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Nightmare on Dental Biocompatible Street

I am encountering a problem with biocompatible materials. I, too, am MCS. I feel comfortable about gold inlays and zinc oxyphosphate cement but can't get any dentist to even comment on what can be used if I need a pulp protectant or something like that. I am having difficulty with dentists that claim to be specializing in safer materials.

The first dentist ignored my concerns and reactions to petrochemicals. He always led the consultation away from my specific questions or he would say unbelievable things about a material's safety and the composition of it. He told me that they didn't keep the MSDS sheets because they took up too much space and time. I attempted to get more questions answered, so I sent him a sheet of questions and they scheduled me for yet another consultation. At that time, his assistant informed me that the cost might be out of my range because I would have to have a special treatment plan. He wanted to rework my whole mouth, starting with things that really don't even need to be done.

The next dentist also came highly recommended as a holistic dentist. I was very impressed with the first visit. He covered the exam chair with plastic wrap so that I wouldn't react to the disinfectants. He promised me an air machine upon my return and sent a tape home with me to watch about contact reflex analysis. He impressed me with kiniesiology, testing my muscle response to a few materials, and seemed very sympathetic. However, he also wanted to rework my whole mouth starting with teeth that didn't even need repairs. Still, he was impressive.

Upon my return to talk about my treatment plan, I took a list of questions and one paragraph about my MCS condition. All he seemed to see was that I wanted "repairs" done, not every amalgam replaced, etc. His hygenist checked my teeth and gum condition before our consultation that day. She kept calling out, "cavitation, cavitation." When I questioned this, she informed me that she had to make a note of it even if there was a rough spot on the tooth. I have braces on my bottom teeth and some are not real smooth around the glue. The dentist never even checked to see if these were actual cavities; he was just ready to fill them with composite material, even though I had made it clear that I didn't want composites in any of my teeth. He said there were really no other options for front teeth.

He said he was going to test me on some more materials and then decided that I wouldn't test very well that day. He came back with an assistant that was to be my "surrogate tester." For surrogate testing, the material was placed in my hand but the assistant was used for the negative or affirmative muscle response. As it turned out, all he tested us for were composite materials and amalgams. He tested us for amalgam and we failed miserably. Funny, I was never tested for anything I actually asked about. I also don't buy into the way I was tested, especially since it was geared towards the treatment he wanted to do. The testing responses were also in his favor. (hmmm)

I could not get any direct answers on what I really went there for - whether or not pulp protectant was needed. He kept saying, "We will test," and informed me that most people didn't ask these questions. There was no air machine as he had promised. I had even mentioned it when I made this follow-up appointment. When the consultation was over, he had not addressed any of my real concerns and was also planning to rework my entire mouth. He wanted to do more than one tooth at a time even though I thought it wasn't a good idea. I get sick with burning mucous membranes, headaches, and vomiting just from the air quality in there alone.

I am totally frustrated. I cannot trust anyone I have been to, yet. My experiences with the specialized dentists have been the worst. I'm thinking about seeing a local dentist that I know, hoping that he will react with some common sense.

J. J.
April 2003

Nightmare Has a Happy Ending

I finally got my crown replaced. All went well using Bio86 Gold alloy fused to porcelain. The porcelain was Soft Spar, I believe. For impression material, I had to go with alginate (seaweed). The crown was cemented in with Fleck's zinc oxyphosphate cement. The local was 3% carbocaine without a soconstrictor or preservative. My dentist was just a regular DMD who took the time to work with me and was very cooperative in doing the "cheek and gum" testings. He also made his lab aware of my concerns and gave me their phone number so that I could address any further concerns with them personally. Treatment choices were mine, and I was treated with respect. Also, aware that I had problems with the clinical environment of disinfectants, etc., they would always crank out a window for me so that I could have some fresh air.

At one point, I had the serum biocompatibility testing done by Peak Energy Performance. According to the results - I shouldn't use the zinc oxyphosphate cement. Yet, it was the only cement that I could actually tolerate. Impregum impression material was one of my least reactives according to the test, yet, a 20 minute "cheek and gum" test turned into a nightmare of reactions for me, starting with delayed reactions of a swollen tongue and my throat filling up with phlegm. My blood pressure went crazy, etc., etc. None of the test results made any sense according to what I had learned by research and by what I knew about my own body. For anyone to rely on the biocompatibility tests would be very dangerous in my opinion. It was in my case anyway.

I didn't have much luck in getting insurance to cover the testing either. After submitting everything the insurance company asked for, which was a lot of time and trouble on my part, they ended up paying $35 out of the $260 that I paid out. That was their "reasonable" coverage.

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