Unsure about Dental Work? Get a Second Opinion

Leave a Comment - 29


Theodore May

Subject: dentures

I had a upper denture made seems to not fit right looking for 2nd opinion about how they fit . Thank You how much for a dentist visit with no work just looking


Subject: Get second opinion

Make sure if you are getting implants and need a bone graft that you understand how painful and lengthy the recovery can be. This was not shared with me by my surgeon but another dentist may have informed me of this on a second or even third opinion. Before surgery, do your homework. It's never as easy you think and some oral surgeons may minimize your recovery.



if any dentists &/or prosthodontists are out there, i need your opinion on my situation. i have been told that all my teeth need to be crowed, top & bottom, 24 total. this will cost approx. $30,000 or more. i have no pain, but i can tell that some have enamel damage do to "brushing hard", "grinding", & "drinking soda". this is also what my dentist said. i just think at age "57" there must be some alternatives. i read about bonding, coatings, & "building up" of the teeth. do i have any alternatives that would apply to my situation. as some one mentioned, "i am not going to Hollywood", but i want to keep my teeth healthy w/out all this "crowning" and the cost that goes with it. people tell me my teeth look fine, but i do know from seeing my "mouth mold" that they do seem to be thinning.
i have already wore my "bite splint" for three months & there is no jaw or mouth pain and my dentist is ready to go, but i am not, or at least until i talk to other dentist. let me say this also. my dentist is a very nice & genuine person and i would be very comfortable having him do this, but my "gut" is telling me there has to be a better alternative to all the "crowns". he has "built up" a couple teeth already and i am pretty good with that solution, so far. please contact me if you have any thoughts on my situation. are there any organizations in Tampa, fl that can help me financially, if i do need all these crowns? how would you treat some one who simply can't afford this procedure. thank you in advance & i apologize if i sound like i am "begging".

H. Boba

Subject: fees for dental services

I think the reason that more people are getting second opinions for dental work is because fewer have dental insurance and now think twice about paying out of pocket for a large dental expense without first shopping around to see if the fees quoted are within reasonable U&C. For example I was quoted a fee of $ 17, 745 and $ 18,000 for a redoing a permanent bridge. I thought this was exhorbitant since I found that the U&C for a surgeon to do a total knee replacement is about the same amount and certainly far above the scope of risk , skill, educational requirements as for a dentist to redo a bridge. Therefore in the process of doing research on U&C fees for the work I was to have done, a few things came up such as the quality of the framework for the bridge. The same dental code may be used but a dentist who charges a lower fee may be using lower quality material . Anyway, after calling my dentist to tell him that after searching online and getting other guotes that were less then his and that the U&C fees quoted for his area were much less then what he was charging that I was quitting his practice. Soon after he called me and offered to reduce his fee by over $ 4000.00. I had been satisfied with some minor bridge work he had done for me in the past and therefore decided to stay with him.
However it does point out to the fact that insurance very definitely causes fees to rise since those with insurance pay only a portion of the fee that the dentist has negotiated with the insurance company, while those without insurance are charged the dentist's usual and customary fee which is kept high because insurers use U&C to determine how much they will pay for a particular service.

Steven Bloom, DDS


For the most part I think this is a good and timely article. As a practicing dentist in St. Petersburg for 25 years, I too have no problem offering a patient their x-rays at no charge for a second opinion if they are not fully comfortable with our recommendations. It is especially difficult when we find new areas of decay in someone who has been seeing another dentist, but it is our obligation ethically to inform the patient of any problems we see. I am not offended when a patient wants to make sure of the diagnosis or treatment options.
However, use of digital x-rays and intraoral cameras allows us to show the patient these problem areas and most can appreciate and better understand their needs more easily.
When I see someone for a second opinion, often at minimal charge especially if they bring x-rays, I try and understand what prompted this extra visit. Sometimes they just don't feel comfortable with the dentist or his office. If they tell me my recommendations are the same or similar to their current dentist's, then I encourage them to return there if they have been happy.
I also will offer referral to a colleague if I feel they can offer the patient a treatment I may know of but may not currently do that may be best for the patient's condition. It is our duty to diagnosis a patient's dental needs and help them choose the treatment option that may be best for them.

