7 tips for getting a second opinion

  • Be honest. Tell your first dentist you're planning on obtaining a second opinion. As a patient, it's your right to know your options and the office should respect your wishes.
  • Check with your insurance to see how they handle second opinions. Some carriers may cover the cost.
  • Look for a highly rated dentist or specialist on Angie's List.
  • Make sure the second dentist is licensed by checking their credentials with your state's dentistry board.
  • Ask the second dentist how they charge for second opinions.
  • Request a copy of your X-rays, any treatment plans and the related costs from the first dentist to take to your second opinion appointment.
  • If asking for your X-rays and records makes you feel uncomfortable, ask the second opinion dentist to request the files for you when you make an appointment. 


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Be proactive when it comes to you and your family's dental health and get second opinions when necessary. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Traci S.)
Be proactive when it comes to you and your family's dental health and get second opinions when necessary. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Traci S.)

If you're uncomfortable with a diagnosis, trust your gut. Learn why it can be important to get the feedback of more than one dentist.


It is important to remember that most people are honest. Ask the dentist how they come up with their fees. I know that in our office, we get an annual report on the range of fees for our region and then we adjust accordingly. We are not the most expensive, but we are not the cheapest either.

When the issue is price, haggle.

I have been going to a very high tech dentist for about 20 years. I knew he got a new piece of equipment because my husband came back with a replacement for a crown that broke. A replacement that was about twice as expensive as the last crown I got. At my next cleaning and check up I was told I needed to replace 2 crowns basically "right away". I got suspicious and made an appointment with the faculty practice at the Marquette dental school. After Xrays and exam he told me there was no immediate need at all. I have now told my former dentist I am not coming back and why.

One major detail left out in the "7 tips". There are NO objective measures for a "highly rated dentist". Best advice? Call the offices of Endodontists, Periodontists or Orthodontists. These specialists actually SEE general dentists' work. Regarding price....think about it - unless you're wanting a Rolls Royce, don't look for the highest price - you may not need that. But...if you seek the lowest price, you will lose something important in value.....Like many purchases, a good practitioner will be priced in the upper third to quarter of the fee range.

When comparing prices please remember to compare apples to apples

Yes, but when the issue is that the price seems to be high, how do you proceed?

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