open with you and explaining everything to you as you navigate each step of your journey. This can be a sign to get a second opinion on dental work.
For example, your dentist should always show you your X-rays and patiently explain what’s happening on each tooth. Before a procedure, the dentist should explain what will happen, why it’s necessary, and give you options to ensure your comfort and peace of mind.
If your dentist ever says, “It’s too complicated to explain,” that’s a clear sign you need a second opinion.
3. You Have Questions About Their Business Practices
Many wonderful dental offices out there are committed to your comfort and care. However, many dental offices will prioritize profits, even if it negatively impacts their patient base. Of course, it’s important to know what to look out for in this regard.
What actions might illustrate that a dental office is engaging in practices that are designed to be misleading, malicious, or otherwise undesirable? Here are some examples that might lead you to seek a second opinion from a new dentist.
- Your office is currently marketing a promotion, only for you to find out that it’s not actually available or that there’s a host of hoops you need to jump through to take advantage of said promotion.
- Your local office describes themselves as affordable, only to reveal that their work is quite expensive once they have you in the chair.
- They promote a ton of satisfied customer reviews. Still, actual reviews online in other places show that most people are not satisfied with their care and that they’re trying to hide this information from prospective patients.
These are just a few examples, but they illustrate why reaching out for a second opinion on dental work is vital not only to your oral health but your financial health and well-being. Some dental offices are happy to answer any questions you may have about insurance or our office policies before you sit through an appointment.
4. You’re Not Comfortable With the Way Your Dentist Is Engaging With You
Dental work isn’t always comfortable. Some procedures are invasive, and you may have a certain fear of the work or the tools used to get your oral health back in good standing. A good dentist will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that you’re as knowledgeable and as comfortable as possible. However, that’s not how it always plays out. This is when it’s a good time to look for a second opinion from another dentist. Here are some ways a dentist may ignore your preferences.
- Not listening to your concerns about a procedure
- Not pausing if you say something hurts or is uncomfortable
- Using a condescending voice when telling you how to improve your health
- Making assumptions about your lifestyle or other health challenges
Dentists invest in their patients by using the latest technology to maximize comfort and taking the time to make sure each individual is comfortable before they proceed.
5. You’re Not Given All of the Options Available to You
Many dental problems have more than one possible solution. A second opinion from a dentist is almost always necessary if you conduct research and find that there are other ways to go about solving an oral health issue than what you heard about at the office.
Sometimes this isn’t malicious — a dentist may just recommend the procedure they are more comfortable performing. But if a dentist knows something else may be better for you, they should readily sign off on a referral for you to get a second opinion on your dental work at an office with another specialty.
6. There are Serious Oral Health Issues You are Facing That Should Not Be Handled By Just One Dentist
Similarly to the last point, sometimes it’s simply in your best interest to see more than one medical professional. Especially for a significant diagnosis such as oral cancer, a second opinion is necessary to gain a full understanding of all the dental treatment options at your disposal.
Of course, oral cancer isn’t the only example. Maybe you had another major oral health problem and have already received treatment from a dentist. However, the issues are still persisting. You decide to get a second opinion from a dentist, and they determine that the other dentist’s work was not up to standards and did not actually address the issue.
The reality is that professionals can still make mistakes. Taking the time out to see other dentists to learn more about a serious health issue and what can be done to fix it can mean the difference between unnecessary or ineffective care and the immediate handling of a serious problem.
Inner Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Carolin Im m; Unsplash; Thank you!
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Photo by jmGrEfias; Unsplash; Thank you!