by Dr. Fatahi
Why the concern about mercury in amalgam?
Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Mercury can exist as a liquid, as in many thermometers. When heated, it becomes a gas. It also can be combined with many other materials.
Everyone is exposed to mercury through air, drinking water, soil and food. Concerns have been raised, for instance, about the amount of mercury building up in fish as a result of pollution. Mercury enters the air from industries that burn mercury-containing fuels. Mercury from all sources can build up in body organs.
As with most substances, the degree of harm caused by mercury in the body is related to the amount. Very low levels don’t cause any ill effects. At higher levels — for instance, when workers are exposed to mercury through their jobs — mercury can cause several symptoms. These include anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and fatigue.
The controversy over amalgam centers on how much mercury fillings released and how much the body absorbs. In the past, amalgam fillings were thought to be inert. This would mean that no mercury was released once the filling was placed in the tooth. In recent years, sophisticated tests have changed this view. Very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor can be released as the amalgam filling wears.
Research on this issue is complex and has arrived at various estimates of the actual amount of mercury released. However, several reviews of the research have concluded that any amount released from amalgam in the mouth is very low.
Studies have shown that the amount of mercury you are exposed to from your fillings is less than the amount that most people are exposed to in their daily environment or in the food they eat.
Should pregnant women be concerned about amalgam fillings?
Research has not shown any health effects from amalgam fillings in pregnant women. However, mercury can cross the placenta. In general, dentists advise pregnant women to avoid unnecessary dental care. Women should not get amalgam fillings during pregnancy. Dentists can suggest other materials for any pregnant woman who needs a cavity filled.
The following terms and conditions (“Terms”) govern your enrollment and participation in a dental membership plan (“Dental Membership Plan”) being offered by Dr. Zak Dental Care (“Dentist”). These terms and your enrollment in a Dental Membership Plan constitute a binding agreement between you and Dr. Zak Dental Care (the “Agreement”). If you do not agree to these Terms, do not enroll in this Dental Membership Plan.
THE DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN IS NOT AN INSURANCE PLAN AND IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE DENTAL INSURANCE. THE DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN IS NOT A QUALIFIED HEALTH PLAN UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OR A MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN. THE MEMBERSHIP FEE IS NOT AN INSURANCE PREMIUM. NEITHER THE DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN, OR THE DENTIST OFFERING THE DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN, ARE LICENSED INSURERS, HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS, OR OTHER UNDERWRITERS OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES.
1. DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLANS. A Dental Membership Plan is a membership program for prepaid dental services. Dental Membership Plans provide a set of specified dental services (“Included Services”) to patients for no out-of-pocket fees other than the Membership Fee. In addition, the Dentist offering the Dental Membership Plan may provide a discount for some or all of the Dentist’s services that are not Included Services (“Non-Included Services”). You must consult with the Dentist for the fees for such Non-Included Services. The Dental Membership Plan is not a dental insurance plan; it is a loyalty program between you and the Dentist. By enrolling in the Dental Membership Plan and making payments required under the plan, you become eligible to receive the Included Services from the Dentist who offers the plan. To use the Dental Membership Plan, simply contact your Dentist and identify yourself as a Member of their Dental Membership Plan and schedule your appointment. As long as your Membership Fee payments are current, you will not be charged for the Included Services. You are obligated to pay your Dentist directly for any Non-Included Services that your Dentist provides to you, including any sales or use taxes imposed upon the services, in accordance with your Dentist’s payment policies. In addition to and without limiting the other terms and conditions contained herein, the following terms and conditions also apply to the Dental Membership Plan:
4. LIMITATIONS. Not all dental services are Included Services under the Dental Membership Plan. Only those specifically listed by your Dentist as Included Services are provided by your Dentist at no additional charge to you. If you require any dental services that are not Included Services, you are responsible for paying your Dentist for those Non-Included Services at the rates established by your Dentist. You may also be subject to a Dentist’s late payment fee and other applicable office policies. Any disputes over the fees charged by dentists must be addressed directly with the Dentist. Use of the zakdental.com online platform requires compatible devices, internet access, a unique email address, and certain software; and may be affected by the performance of these factors. You agree that meeting these requirements, which may change from time to time, is your responsibility. We do not represent or guarantee you will be able to access the zakdental.com online platform at all times.
