Visit to a Mercury-free Dentist

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Last week I met with Dr W, a mercury-free dentist. I had found him on my own through searching on Google, and then he also appeared on a list Dr B the ND gave me. His website was very reassuring that he would use the safest procedure for mercury removal. I liked that he used the IAOMT protocol for removing amalgams and that they offer biocompatible materials testing–Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing, to be specific– (to determine whether the fillings he places will be suitable to one’s body chemistry)

The dental hygienist led me to a dental chair, and the first thing she asked me was if I had a naturopath I was working with. This impressed me on two accounts–one, they value holistic care, and two, they understand the seriousness of mercury and that individuals should be working with a doctor who is knowledgeable about mercury issues in the body. They have a list of references if you are not already working with a mercury-knowledgeable doctor.

Dr W came in and first asked me if I had any questions I wanted to ask straight away before he did his spiel about himself. I said, no, go ahead. He told me that he had been in mercury-free dentistry for 30 years and was very passionate about it. They researched all the materials they use for fillings. There were various options for porcelain as well as various options for composites. He said none of his composites contained BPA. All their materials were created especially for holistic dentists. None of his patients seem to have reactions to the materials he uses, but I could do the Clifford’s blood test if I wanted to be sure. He asked me again if I had questions. I can’t remember if I asked any at this point.

Next was the exam. He checked all my teeth and fillings, and he declared that I had “very, very healthy gums” (another sign that I am healing, since I’ve NEVER heard a dentist say that to me before–in fact, I’ve been told I had gingivitis, even in March at my last dental visit, I was thought to have very mild gingivitis still). As he went over my teeth, the hygienist took notes. He said that all my fillings were candidates for composite replacements. Dr B the ND had told me to only get porcelain, so I asked Dr W about that. When he told me how costly porcelain fillings were ($1100 each!) I could see why he was pushing for the composites. He said I could have porcelain, of course, if I wanted. He wanted to be sure I knew that was totally an option, but once he told me the cost, I laughed and said no thanks. That would run me about $11,000. Um…no. Just can’t afford it.

The composite prices depended on how many sides of the tooth they needed to cover–if the filling went over three sides of the tooth, for example, they are more expensive; however, it didn’t matter how deep or wide the fillings were. The estimate for my mouth came to $2150: $210 for one sided fillings, $281 for two sided, and $329 for three sided. Nine fillings total. I also had to pay for the exam which was $111. Fortunately I had x-rays from the student clinic I normally go to (which only cost me $15 but would have cost $250 at this or any other professional clinic). Did I mention we don’t have dental insurance?

I’m pretty sure Dr W asked me one more time if I had any questions before he left. My only real concern was this chemical Dr B had warned me that is in some composites that acts like BPA but isn’t technically BPA. Dr W had no idea what I was talking about. He said Dr B could call him if she was concerned, and he would be glad to know if there was something else he should be on the lookout for. He seemed very genuine that he had done his very best to choose the safest materials possible for his patients. On my way out, the hygienist went and got me a sheet that listed the different fillings they used so that my naturopath could research them if she liked.

I haven’t shown the estimate my husband yet, and I’m scared to. I need to see Dr Bigelow again to make a plan, anyway. And even though I really feel like this should get done, I still am not 100% sure I should get it done. If that makes any sense. (It’s hard to think clearly when lots of money is at stake.)

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