By Vishant Nath DMD, Pediatric Dentist
In many health care fields, second opinions can be a valuable tool. In the field of dentistry, second opinions can promote a greater understanding of the oral health in question, and also can promote a healthy relationship with the dentist. This article will provide some tips on how to get the most out of the use of second opinions regarding pediatric dentistry.
When your child is diagnosed with the need for dental treatment, it is very important that the parents (1) understand why the treatment is needed and (2) have trust in the child’s dentist to best diagnose the treatment. In most cases, when treatment is prescribed in children, time is of the essence. Primary, or baby teeth are softer than permanent, or adult teeth. Because of this, decay can often spread quickly in children. This means that it’s important to get your child’s dental treatment completed in a timely manner.
As stated earlier, its important for parents to understand exactly what the child’s dentist is prescribing regarding treatment, and why they are taking this approach. If you do not understand, make it a point to ask lots of questions, even if you plan to get a second opinion. The information you receive by asking questions may help you to decide which approach you are most comfortable with regarding your child’s dental treatment. Make sure that you get the second opinion quickly. If you wait too long, your child’s need for treatment may worsen, which will mean that the dentists are not comparing the same situation, and therefore their diagnoses could differ.
After you have found a dentist whom you are comfortable with and trust to perform your child’s treatment, it is most important to schedule treatment in a timely manner. If you wait too long, the decay may worsen, and the diagnosis may need to change.
Remember that every dentist gets a similar education in dental school and residency, but once they begin practicing, their experiences will build a knowledge base that can differentiate them. Each dentist will have different treatment methods that they are most comfortable with and have seen provide the best results. There are often different approaches to prescribing dental treatment, all within the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines. All can lead to great oral health for your child.