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Please take a moment to go over the NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES and DENTAL MATERIAL S FACT SHEET. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement that you have read the below information at the office.
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO US.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
Federal and state law requires us to maintain the privacy of your health information. That law also requires us to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices we describe in this notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect April 14, 2003, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided such applicable law permits the changes. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.
You may request a copy of our notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We use and disclose health information about you for treatment, payment, and health care operations. For example:
Treatment: We may use your health information for treatment or disclose it to a dentist, physician or other health care provider providing treatment to you.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide to you. We may also disclose your health information to another health care provider or entity that is subject to the federal Privacy Rules for its payment activities.
Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your health information for our health care operations. Health care operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities. We may disclose your health information to another health care provider or organization that is subject to the federal privacy rules and that has a relationship with you to support some of their health care operations. We may disclose your information to help these organizations conduct quality assessment and improvement activities, review the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, or detect or prevent health care fraud and abuse.
On Your Authorization: You may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any uses or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this notice.
To Your Family and Friends: We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your health care or with payment for your health care. Before we disclose your health information to these people, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to our use or disclosure. If you are not present, or in the event of your incapacity or an emergency, we will disclose your medical information based on our professional judgment of whether the disclosure would be in your best interest. We may use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, or other similar forms of health information. We may use or disclose information about you to notify or assist in notifying a person involved in your care, of your location and general condition.
Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voicemail messages, postcards, or letters.)
Disaster Relief: We may use or disclose your health information to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts.
Public Benefit: We may use or disclose your medical information as authorized by law for the following purposes deemed to be in the public interest or benefit:
• as required by law;
• for public health activities, including disease and vital statistic reporting, child abuse reporting, FDA oversight, and to employers regarding work-related illness or injury;
• to report adult abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
• to health oversight agencies;
• in response to court and administrative orders and other lawful processes;
• to law enforcement officials pursuant to subpoenas and other lawful processes, concerning crime victims, suspicious deaths, crimes on our premises, reporting crimes in emergencies, and for purposes of identifying or locating a suspect or other person;
• to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors;
• to an organ procurement organizations;
• to avert a serious threat to health or safety;
• in connection with certain research activities;
• to the military and to federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security activities;
• to correctional institutions regarding inmates; and
• as authorized by state worker’s compensation laws.
Access: You have the right to look at or get copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this notice. If you request copies, we will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee that may include labor, copying costs, and postage. If you request an alternative format, we will charge a cost-based fee for providing your health information in that format. If you prefer, we may—but are not required to—prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice for more information about fees.
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your health information over the last 6 years (but not before April 14, 2003). That list will not include disclosures for treatment, payment, health care operations, as authorized by you, and for certain other activities. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice for more information about fees.
Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency). Any agreement we may make to a request for additional restrictions must be in writing signed by a person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf. Your request is not binding unless our agreement is in writing.
Alternative Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. You must make your request in writing. You must specify in your request the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation how you will handle payment under the alternative means or location you request.
Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your health information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why we should amend the information. We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice. If you believe that:
• we may have violated your privacy rights,
• we made a decision about access to your health information incorrectly,
• our response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information was incorrect, or
• we should communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations,
you may contact us using the information listed below. You also may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request. We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dental Materials Fact Sheet
What About the Safety of Filling Materials?
Patient health and the safety of dental treatments are the primary goals of California's dental professionals and the Dental Board of California. The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide you with information concerning the risks and benefits of all the dental materials used in the restoration (filling) of teeth.
The Dental Board of California is required by law* to make this dental materials fact sheet available to every licensed dentist in the state of California. Your dentist, in turn, must provide this fact sheet to every new patient and all patients of record only once before beginning any dental filling procedure.
As the patient or parent/guardian, you are strongly encouraged to discuss with your dentist the facts presented concerning the filling materials being considered for your particular treatment.
* Business and Professions Code 1648.10-1648.20
Allergic Reactions to Dental Materials
Components in dental fillings may have side effects or cause allergic reactions, just like other materials we may come in contact with in our daily lives. The risks of such reactions are very low for all types of filling materials. Such reactions can be caused by specific components of the filling materials such as mercury, nickel, chromium, and/or beryllium alloys. Usually, an allergy will reveal itself as a skin rash and is easily reversed when the individual is not in contact with the material.
There are no documented cases of allergic reactions to composite resin, glass ionomer, resin ionomer, or porcelain. However, there have been rare allergic responses reported with dental amalgam, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, and nickel or cobalt-chrome alloys.
