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Can I have 2 dentists?

Having more than one dentist is certainly an option for many people. There are a few key factors to consider when deciding whether having two dentists is right for you.

Reasons to Have 2 Dentists

Here are some common reasons people choose to have two dentists:

  • Seeing different specialists – You may want a general dentist for cleanings and checkups but see an orthodontist for braces or an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth extractions.
  • Second opinion – Getting a second opinion on a proposed treatment plan or diagnosis can provide peace of mind.
  • Backup when traveling – Having a local dentist as well as one near a second home or relatives you visit frequently can be convenient.
  • Change of location – Moving often but wanting continuity of care may mean keeping your previous dentist.
  • Dissatisfaction – If you are unhappy with your current dentist, you may look for a new one before leaving your current provider.
  • Insurance reasons – Seeing an in-network dentist for lower costs as well as an out-of-network dentist you have an established relationship with.

Considerations When Having 2 Dentists

While it certainly can make sense to have more than one dentist, there are also a few potential downsides to consider:

  • Coordinating records and treatment – Dentists will need to share information to coordinate ongoing treatment.
  • Insurance limitations – Most dental insurance plans limit how often major services are covered, which can be exceeded unintentionally.
  • Higher costs – Seeing multiple providers typically means higher out-of-pocket costs for you.
  • Duplication of services – You may end up repeating services if dentists don’t have your full records.
  • Confusion in emergencies – When you have an urgent dental issue, you’ll need to decide which dentist to see.

Tips for Making It Work

If you do decide having two dentists is right for your situation, here are some tips to make it go smoothly:

  • Communication – Make sure both dentists have your contact info and permission to share records.
  • Record keeping – Request copies of records from both offices to have a complete file.
  • Ask about treatment plans – Have dentists consult each other before starting major treatment.
  • Update providers – Inform dentists of any care you receive at the other office.
  • Avoid overlaps – Schedule cleanings and routine care with just one dentist.
  • Emergency plan – Know which dentist you will visit if a dental emergency arises.

Questions to Ask Your Dentists

If you plan to have two dentists, here are some questions to ask them to coordinate your care:

  • How can we share my records between offices?
  • How can we best communicate about my treatment plans?
  • Who should provide my routine cleanings and exams?
  • Who will take the lead on more complex treatments?
  • How can I avoid exceeding my insurance limits?
  • Who should I contact first for dental emergencies?

Discussing logistics openly with both dentists is key to making this arrangement work for all parties.

The Bottom Line

Having two dentists can make sense in many situations but does require some extra coordination. Consider your specific needs and preferences, costs, and benefits to decide what works best for you. With good communication and record sharing between dental offices, it is certainly possible to have two dentists provide your oral health care.