Wayne Thomson


I had subscribed to Angie's list hoping to get some feed back about Clear Choice. I took advantage of their "fee consultation" and was well impressed with their technology and professional staff. It was quite a turn off, however, when the business manager tried to "close" by saying I had to commit right away for a $20,000 + treatment plan, in order to get a 30% discount. Then I didn't know if I was at a dental office of an automobile show room! Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I just don't make $20,000+ decisions on the spur of a moment.
Any feedback on Clear Choice? They do obviously expensive advertising and occupy high rent offices. But what about their treatments and patient satisfaction?

Rick Coker


The truth is that no matter what, dentistry is a relationship business. Obviously, the dentist has to have the tools and skill and caring, but there needs to be a two way trust relationship for things to work. Been practicing cosmetic and restorative dentistry for 39 years, and that is my story!

Jane Moore


Even if you have to pay for a second opinion, it could save you thousands of dollars. Whether a misdiagnosis is due to incompetency or plain ripoff, the bottom line is you don't want to pay for anything you don't need.
Thank you, Angie's List, for this article.

bonnie Weller


Since I developed TMJ problems, once my bridge fell out, I couldn't find another dentist to help me.

Bonnie Weller


My prosthodontist fitted me for two trial bridges. They both looked wonderful. The final bridge, however, included gums. I was shocked! He was more interested in photography than prosthodontics. Isn't there a brotherhood of dentists, etc.?

Marcy Holland


I am a firm believer that one needs to be an informed consumer. I recently needed to have a tooth extracted and was distraught over it. The dentist said that while they generally try to save teeth, some recommend costly, extreme procedures on teeth/gums that are not sound and will end up being lost in short order. We babyboomers were shortchanged growing up without floridated water are paying for this now despite years of conscientious care and regular dental visits. Asking what the options are or mentioning that although I want to look good, I'm not going to Hollywood, will give the provider an idea of what you have in mind as reasonable.

Kathleen DeYoung


I am glad I sought a 2nd opinion on dental work. My than dentist's dental tech told me of the work I needed to have done and took me to the financial wizard for setting up an appointment. No where in all this did my dentist come to talk to me and tell me what was going to me done nor how it would be done; just the dental hygientist. The dollar amount quoted even after insurance payment caught my attention. After much thought, I asked around and got the name of a periodontist and scheduled an appointment. He did an evaluation and exam of my teeth, and his assessment was 1/2 of what my regular dentist said needed to be done. Needless to say, so was the dollar amount, and my insurance covered more than the first quote. I had the work completed and, of course, I have changed dentist and am much happier with the care I am now receiving.

Rod Roberts


BY ALL means get a second dental opinion! Too many dentists now are doing implants and have serious incentives to pull teeth and sell you a $3000 implant!
One recently tried that on me. I got a second opinion and now I am KEEPING my teeth.



Where is the angie's list of recommended dentists located near cleveland ohio area?

David Morgan


As a practicing dentist in the Indianapolis area, I believe that it is important to keep in mind that there are differences in the diagnostic quality of different techniques or technologies. Thus, a difference in the treatment plan from one dentist to another dentist could simply be the difference in the precision of one diagnostic technology or technique employed by one doctor as compared to the other doctor.

In other words, some methods of diagnosis are better at detecting decay at an earlier stage of development, or even detecting decay - period. Thus, a dentist who determines that more dental work is needed may be using methods of caries (decay) detection that are more discerning. The opposite is also true, that a dentist who determines that less dental work is needed may be using methods of caries (decay) detection that are less discerning.

