Is This Dental Treatment Necessary?

You have likely heard a few stories about unscrupulous dentists who suggest unnecessary dental treatments in an attempt to make money.  If you are not careful, it is possible to be talked into a dental procedure you do not actually need.  Perform your due diligence by asking why suggested dental treatments are actually necessary.  Find out if there are any alternative dental treatments or solutions that will suit your needs without causing discomfort, an abundance of time in the dentist's chair and/or a large bill.

Evaluating recommendations from dentists

When in Doubt, Obtain a Second Opinion

If you suspect your dentist is trying to up-sell you on a dental treatment or procedure, get a second opinion.  Another dentist's analysis of your mouth might yield different results.  This is not to say you should ignore your primary dentist's recommendations.  However, you should have some dental knowledge or at least be willing to perform a little bit of research.  Do not hesitate to obtain a second opinion.  The bottom line is you probably do not need immediate treatment unless you are in extreme pain.  So take some time to do a little digging to make a well-informed decision that benefits your oral health in the years to come without busting your budget.

Think of Your Dentist as an Expert Advisor

Your dentist should be willing to explain why the suggested treatment or procedures are necessary/encouraged.  If you are not satisfied with the explanation for such dental treatments, ask for more information.  If the dentist rushes through his or her response, take it upon yourself to perform solo research or consult with another dentist.  You deserve to know the reason for the suggested treatment, how the treatment works, what types of alternatives are available and the benefits/drawbacks of other treatment options.  Do not hesitate to ask the dentist if he or she would select the same treatment for their own mouth.

Ask to See What is Wrong

Every patient deserves a look at what is going on in their mouth.  This can be accomplished with mirrors, intraoral cameras, diagnodents or x-rays.  Get a good look at the problem area so you can confirm it is indeed in need of attention.  If the issue is not easily visible as it is occurring within the tooth, ask the dentist to describe it or draw it.

Be Extra Cautious About Suggestions for the Replacement of Fillings

The dentist might suggest replacing current fillings with new ones that match the color of your teeth.  This might be framed as a preventative action.  However, the truth is fillings should not be replaced unless they are leaking.  A leaking filling is either broken, damaged or has decay below/around its edges.  So do not accept the suggestion to replace fillings as a matter of course simply because the dentist says so.  This is an excellent example of a suggested procedure that is unnecessary in more cases than most assume.

Call (808) 450-2101 to schedule an appointment with Diamond Head Dental Care in our Honolulu dental office.

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