If you suffer from allergies, discuss these potential problems with your dentist before a filling material is chosen.
Toxicity of Dental Materials
Mercury in its elemental form is on the State of California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity. Mercury may harm the developing brain of a child or fetus.
Dental amalgam is created by mixing elemental mercury (43-54%) and an alloy powder (46-57%) composed mainly of silver, tin, and copper. This has caused discussion about the risks of mercury in dental amalgam. Such mercury is emitted in minute amounts as vapor. Some concerns have been raised regarding possible toxicity. Scientific research continues on the safety of dental amalgam. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is scant evidence that the health of the vast majority of people with amalgam is compromised.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other public health organizations have investigated the safety of amalgam used in dental fillings. The conclusion: no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in rare cases of allergy. The World Health Organization reached a similar conclusion stating, "Amalgam restorations are safe and cost effective."
A diversity of opinions exists regarding the safety of dental amalgams. Questions have been raised about its safety in pregnant women, children, and diabetics. However, scientific evidence and research literature in peer-reviewed scientific journals suggest that otherwise healthy women, children, and diabetics are not at an increased risk from dental amalgams in their mouths. The FDA places no restrictions on the use of dental amalgam.
Some Composite Resins include Crystalline Silica, which is on the State of California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.
It is always a good idea to discuss any dental treatment thoroughly with your dentist.
Dental Materials - Advantages & Disadvantages
DENTAL AMALGAM FILLINGS
Dental amalgam is a self-hardening mixture of silver-tin-copper alloy powder and liquid mercury and is sometimes referred to as silver fillings because of its color. It is often used as a filling material and replacement for broken teeth.
-Durable; long lasting
-Wears well; holds up well to the forces of biting
-Generally completed in one visit
-Self-sealing; minimal-to-no shrinkage and resists leakage
-Resistance to further decay is high, but can be difficult to find in early stages
-Frequency of repair and replacement is low
-Refer to "What About the Safety of Filling Materials"
-Gray colored, not tooth colored
-May darken as it corrodes; may stain teeth over time
-Requires removal of some healthy tooth
-In larger amalgam fillings, the remaining tooth may weaken and fracture
-Because metal can conduct hot and cold temperatures, there may be a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold.
-Contact with other metals may cause occasional, minute electrical flow
The durability of any dental restoration is influenced not only by the material it is made from but also by the dentist's technique when placing the restoration. Other factors include the supporting materials used in the procedure and the patient's cooperation during the procedure. The length of time a restoration will last is dependent upon your dental hygiene, home care, and diet and chewing habits.
COMPOSITE RESIN FILLINGS
Composite fillings are a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin, sometimes referred to as white, plastic, or tooth-colored fillings. It is used for fillings, inlays, veneers, partial and complete crowns, or to repair portions of broken teeth.
-Strong and durable
-Single visit for fillings
-Maximum amount of tooth preserved
-Small risk of leakage if bonded only to enamel
-Does not corrode
-Generally holds up well to the forces of biting depending on product used
-Resistance to further decay is moderate and easy to find
-Frequency of repair or replacement is low to moderate
-Refer to "What About the Safety of Filling Materials"
-Moderate occurrence of tooth sensitivity; sensitive to dentist's method of application
-Costs more than dental amalgam
-Material shrinks when hardened and could lead to further decay and/or temperature sensitivity
-Requires more than one visit for inlays, veneers, and crowns
-May wear faster than dental enamel
-May leak over time when bonded beneath the layer of enamel
GLASS IONOMER CEMENT
Glass ionomer cement is a selfhardening mixture of glass and organic acid. It is tooth-colored and varies in translucency. Glass ionomer is usually used for small fillings, cementing metal and porcelain/metal crowns, liners, and temporary restorations.
-Reasonably good esthetics
-May provide some help against decay because it releases fluoride
-Minimal amount of tooth needs to be removed and it bonds well to both the enamel and the dentin beneath the enamel
-Material has low incidence of producing tooth sensitivity
-Usually completed in one dental visit
-Cost is very similar to composite resin (which costs more than amalgam)
-Limited use because it is not recommended for biting surfaces in permanent teeth
-As it ages, this material may become rough and could increase the accumulation of plaque and chance of periodontal disease
-Does not wear well; tends to crack over time and can be dislodged
Resin ionomer cement is a mixture of glass and resin polymer and organic acid that hardens with exposure to a blue light used in the dental office. It is tooth colored but more translucent than glass ionomer cement. It is most often used for small fillings, cementing metal and porcelain metal crowns and liner