In addition, some practitioners believe that a "Prevent Resin Restoration" is preferable to a "Sealant" using "sealant" material. This is because of the superior wear characteristics of "Composite Resin" restorative material, as compared to "Sealant" material, which can result in better restoration longevity, depending on the techniques employed at the time of placement.

Due to this difference in preferred treatment modality, alone, there could be very significant differences in treatment plans from one dentist to the next. Thus, one could easily misinterpret a perfectly reasonable approach to treatment (and the treatment plan that results from that approach) as overtreatment or undertreatment, depending on the differing perspectives of the dentists involved.

It is the dentist’s responsibility to conduct a thorough examination and to clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of the restorative method that he/she believes is the best choice for a particular situation, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of alternative choices.

In addition, it would be helpful if dentists could explain the advantages and disadvantages of the diagnostic techniques or technology that he/she employs as compared to others; but this, unfortunately, is challenging to do on a daily basis. I have done this in the past as a part of a consultation appointment, but generally only when a patient asks about a particular diagnostic method/technique/technology, because it can be very time consuming to do so. Regardless, the choice of which practitioner a patient wishes to work with is a very personal one, and due to the wide variety of means of gathering diagnostic information that are at a dentist’s disposal; that relationship requires that a level of trust be developed within the professional Doctor/Patient relationship (unless a patient truly wants a thorough dissertation on each means of gathering diagnostic information).

Greg Di Maio


As a disabled engineer I have trouble getting into my dentist's office. Since she is on a hill she really needs a ramp. For the last ten years I've been asking her How I can get in without help. "Oh I have an elevator in the back, but it's never worked. She has been lying to the insurance company about the work she does so you wonder why you're insurance rates go up! Rugs are ripped the place is starting to get into disrepair. She told me that "she is trying to get a 40 hr. wage out of 20 hrs.".

Michael Steinberg


As an area vice-president of the Academy of General Dentistry, I recommend you visit www.knowyourteeth.com, the consumer education section of the AGD website (www.agd.org). I believe that any modern dentist should be able to use intra-oral photographs to allow the patient to see what the dentist sees. Digital x-rays, which are viewable on a video screen, are, for me, also a must. The Diagnodent is great, but watch out for false-positive results. Saving teeth that are very compromised is sometimes a heroic and gratifying mission. AND, sometimes it is a long and expensive science experiment. No single approach is best for everyone.

Sumbul Naqvi


I agree I never do any exams without the laser Diangnadent. I have never not found decay once the device gives me a positive reading. It is the best teeth saver your dentist can use on you!

Alyssa Atkinson


To respond to Dr. Davis's comment, I am the one the article speaks about. What was not mentioned in the article was that Dr. Bell didn't even look at me. Only his assistants examined me. After the exam, they told me I only had 1 cavity. I sat in the chair for nearly 10 minutes while the hygenist tried to enter information into the computer because they had a new computer system. Then by the time I got downstairs to pay, I suddenly had 12. When I called the next day after realizing what had happened, Dr. Bell did not call me back for another 2 weeks. Which he then states that he suddenly remembered thinking that I had a lot of cavities, although he didn't actually examine me. I went to Dr. Wallace for a second opinion and he too used the laser that everyone is talking about. So the question is not about technology used, because the same was used in both cases. But the issue is that in one case, a dental hygenist examined me and the other, an actual dentist examined me. Rather than admitting he possibly made a mistake or that maybe something got messed up in the new computer system, Dr. Bell chose the path to fight and claim that it is impossible for there to be a mistake.

Dr. Thomas H. Davis


I hate to break the news to you but Dr. Bell was probably right with his diagnosis as the Diagnadent laser detects decay early before the hand instrument (explorer) does. The sooner we detect, the more tooth structure we save. Today we don't want to wait and watch things happen if we can intervene sooner.

