When Is a Second Opinion By a Dentist Necessary?
Dentistry is not an exact science, which is why Dr. David Brisman recommends that patients always seek a second opinion before going through with any major procedure they are not sure about.
Dr. Brisman, who specializes in dental implants at his Greenwich Village practice, explains that the profession of dentistry is half science and half art. Because of this, there is usually more than one way of achieving any goal, even when it comes to issues as serious as replacing missing teeth or getting rid of decay. Even with an issue as basic as repairing a tooth that has a cavity, dentists have to choose between going with a composite filling or a silver filling. The more complex the issue is, however, the more abundant the options are for how to fix it.
Because of this, Dr. Brisman explains that it is important that patients become as educated about all of their options as possible. Before getting too deeply involved in any dental procedure—be it, orthodontia, crowns, root canals, or even dental implants—Dr. Brisman recommends that his Greenwich Village patients get all of the facts. He also recommends that people ask questions about anything they do not fully understand, and that they get a second opinion if their dentist refuses to present more than one treatment option. If a dentist only presents one way of going forward with treatment and refuses to discuss other options, then Dr. Brisman recommends getting a second opinion.
At his practice in Greenwich Village, Dr. Brisman tries hard to tell patients about their options. From dental implants to cosmetic treatments, he says there is no such thing as being “too informed” for a patient. In addition to presenting his patients with the course of treatment that he thinks they should take, Dr. Brisman says he will also tell them about all their other options as well. Once a patient has been informed and given all the information he needs, then it is up to him to make a decision on how to move forward.
Patients should also continue to ask their dentists questions even once they have chosen a course of treatment. A good dentist should be able to articulate his reasoning and explain it in a way that makes sense to the patient. If this is the case, and the recommended course of treatment makes sense, then there may not be a need for a second opinion.
Because he has a dual specialty in periodontics and prosthodontics, Dr. Brisman is regularly asked to offer second opinions on when people should consider replacing teeth. He says that during his years of teaching, he has mentored many students who are now dentists practicing nearby in the New York area. These former students will regularly refer their Greenwich Village patients to him for second opinions on whether to get dental implants or crowns because they know that his opinion is backed up by years of experience.
Although people will rarely get a second opinion for a dental treatment as minor as a filling, Dr. Brisman emphasizes that the choice is up to the individual. When it comes to more controversial options, such as when a dentist recommends some type of oral surgery, that is when Dr. Brisman says that getting a second opinion becomes essential to protecting your health and ensuring that you make the best choice possible.
According to Dr. Brisman, there are no hard and fast rules governing when someone should seek a second opinion from a dentist. And as far as taking one dentist’s advice over another goes, the best that a patient can usually do is simply go with his gut.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.