How To Get a Second Opinion

How To Get a Second Opinion

Second opinions are welcome at Smile Hilliard, whether we are giving our opinion to a new patient, or a patient of ours is seeking another opinion. There is always room for honest discussion and differing opinions in dentistry. The guidelines below can possibly help one get a good second opinion and make an informed decision on where to go for their dental care.

  1. The second opinion doctor does not need to know that you are seeking another opinion. There is really no value in telling him/her this at all, and in fact, may influence his/her recommendations. Simply go in for the appointment, explain to the doctor what your dental concern is, and let them give you their own unbiased opinion.
  2. If you are bringing x-rays with you to the appointment, bring them in an unmarked envelope or, better yet, send the digital images directly without identifying where they were taken. You want an honest opinion based entirely on your needs and not one founded on professional jealousy or underhanded attempts to “win” you as a patient. If they ask when/where you had the x-rays taken, tell them the approximate date they were taken and request their honest opinion of your dental needs without going into further details.
  3. Trust your instincts. Do the doctor and their team seem like good people? Are they warm, welcoming, and non-judgmental? Is the office clean and neat? Is customer service obviously important to them? Do they often perform the type of dental procedures you need? Will they see your family also?
  4. Know each practice’s philosophy of treatment/care. Are they proactive or reactive in treatment recommendations? Are they prevention-oriented?
  5. Confirm that they are using current technology. Does the office appear modern or dated? Does the doctor value continuing education and keep up with the latest trends in the field?
  6. Make sure the practice is “insurance savvy” but not “insurance driven”.  Will they utilize your dental benefits and process your claims both efficiently and effectively to ensure maximum reimbursement to you? Do they not allow your insurance coverage to dictate your treatment needs?
  7. Consider how the office manages your time. Does the practice run on time, or do you have to wait routinely? Do they double-book appointments or is your time reserved for you alone? Are their procedures fast and efficient or do they seem to take a long time?
  8. Ensure that you are receiving good value for what you pay. Who will give you the most “bang for your buck” overall? Does the treatment, once provided, last a long time and do they back up their work with a warranty?
  9. Trust will be the key to any successful doctor/patient relationship. It is absolutely paramount. Ultimately, you decide. Make your choice with confidence that you are in good hands. Relax with your decision and good luck!

Finally, if the second opinion given is less treatment or less expensive, does that mean that the first recommendation was dishonest? Of course not. Dentistry is not an exact science. Two different dentists may have very different treatment and care philosophies based on their education and their experience. Are there dishonest dentists? Just like in any profession, one or two bad apples probably exist, but they are the exception to the rule. For every bad apple, there are many other genuinely honest and caring dentists, certainly the overwhelming majority in the field, who will take excellent care of you.

Whether we are your first or second opinion, our goal at Smile Hilliard is to make sure you are confident with the treatment recommendations and care that you receive. If you have been diagnosed with dental treatment needs and are just unsure, we are here for you! Contact us at 614-534-0257 to schedule a consultation today.

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We are committed to the best dental solutions for you and your family. Life is complicated. Dentistry doesn't have to be!

At our office in Hilliard, Ohio, Dr. Rachel Sanyk and the Smile Hilliard team are fully committed to providing our patients with the very best in general dentistry with comprehensive preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and therapeutic services.

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