It can be confusing and frustrating for patients when treatment plans differs from dentist to dentist. Although there is a professional standard that all dentists are bound by and they are ethically and professionally responsible for providing the best level of care possible, when it comes to recommending a course of action, opinions may vary from provider to provider.
One practitioner may make a recommendation that is more conservative than one proposed by another and factors like experience and skill level may influence a provider’s judgement. It is no different than the different techniques, materials and levels of care that are often the considerations of other healthcare professionals.
In an ideal world, most of us would like to be presented with a few different options, allowing us to pick the one that fits us best after taking all things into consideration – not the least of which is quality and money.
Let’s look at how a treatment may differ for a tooth with a large filling that has broken or decayed. Some of the factors that the dentist may consider before deciding on the best course of action is how large the filling is, how much of the natural tooth structure is remaining to support a filling, and will pins help to reinforce the restoration? Another important consideration is how much time and money a patient would like to invest in this tooth. Would they like to proceed with a less expensive, pin-reinforced filling with the understanding that it may break again in the future (sometimes to such a degree that the tooth is unsalvageable) or would they like to invest in a metal reinforced, laboratory made crown (cap) which will last longer, provide more strength and support for this weak tooth, but also cost more and require attentive home care?
If you are equipped with enough information about your particular situation and have the supporting documentation and x-rays, seeking a second or even third opinion is a perfectly reasonable thing to do and may be just the thing you need to help you know what options are available to you.
At Your Smile Dental Care we believe that investing in a beautiful, healthy smile is never a waste of time and would never be insulted if someone wished to confer with another provider. But remember, rather than be disappointed when another dentist offers a different recommendation, ask them why they prefer one treatment option over another and what he/she would recommend for themselves or a family member in a similar situation.