I recently went in for a consult on getting dental implants done. I saw my regular doctor; the same guy who has treated me for about two decades now and who has seen me through all kinds of work, from fillings through crowns and root canals. I would literally trust him with my life. But, and here’s the BIG but… I’m not sure I trust him with my dental implants. He went over the details with me and said he’s got some concerns that my sinuses are too low for the procedure to work right. And, instead of doing the diagnosis himself, he’s sending me to an oral surgeon to get a second opinion. I find this a more than a little unsettling. Either it’s a problem or it’s not. I can’t shake the feeling that he’s sending me there because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Is he getting a second opinion normal, or does this seem weird? Should I go forward or find someone else to do this for me?
There might be two different things going on here. On the one hand, he might not be sending you for a second opinion. It could be referring you to the oral surgeon for treatment. Sometimes that gets worded differently, like a very casual, “I want the OS to check this out first.” In reality, the dentist sending you there has a pretty good idea that you do indeed have low sinuses and you will need surgery to correct that before moving forward. In which case, it would be the oral surgeon performing that procedure. In situations like that, he’s not really getting a second opinion, but sending you to someone who will likely confirm what he’s already saying and provide the treatment.
In some cases, dentists really do seek out second opinions from specialists and even their peers. Just like anyone else, they want to be certain they’re making the right call. Whereas you might turn to the person with a desk next to you at work or even your boss, dentists, especially those who work alone, tend to confer with specialists.
The bottom line is that he’s given you a referral to a specialist he trusts, and regardless of the reasons, it sounds like he’s putting you in good hands. There’s absolutely no harm in going and seeing what he has to say. Chances are, he’s going to tell you that you’ll need a sinus lift to have the dental implants done, and he’ll walk you through the process. On the off chance that he tells you it’s unnecessary, you can at least have confidence that your doctor is acting out of an abundance of caution, which is never a bad thing.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin dental implant provider, Dr. Steve Sirin.