Should I Get a Second Opinion on Tooth Extraction or Root Canal?

Dentist and patient discussing a second opinion on tooth extraction looking at an x-ray

It’s understandable if you feel scared or nervous when recommended invasive and irreversible dental procedures like tooth extraction or root canal treatment. In these situations, it’s wise to consult another dentist and ask for their thoughts on your case.

You should get a second opinion on tooth extraction or root canal treatment if you’re uncomfortable with your current dentist, the treatment plan they recommended, or the overall cost of the procedure. A second consultation provides you with more insight, enabling you to make an informed decision.

In this article, I’ll help you decide when it’s the right call to get a second opinion, how to find a second dentist, and how to prepare yourself for the upcoming consultation. 

When To Get a Second Opinion on Tooth Extraction or RCT?

If you’re having doubts and asking yourself – “should I get a second opinion on tooth extraction or root canal?” then you should consider getting a second opinion. 

an x-ray of teeth showing pain in a lower wisdom tooth

This helps put your mind at ease and enables you to make an informed decision.

Essentially, you should always get a second opinion if you’re uncomfortable with any one of the 3 Ps:

  • Provider
  • Procedure
  • Price

Let’s discuss each of these points in more detail:


If your dentist doesn’t have a license or isn’t board-certified, you should definitely not trust their assessment of your oral health.

That being said, just having a license or certificate doesn’t automatically make them the best dental provider for you.

The thing is, each certified and licensed dentist has gone through the same training and shares the same knowledge on how to diagnose and treat dental problems. However, different dentists practice medicine in different ways, and thus, will recommend different courses of action.

For example, a conservative dentist will look at your teeth, and if they diagnose the problem as not critical, they might recommend a wait-and-watch approach.

In contrast, a more proactive dentist will recommend that you get your dental work done right away to avoid any possible future problems.

Then there are also dentists, who mean well but are always in a rush with a “cut-to-the-chase” mentality. These dental providers can come off as too “pushy” and “arrogant” for some, while “professional” and “efficient” for others.

Ideally, both you and your dentist should be on the same page. 

Your dental care provider should make you feel comfortable, understand how you want to progress with your dental care and educate you about your options.

If you’re not getting this from your dentist, get a second opinion.


After examining x-rays and assessing your oral health, your dental provider will conclude that you need (or not) a particular treatment. Now, if you feel that the dentist’s judgment was wrong, then consulting a second dentist is the best thing you can do.

Closeup portrait of beautiful young woman lying in dental chair smiling and getting a second opinion between a root canal and tooth extraction

For example, let’s say one of your teeth isn’t too damaged and can be saved with an RCT. However, your dentist recommends a tooth extraction, which means a permanent void in your oral cavity.

Alternatively, a tooth might be beyond the point of saving. But a dentist might offer RCT because it’s more profitable than tooth extractions.

In either case, if you’re feeling that your dentist is overplaying or underplaying the severity of your oral health, then getting a second opinion is the best way to understand what’s right for you.


There’s no doubt that dental procedures have become super expensive, especially if your health insurance doesn’t cover them.

As such, if your current dental provider is heavy on your pockets, consulting a more budget-friendly dentist is a viable option.

Both tooth extractions and root canal treatments are standard dental procedures that every licensed and certified dentist can perform. 

So all you need to do is find a dental provider that fits your budget or is connected to your health insurance network.

This will help you fix your teeth without forcing you to carry financial baggage.

How To Find the Best Dentist for a Second Opinion

So you don’t like your current dentist and want a second opinion. But what if your second dentist is worse?

That’s definitely possible, and to help you avoid that, I’ll list 4 tips to help you find the best dentist to get a second opinion, these are:

  • Ask friends and family: Get feedback from your friends, family, and colleagues about the dentists they visit. This gives you access to many first-hand referrals to dental providers who are already on good terms with people you know in real life.
  • Look at online reviews: Search the internet for reviews on a dentist before booking an appointment. Check the experience of other patients with that dentist. While you’re at it, also get a view of their office and credentials if that’s posted online. This allows you to pick the perfect dentist specific to your needs.
  • Call a dental school: If you live near a dental school, go there and ask for a secondary dental consultation. Here, dentists aren’t typically monetarily driven and will help you with the best advice.
  • Call your dental insurance company: Your dental insurance provider is in touch with hundreds of dentists. Ask them who you should visit and which provider offers the best service. They might be able to hook you up with some great dentists near your locality. What’s more, they’ll recommend dentists who work in their network, so you don’t need to worry about insurance coverage.

Prepare Yourself for the Second Consultation

After booking an appointment for a second opinion with your new dentist, you need to make sure that you get the most value out of this consultation. 

Clear all your doubts, ask the necessary questions, and develop a well-informed view of your current dental health and the right course of action.

I’ve put together a short list that should help prepare yourself for the consultation with your second dentist:

  • Take the right documents: Carry with you any X-rays or lab reports from the last 6 months, especially the ones reviewed by your primary dentist. This will help your new dental provider understand your dental condition more quickly.
  • Get your second dentist’s point of view: Ask the dentist how they evaluate your current dental condition and what, according to them, is the right treatment plan. You should also ask for a few alternative treatment options, the cost of each procedure, potential risk or consequences of each procedure, how many such “consequences” has the dentist experienced in their practice, and the possibility of future treatments.
  • Ask questions about the dental procedure: When you and the dentist settle on a particular dental treatment, ask them details about the dental procedure. Learn about the medications they’ll use, the length of the treatment, recovery time, and so on.
  • Talk about the cost: Finally, talk about the cost of the treatment and whether they’re in network with your insurance provider. Tell them if you have financial concerns with the treatment cost. Good dental providers are connected to insurance and financing companies that can help break up the treatment cost into small, easy-to-play installments.

Key Takeaways

Health care providers don’t own patients, and it’s your right to seek a second opinion. 

If you find that you’re uncomfortable with your dentist in the way they’re handling your case, with the dental procedure they’re recommending, or with the cost of treatment, then you should get a second opinion.

The best way to find a second dentist is by asking your friends & family, looking at online reviews, reaching out to nearby dental schools, or calling your dental insurance company.

When preparing for your consultation with the second dentist, remember to take the necessary medical documents, discuss your dental goals, clear your doubts about the dental procedure, and talk about the cost.

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