Second Opinions in Dentistry
Should I Get A Second Opinion?
At Heartfelt Family Dental Excellence, we want you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. If you feel uncomfortable with a treatment plan from Dr. Johnson, from another provider, or extensive oral care and high cost may cause you a financial hardship, please let us know. We will answer any questions you have. We encourage second opinions if you are hesitant about the treatment options presented to you by our offices or another dentist. A second opinion will give you additional knowledge and the peace of mind needed to make the most informed decision.
Each doctor has a unique viewpoint, and own preferred way to deliver information, and much depends on a dentist’s personality. The great thing is that you have options!
What Do I Need to Do First?
Do your research! Ask friends and family to give you recommendations on a dentist they use, and read reviews online to find a local dentist that has good reviews and offers second opinions; most do. Before your appointment, request copies of all diagnostic testing from your original dentist to take with you to your appointment. Also request a printed, detailed estimate of the work recommended with costs and what insurances will cover. Request as early as possible, it traditionally takes a few days to be prepared for you to pick up. Next, make your appointment.
- Thoroughly read your original estimate to familiarize yourself with terms and costs.
- Go to the internet and do your own research. Google the procedure(s) recommended and a plethora of sources will appear. Read several articles and take notes for questions to prepare for your appointment. Be an informed consumer, but also remember everything we read online is not 100% true, so keep an open mind.
- Become acquainted with your dental insurance coverage. Most insurance companies have a quick reference guide which will give you information in a nutshell, and may give exact or cost ranges of procedures.
- Educate yourself regarding dollar amounts paid for procedures vs. percentages paid and what your copays are per procedure. This will also protect you and enhance your knowledge base, so you can feel empowered to discuss any unclear items on your estimate or billing statements.
Appointment Time, Come Prepared!
At your second opinion appointment, come with a list of prepared questions – a hard copy or on your electronic device. This will make your appointment flow smoother, and you will be more relaxed know you are prepared to have all your questions answered.
Questions you may want to ask:
- What are your recommended treatments for this condition?
- Is there more than one way to treat the condition?
- What technologies would be used in my treatment?
- What technologies do you have in this office? – Digital x-rays (panoramic, digital, 3D), photography (intraoral and extraoral), CEREC, Vizilite, or VELscope, etc.
- If the procedure requires restorative materials or prosthetics such as a filling, crown, implant, or bridge, what materials do you recommend and what is available? What are the cost differences?
- How many years is the repair estimated to last?
- Is the treatment guaranteed for any length of time?
- What are my sedation options? (Some options are nitrous oxide, local anesthetic, and IV sedation.)
- What happens if my dental appliance/prosthetic breaks?
- What are your practices after hours emergency care options?
Last but not least...
- How much do your offices charge for recommending treatments?
- What portion is covered by insurance?
- What payment options are available? (Care Credit, Lending Tree, credit cards, or other credit options)
Remember, you are working to make the best decisions for you and your family’s oral health today and in the future. If you question a recommendation or diagnosis, take an active role in decision making, get a second opinion. More information can be found in this article from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, information is global and covers adults and children’s dentistry.
Don’t Delay, Call Today!
Our team at Heartfelt Family Dental Excellence welcomes your questions and concerns. Call us at 208-667-4551 to schedule your second opinion appointment. We are located conveniently at 114 W. Nieder Avenue, Suite #101, near Costco and Mongolian Barbeque.