Consider a second opinion before starting major dental treatment

Make informed decisions on invasive often irreversible dental procedures. Get a second opinion on dental advice always.

Every day people around Australia consult dentists about routine issues like fillings and tooth whitening but sometimes the consultations involve complex and often invasive procedures to remove teeth, fit braces, instal crowns or veneers or some procedure that is even more complicated. Just like any medical issue, it is sometimes a good choice to obtain a second professional opinion before consenting to or embarking on dental treatment.

Dr Jamie Harris, of in Adelaide is available to any dental patient for a first or second dental procedure opinion.

There may be more than one way to treat a condition or there might be new materials and techniques that offer a better solution to a dental issue. A second opinion offers both thinking time and new expertise to input  in determining the best options for medical or dental care. Modern medical and dental practice rules require patients to be given sufficient information to allow them to make an informed ddecision.

When your dentist recommends a medication or procedure, whether for a dental crisis or an existing condition you will almost certainly have questions and concerns.

Anxiety and some degree of confusion is normal. You do not need to accept everything you are told at face value. Your next step should be to get a second dental opinion.

Do not hesitate to get a second opinion just because you fear offending your dentist. Most dentists encourage second and even third opinion when when it involves a major operation or procedure.

Why seek a second opinion?

Perhaps you’re not feeling confident about your dentist’s decisions. Maybe you’re feeling rushed. Other reasons to get a second opinion include:

* Your insurance company may require it before covering your treatment.
* You may have options that are less expensive than another.
* You’re concerned about the risk.
* You are worried about side effects

How do I seek a second opinion?

Start with your dentist for a recommendation from a friend or the first dentist. 

For second or third dentist or specialist opinion, you can also:

    Ask family or friends who’ve been treated with the same condition.
    Get a list of approved dentists from your insurance company or your doctor.
    Contact your local dentist training institution
    Look in a Dentist Directory or other professional directories at your local library or online.

What do I do to seek a second opinion?

Before you visit a second dentist, have your records forwarded to him or her or take them with you.

The more specific your questions, the more productive your information gathering will be.

A good rule of thumb is: Does the plan of your dentist or the second dentist make the most sense, involve the least risk, focus on the dental issues that are most important to you

Find out more at or call Dr Jamie Harris on (08) 8120 2030


Dental Work: You should consider obtaining a second opinion.

If you have dental health problems that require major dental work, you may benefit from a second opinion. 

If during dental treatment, your dentist informs you that you have dental health problems that need to be addressed with procedures you should consider obtaining a second opinion about a dental health concern.

A second dental health professional’s comment on your dental health may assist if:

Your dentist has diagnosed a major problem, such as oral cancer.
You have had dental work that is not fixing your problem.
You are unsure if the recommended treatment is necessary, or you’re concerned about whether costs.
You feel that your dentist is not qualified to treat your dental health problem.
You don’t have good rapport with your current dentist.

Multiple perspectives can help you make an informed decision about treatment. Dentists specialise in certain aspects of dental health and seeing another specialist or general dentist may be useful.

Once you find a qualified dentist to obtain a second opinion you could ask:-

    Do you agree with the diagnosis my dentist has made?
    What treatment options do I have for my problem?
    How much will each option cost me?
    How will each treatment option improve my dental health?
    What will happen if the problem is not treated?
    What are the risks of each treatment option?
    How long will the treatment benefits last? Will I need future treatments?

The most important thing is to avoid making any major decisions about your dental health until you are comfortable with the care and information you have received.