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3 tips on getting a second opinion for dental work

3 Tips on Getting a Second Opinion for Dental Work

March 12, 2018

When it comes to your oral and overall health, you should feel comfortable with the treatment plan that’s recommended. Occasionally, that means you may want to get a second opinion for a dental diagnosis or recommended dental work. 

3 times you may want to get a second opinion


Your dentist diagnoses a potentially serious problem. An oral cancer diagnosis is a great example. It’s a serious illness that involves complex treatment and coordination across your entire medical and dental team. It’s a good idea to get another care provider’s perspective before selecting a treatment plan.

You’re unsure of the treatment your dentist recommends for you. Let’s say you chipped a tooth and your dentist recommends pulling the remaining tooth and inserting an implant. But, you’d rather receive a more conservative treatment like a crown. Talk with your dentist about the more conservative plan. If after the conversation you’re still not comfortable with the recommended treatment plan, getting a second opinion from another dentist may be the right choice for you.

Your dentist recommends oral surgery. Oral surgery may include anything from a tooth extraction, or pulling, to treatment for a broken jaw. If your dentist believes oral surgery is the best thing for you, it’s a good idea to talk to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They specialize in oral surgery and are a great resource to learn more about your dentist’s recommended treatment.

Your dentist may even encourage you to seek a second opinion during the above circumstances. Either way, seeking a second opinion can be overwhelming. And we’re here to help.

3 tips when getting a second opinion for dental work


Ask your dentist for recommendations. Your dentist is a great resource. After all, it’s likely their diagnosis or proposed treatment that’s prompted you to seek a second opinion. Depending on your situation, they can recommend general dentists or dental specialists. 

Bonus tip: Be sure their recommended dentist participates in your plan's network. This helps alleviate unexpected out-of-pocket costs for treatment. Our members can use our Find a Dentist tool to check.

Review your dental benefits before you schedule your second appointment. Plan designs vary so it’s a good idea to ensure the second appointment is covered. Our members can create or sign in to MySmile® to review their plan details.  

Ask the dentist for a Predetermination of Benefits before you receive any extensive dental work. It’s a document you receive from your dental insurance carrier that details the dentist’s treatment plan, what your dental plan covers, and what you can expect to pay the dentist for it. It’s basically a detailed out-of-pocket cost estimate based on your dentist's specific treatment plan. 

When it comes to your oral and overall health, you have the right to seek a second opinion. We're happy to help if you have any questions along the way.

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