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Confused (and a little upset) about contradicting dentist opinions



Junior member
Nov 27, 2021
So a couple of weeks I finally got the courage (after 25-odd years) to make an appointment to see a dentist. I was terrified and fully expected to be told that major work needed to be done. So I was pleasantly surprised when the dentist told me that everything looked good except for some calculus build-up which would be take care of during a subsequent cleaning appointment.

Today I went in for that appointment. It was a different dentist, who told me that I had "a lot of gum disease" and would need a deep clean, which by all accounts is a pretty unpleasant thing. My back teeth also had about 10% bone loss, and my wisdom tooth will have to come out.

The first dentist never said anything about these things and even told me the bones around the teeth look okay on the x-rays. Nothing about wisdom teeth either.

So I want to ignore the second dentist and go with the first one's opinion. In any case, I will wait for my next check-up (in 6 months) with yet another dentist and then decide what I am going to do. Do you think this is a reasonable course of action?

I always used to say, if you get 3 different dentists with the same patient, you'll get 4 different treatment plans :)
TBH it sounds like both plans are pretty similar. 10% bone loss is not a huge amount, I assume that both dentists did a thorough periodontal exam including probing round all the teeth? If not then I'd believe the one that did...

BTW Deep cleaning is no more unpleasant than a regular scaling, if it's uncomfortable then the dentist/hygienist can easily do something about it.

The wisdom tooth coming out is probably a difference of clinical opinion based on prior experience.
Dentist No 1 has not seen many wisdom teeth giving issues and is relaxed about them, Dentist No 2 has seen a lot of problems with them and thus is more inclined to get shot of them before they cause problems.
Thanks Gordon. So it sounds like it's borderline needed-not needed. With that in mind do you think it's safe to put this deep cleaning off for a few months until next check-up?

I'm not letting anyone near my wisdom tooth either :).
A really accurate answer to that would depend on what the periodontal chart showed, which I don't have access to.
Having said that, I always thought the deep cleaning stuff was more for the Americans to fit in with their insurance codes, if you're doing a scaling then you'd remove all the calculus and plaque possible anyway :)