I am sure Dr. Bell was reluctant to break the bad news to the patient, but he used the technology which is becoming the standard of care that patients expect. It is a eye opener when you open up the tooth and sure enough the decay is in there, and the explorer did not detect it because it is too wide to fit into the grove of pit of the tooth.

dr barry jason


As a dentist with over 30 yrs experience in treating complex cosmetic, sedation and implant cases as well as routine care, i understand patients who want second opinions. In fact i am involved on both sides of them - patients that i have examined that request time for another opinion, and those who come to me for another evaluation. I always will provide a copy of my x-rays gratis to one of my patients who wish to see another dentist and if a patient is seeking a second opinion from me and brings x-rays, i do not charge for the exam. I also don't think it's ethical to review the other dentists findings until after i have made my own. My job is to give an honest opinion and not try to undercut in fees and copy another dentist. Patients usually feel that the information and understanding behind my plan of care is in their best interest and they make their decision about whether or not they will select my services based on their instinct regarding my honesty, experience and skills.

James Deckman


As a practicing dentist I was a bit bothered by the first few paragraphs of your report stating that a microscope and water laser saved two teeth. No mention was made of the original diagnosis of the teeth and why the person was sent to the oral surgeon in the first place.

Second opinions are great. I encourage patients to seek them and welcome patients who come to the office seeking them. I believe that one needs caution to be sure that the person is not looking for a clinician who will agree with what the person wants to do whether or not it is the most beneficial for the person. I would rather not treat someone who has questions whether the treatment I have recommended is right for them. Mutual trust is the gold standard in doctor patient relations.

Not charging for comprehensive second opinions says little for the value the clinician places on his or her opinion.

Kelle Bowers

Subject: 2nd opinion

If I have doubts and want a second opinion, and your offended, then I wouldn't want you to treat me anyway. Dental work is like car work, if they tell you you need a $5000 new motor and you don't get a second opinion, then your a sucker. I'm not letting anybody do any invasive work in my mouth without another dentist confirming the work is needed, the dental profession is in desperate need of some policing, and people need to start questioning "IS that really necessary?" Or can you do a less invasive procedure to fix the problem. You just hand us a bill or a treatment plan for thousands when you can solve the problem in a much more costly way, it just doesn't line your pocket as deeply. I say if your dentist is offended about wanting a second opinion the FIRE him, your Fired.
Signed been there done that and saved my teeth and my wallet.

Sumbul Naqvi


I am a dentist in Framingham MA. I do have patients see me all the time for 2nd or even 3rd opinions. To answer Dave's question, yes it is usually a charged visit. Most patients can request their records/x-rays from their own dentist and they bring it in with them. I sometimes have to take additional x-rays if I need another angle that is not clear on the original x-ray. Sometimes investing money and time in a second opinions may save you come money in the long run. It may also confirm that your own dentist was recommending the right procedure! I know that some patients are hesitant in asking their dentist for their records since they do not want to offend them. I as a clinician do not think it is offensive at all so please do not be hesitate in letting your own dentist know that. Always have open communication with your dental team so that they can help you in the best possible way.
Hope that helps!

Angie's List staff


Thanks for your comment, Dave!
Some dentists do offer free second opinions so you can avoid insurance concerns by doing a little research. Check our List for highly rated dentists in your area and give them a call. It's likely that many will offer this service for free.

Dave C


This is great information, but I think most people will struggle on how to get second opinions within the limitations of what dental insurance will cover for office visits, etc. Is another dentist going to be willing to give an opinion without an official charged service like an office visit and access to patient records, x-rays, etc?

Dr. Glaser


Second opinions are great! In fact, I recommend even three or four opinions. It's rare that I find opinions that correspond with each other. That's why I suggest seeking out three or four dentists to confirm the treatment needed.

Larry Wright


No kidding! I should have got a second opinion when I was given the option to have a root canal or have a cracked tooth removed. All of a sudden this doctor took out my tooth and I asked, "What about the root canal?" Which he left the room and I never saw the doctor again....

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.