I have patients who come see me for a second opinion. Their dentist has told them they need a crown or a filling or something and they want to be certain that it’s necessary. This tells me they don’t trust their dentist, they don’t have a good relationship with their dentist, or they might feel pressure to have the procedure done immediately without understanding why.

So how do you know if your dentist is telling the truth?

Ask to see the x-ray of the tooth.

Is the cavity large - more filling than tooth? Can they show you on a photograph why the tooth needs treatment? If the treatment is extensive, did they discuss alternatives?

Fees for “extras?

Are there added fees that should be part of the procedure? For instance, for a crown, you would typically have a “buildup” (placing material where the filling and decay were so there is more substance to retain the crown.) Are there fees for removal of the filling, a special margin on the crown, or for the material of the crown?

Most dentists are very honest, hard working individuals. Check their credentials. Do they have extra initials after dental degree (DDS or DMD)? Not PC or PA as those indicate that they are incorporated as a business. If you are not sure, get that second opinion!

For second opinions and any other dental issues, make an appointment with Dr. Dawne Kildoo at Legacy Smile of Southern Arizona, 520-625-0131.

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