I am not sure what to do. My dentist is insisting I get a white filling. He says he’s what’s called a mercury-free dentist and that the silver fillings aren’t good for my teeth. The problem is, my insurance doesn’t cover the white fillings. It just covers the silver ones. I can’t afford the others. What do you recommend?
So there are a few things at play here. Many dentists have switched to a mercury-free practice. Some of it is because of patient demand and some of it is because of the strong belief that the silver fillings are bad for both you or your teeth.
While the American Dental Association (ADA) has declared the silver fillings safe, that doesn’t mean they’re the best fillings for your teeth. What your dentist means by them being bad for your teeth is that the amalgam fillings actually weaken your tooth structure. The white fillings will strengthen them.
I realize your insurance doesn’t cover those. While it’s unfair of a dentist to insist on a procedure a patient can’t afford, even if it’s a superior treatment. If he’s a mercury-free dentist, he doesn’t even offer the other filling. He wouldn’t be able to provide it for you.
You have a couple of options here. First, you can stay with this dentist and ask him to bill your insurance for the silver filling and just let you pay him the difference if that’s possible for you. Your dentist may even be willing to allow you to pay out the difference.
Finding an Affordable Dentist
If your dentist is unwilling to work with you in any way, then you’ll need to find a different dentist. There are affordable dentists out there.
I’d simply do an internet search using the term affordable dentist and make a list of several of the practitioners whose names pop up. Be sure to check their reviews to make sure they have a pleasant chairside manner. It’s no fun to have a dentist who’s a complete jerk.
Also, be careful not to confuse cheap care with affordable care. A cheap dentist is significantly lower in price than his peers. But, that ‘s usually because he’s either bad at his job or he cuts corners in order to make up profits.
Both of those things end up hurting the patient. Usually, it results in either an infection or a failed procedure which has to be redone, costing double or even triple.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.