Visits to the dentist are important for your oral health, but they can also be costly.
It is estimated that approximately one-third of Canadians do not have any form of dental insurance.
The last thing you want to hear is that you need a filling, crown, or root canal, but if your dentist recommends a procedure, do you still have to go through it? When should you consider getting a second opinion?
Consumer Reports reviewed some common dental procedures to help you determine if and when you really need it.
“There are a lot of gray areas in dentistry and there isn’t always a right answer to a given problem. Some dentists may pressure their patients for more expensive treatments. That’s why it might be a good idea to get a second opinion,” said Catherine Roberts of Consumer Reports.
In fact, only 27% of people have ever gotten a second opinion on a recommended dental treatment or procedure, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey.
The researchers asked dentists for advice on what you should do if you were told you needed surgery.
Take something routine like a filling. Replacing or repairing a filling can be important when they are damaged, but beware if your dentist recommends that you replace them just because they are old.
“Age alone shouldn’t be the only reason for new fillings. So push back if your dentist recommends replacing your fillings just because they’re old,” Roberts said.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, make sure they perform the proper tests, which may include x-rays and a sensitivity test. And if your dentist recommends pulling a tooth, consider asking if there are other ways to extend the life of the tooth, because an implant can cost you thousands of dollars.
“A tooth extraction is usually the last step for a damaged tooth. So if your dentist recommends an extraction, ask them to explain why and consider getting a second opinion,” Roberts said.
According to Canadian Dental Association“After answering all of your questions, if you are still unsure, you may want to get a second opinion from another dentist. Often, a second opinion will give you confidence that your dentist has planned the good treatment for you.”
To find a dentist for a second opinion, consider asking friends and family or researching information on the Canadian Dental Association website and be sure to ask for your records, including x-rays, to be handed over. to the second dentist.
When you ask for your second opinion, don’t explain what the first opinion was, so the new dentist can see you without preconceptions.