This week is Mercury Awareness Week, a joint campaign by Dr. Mercola and Consumers for Dental Choice to educate people on the problem of dental mercury and the promise of a mercury-free future. Until August 28, 2016, any donation you make to Consumers’ will be matched in full by Dr. Mercola – up to $100,000!
Your donation will not only help Consumers for Dental Choice get the word out about the devastating health effects of mercury exposure. It may help you get better insurance coverage on your next dental visit.
If you have dental insurance, you may already know there’s built in bias for mercury amalgam fillings. Amalgam – the fastest, cheapest, most toxic material used to fill teeth – sets the lowest bar that your insurance company uses to determine their “usual and customary” allowance.
Not only does the fiction of “usual and customary” reduce reimbursement, but the fine print of any dental insurance policy may further limit your affordable access to mercury-free dentistry in these ways:
- Many insurance policies only pay for amalgam in molars. If you want composite, you have to pay out-of-pocket.
- Many insurance policies that do pay for composite fillings in molars only cover them up to the cost of an amalgam, then leave you to pay the difference.
- Many insurance policies claim to cover “silver fillings” but don’t tell unsuspecting customers that there’s no such thing as a “silver filling.” They’re mostly mercury.
- Many insurance policies will not pay for the removal of old amalgams and replacement with composite fillings — even if your dentist believes that’s the best treatment.
And if you ever wondered why some dentists prefer to place amalgams, you should know it’s not only because it’s just what they were taught. Amalgams require little technical skill to place. They only require a crater in your tooth and some packing down of the metal. You don’t need a dry field. No prime, etch, or bond. No layering of materials. No light curing.
This means mercury-filled teeth are fast-filled teeth. The faster they’re placed, the more patients that can be seen. The more patients seen, the more production a dentist can do.
This ability to increase production not only increases what the dentist can earn, but since those amalgams will be reimbursed by insurance, the dentist doesn’t have to wait for payment.
If you feel that everyone should have an affordable choice about what goes into their mouth, if you’d like to see lower priced dental options for mercury-free restorations, if you’d like to see your insurance company pay an equitable amount, if you think it’s time for insurance to catch up with scientific research that supports safer dentistry, then it’s time to DEMAND Your Choice.
This latest campaign by Consumers for Dental Choice provides you with several ways to take action right now and end the “bait and switch” tactics of the insurance companies. There’s a petition you can sign, a letter you can customize and send to your insurer, and a widget you can place on your own site or blog to further spread the word.
We can make a change. But we all need to work together to make a mercury-free future a reality.