Your Family Dentist Explains Getting A Second Opinion

My four year old son is one of those “rowdy” boys.  Not only is he a roll down the stairs, swing from the rafters, and bounce of the wall kind of rowdy, but he’s also a great mentor for his two year old brother.  Of course, when I find myself in the midst of him jumping to me off the couch or tackling me from behind, what fascinates me is not necessarily is pure lack of fear, but more so, his unwavering sense of trust.  Wouldn’t be nice if we all felt that same amount of trust in everything?

In the dental field, there is nothing more important than a relationship between patients and their dentist.  However, sometimes that relationship of trust needs reinforcement.  This is where the worth of a second opinion can be invaluable.  Here are some tips and information about second opinions.

When you receive a second opinion from a dentist, it is important to explain the entire situation to the dentist so he can properly assess and determine your treatment needs.  Providing the dentist with any x-rays or treatment plans will help the dentist evaluate your initial diagnosis.  You may be expected to take new x-rays as each dentist uses different systems and x-rays from other offices may not be decipherable.

Always ask a dentist to show you any tooth lesions or defects that he finds either visually or with x-rays.  With the advent of technology it is easy to illustrate on a digital x-ray or intraoral photo exactly where any defects exist.  A good dentist will educate patients on how cavities or restorative deficiencies are identified and why they require treatment.  If the dentist is able to visualize or diagnose an issue, illustrating this to the patient verbally and visually should be straightforward.

Finally, ask lots of questions.  Never hesitate to engage in conversation with your dentist until you feel comfortable with your understanding of the situation.

Remember, every dentist is different, but you should always feel comfortable with understanding and receiving dental care.  Happy smiling!

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