5. RENEWAL, CANCELLATION, AND RE-ENROLLMENT. Unless you cancel your enrollment in the Dental Membership Plan as provided below, your Dental Membership Plan membership will be automatically renewed at the end of the then-current term for which you are enrolled. For annual memberships, you will receive an email at least fourteen (14) days prior to the end of the then-current annual period notifying you of your upcoming auto-renewal. You have the right to cancel your membership in the Dental Membership Plan at any time. However, you must contact Dr. Zak Dental Care to cancel your membership –Your Dentist may terminate your membership in the Dental Membership Plan at any time for any reason, including for the non-payment of your Membership Fee, or for no reason. If a payment is not received when due, your Account will be placed into “late” status and your payment method will be retried at various intervals. If payment is not received in a timely manner, your Account and your membership in the Dental Membership Plan will become “Inactive” and you will no longer be provided Included Services or discounts on any Non-Included Services. Likewise, if you cancel your enrollment at any time, your Account will become Inactive. If your Account becomes Inactive for any reason after the initial ninety-day enrollment period, as discussed below, you will be charged a ninety-nine dollar ($99.00) re-enrollment fee, in addition to any monthly or annual Membership Fees, to re-enroll in the Dental Membership Plan.
6. REFUNDS. We do not provide refunds except for the following three (3) situations:
7. COMPLAINTS. All complaints about the dental services provided by the Dentist, the fees you were charged, or any other dissatisfaction with a Dentist, must be addressed directly with the Dentist. You may submit your complaint via our online help request system or by contacting our team via email.
8. GOVERNING LAW; ARBITRATION. The Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without reference to conflicts of those laws’ provisions and, as to matters affecting copyrights, trademarks and patents, by U.S. federal law. Any dispute or claim arising out of, or in connection with, this Agreement shall be finally settled by binding arbitration in Los Angeles, California, in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-569.1 et seq. (the “Uniform Arbitration Act”) and the then-current rules and procedures of the American Arbitration Association by one (1) arbitrator appointed by the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator shall apply the law of the State of California, without reference to rules of conflict of law or statutory rules of arbitration, to the merits of any dispute or claim. Judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be confirmed, reduced to judgment and entered in any court of competent jurisdiction. You agree that, any provision of applicable law notwithstanding, the arbitrator shall have the authority to award the prevailing party its costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. In the event that the above arbitration provision is held invalid or unenforceable, then any dispute with respect to the Agreement shall be brought and heard either in the California state courts located in Los Angeles, California, or the federal district court located in Los Angeles, California. In such event, you consent to the in personam jurisdiction and venue of such courts. You agree that service of process upon you in any such action may be made if delivered in person, by courier service, by first class mail, and shall be deemed effectively given upon receipt.
9. CHANGES TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Dr. Zak Dental Care reserves the sole right at any time to modify, discontinue, or delete portions of these Terms. We will notify you of any material changes to these Terms by email to the email address that you have registered on the zakdental.com online platform. It is your responsibility to check your email periodically for changes to the Terms. If you do not agree with the new Terms, you must cancel your membership and stop using the zakdental.com online platform Services. Your continued use of the zakdental.com online platform, the zakdental.com online platform Services and/or the Dental Membership Plan after any changes to these Terms constitutes your acceptance of the revised Terms and Conditions.
10. MISCELLANEOUS. The Agreement set forth is the entire agreement between you and us pertaining to your participation in the Dental Membership Plan and your use of the zakdental.com online platform and the zakdental.com online platform Services. If any provision of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be revised to the extent necessary to cure the invalidity or unenforceability, and the remainder of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect. Our failure to exercise any right or provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to confer any third-party rights or benefits. Our delay or failure to exercise any right or provision of these Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. We shall not be liable for any failure to perform any of our obligations under this Agreement if the performance is prevented, hindered or delayed due to any cause beyond the reasonable control of Dr. Zak Denal Care including, without limitation, unavailability of any communication system, breach or virus in the processes, sabotage, fire, flood, explosion, acts of nature, civil commotion, riots, insurrection, pandemic, war, acts of government, etc. Enrollment and membership in the Dental Membership Plan is for your own personal benefit and may not be assigned or delegated by you to any other person. Your violation of this provision, in the discretion of your Dentist, may result in immediate termination of your Dental Membership Plan membership for cause. Should you have any questions regarding your enrollment in or use of a Dental Membership Plan, please call us at (833)925-8326 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time Monday through Friday. Or email: email@example.com. Any written notices or inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Zak Dental Care as follows: Zak Dental Member Relations, 10501 Lakewood Blvd., Downey CA 90241.. Any notices provided by Dr. Zak Dental Care to the Members of any Dental Membership Plan offered by a Dentist through the zakdental.com online platform may be given by email to the email address you registered on the zakdental.com online platform. It is your responsibility to periodically check your email for such notice(s).