I’m curious about something. I keep seeing dentists advertise as mercury-free dentists. Wouldn’t all dentists be mercury-free by now? If not, why aren’t they? I’m worried about this because my son is about old enough to go to the dentist. Will I have to ask ahead of time if the pediatric dentist is mercury-free?
As long as the American Dental Association (ADA) says that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe, there will always be dentists who place them. Fortunately, the number of mercury-free dentists is increasing. This is due to patient demand and one of the great benefits of having a free-market system. More patients are looking for mercury-free dentists. As a result, more dentists are complying.
You will still need to call and ask that white, composite fillings are available at a practice, but shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a general dentist to accommodate you.
Insurance and Mercury-free Fillings
One issue patients run up against is dental insurance. When it comes to dental insurance, they don’t usually cover composite fillings. They don’t care about what the best procedure is. They will pay for what is adequate. However, many dentists will bill the insurance for the amalgam filling and just have you pay the difference.
Pediatric Mercury-free Dentists
It is sometimes harder to find a mercury-free pediatric dentist, though they are out there. This is because of the bonding procedure for composite bonding is different that amalgam. It has to stay completely dry during the bonding process. That is sometimes hard with wiggly children.
Most wiggly children do fantastic with some mild dental sedation. It is often all that is needed to help a child stay comfortably still. It doesn’t have to be the type of sedation which makes them loopy. Just some nitrous oxide is often enough to calm down a nervous child. Most of them sleep through the procedure. Then, when it is over, the dentist switches the nitrous to oxygen and they up and ready to go.
If you live in a small town and have trouble finding one, there are general dentists who treat children, who can provide the services you want for your child.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Pediatric Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.