When It’s Fair to Compare on Major Dental Treatment (Including a Second Opinion)

| 6 min read

Perhaps you’re acquainted with the good new-bad news scenario. It often comes down to choosing which comes first (the good or the bad).

It’s common to feel that juxtaposition when being faced with major dental treatment. What’s further juxtaposed is whether or not to consider getting a second opinion on your diagnosis for major dental work.

Where second opinions are concerned - it’s not a choice of good or bad

Frankly, some dental work can come with a higher price tag. Sticker-shock isn’t uncommon.

Even so, you might feel that you need additional information about the recommended treatment.

Start by understanding that a dentist examines, diagnoses, and plans treatment based on available evidence. X-rays, visual observation, education, experience, and personal care standards (conservative or aggressive) factor into their decision.

Know that you (the patient) aren’t at the mercy of their diagnosis. That’s the privilege you have with a second opinion option.

As we’ve confirmed before, a good dentist knows and understands the importance of your health related decisions - including (if you’re so inclined) seeking a second opinion.

Sure, a major dental treatment recommendation can raise a flag of sorts. When it does, approach your next steps with a comparative mindset.

When it’s fair to compare on major dental treatment

You shouldn’t feel in-the-dark or disempowered about your oral health care options. Like you would any decision, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible to arrive at a solution.

This is where healthy comparisons come into play.

Compare on price

There are available resources to help you do price comparisons on what’s considered major dental treatment. A good place to start are dental industry organizations.

  • Dental insurance providers. Search procedure cost comparison information.
  • Professional dental organizations. The American Dental Association (ADA) and Dental Economics (an industry publication) provide cost for service surveys to provide awareness around fee averages.

Evaluate the fee you were quoted using available price comparisons and industry survey data.

Compare on procedures

Dental procedures can be perceived as fundamentally the same dentist to dentist. Where they differ will often involve the recommended scope of treatment, materials used, and any related lab fees that might apply.

  • Keep in mind that a “low” price doesn’t mean it’s the best for your condition.
  • Discuss all treatment recommendations with the providing dentist.
  • Ask detailed questions about materials to be used. Are there alternatives? Is this the best for longterm results and function?

A particular dentist might have a default preference for treating your particular dental issue. It’s fair to inquire about their reasons for a certain treatment recommendation and related procedural protocols.

Compare on opinion

A dental consultation provides you an amount of useful information you can use to arrive at a treatment decision. Getting a second opinion can expose you to a dentist’s expertise, their chair-side manner, their care standard, and their practice/team culture.

Use the previous two comparison models (price and procedures) when seeking a second opinion about treatment - especially major dental treatment.

There’s a lot to think about when major dental work is recommended. Feeling conflicted or desiring more information is normal.

As second opinions are concerned - you have a convenient, easy, and potentially cost-effective option.

Consult with a licensed, online dentist.

  • Ask questions about your dental issue on a secure, easy-to-use online platform.
  • Support your questions with available health records, images, and the information from an initial or previous diagnosis.
  • Get a second opinion based on the information you provide and their secondary diagnosis.
  • Compare the diagnoses and make a decision about your treatment option(s).
  • Schedule an in-office appointment for treatment from a recommended, licensed dentist.

Virtual dentistry is a good resource to have on-hand when you feel the need for a second opinion about dental treatment - including major dental treatment. The following resources are useful:

The More You Know About Routine Dental Treatment, Restorative Dental Treatment, and Second Opinions - the Better

4 Reasons to Choose a Virtual Dental Appointment

The Dental.com team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions - you’re covered!

  • Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
  • Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.

Discover more about Dental.com on our How it Works page. Or Register Now.