Mercury, one of the world’s most ubiquitous heavy metal neurotoxins, and its use within health care, particularly in relation to dental amalgam restorations, has been an extensively debated topic. Many holistic dental practitioners have taken admirable, proactive steps to eliminate its use within their practices. ORA Dental Studio in Chicago, IL is one such practice, and has actually partnered with the World Health Organization to advance its “Mercury Free Health Care” Program. ORA is leading the way as a designated mercury-free practice that also implements the safe removal of mercury containing fillings.
But now that mercury-containing amalgam is “out”, what is “in” and what has been its replacement of choice? The answer is tooth-colored composite resins. They bond well, look good, and wear well, and they do not contain mercury. One would assume then, that when a potentially harmful material such as amalgam is replaced by another one like composite, the replacement should be free of potential harm. Unfortunately, this is not the case since dental composite resins contain bisphenol A (BPA) and its dimethacrylate derivitive (Bis-DMA), and bisphenol A diglycidylether methacrylate derivative (Bis-GMA). BPA is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups and is a building block of several important plastics and plastic additives. With an annual production of 2–3 million metric tons, it is an important monomer in the production of polycarbonate. The food industry uses BPA when manufacturing the epoxy resins that coat cans and polycarbonate bottles intended to hold foods and beverages. BPA is also found in some children’s toys, plastic tableware and infant bottles. The release of industrial and household wastes into the environment also exposes humans to Bisphenol A. The question then arises, if BPA is present in many commonly encountered items, why should we be worried? BPA has come to the attention of health authorities around the world, as more studies link this common additive to abnormal hormone growth in humans. BPA has been found to cause premature puberty in adolescent girls, cancers, and low sperm count in men.
The doctors at ORA Dental Studio state that one of their “paramount practice tenets is upholding the precautionary principle,” which they feel “all health professionals and organizations should abide by.” The precautionary principle is officially defined as a moral principle, which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. The principle implies that there is a responsibility to intervene and protect the public from exposure to harm where scientific investigation discovers a plausible risk in the course of having screened for other suspected causes. The protections that mitigate suspected risks, can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that more robustly support an alternative explanation.
According to the American Dental Association in their Council on Scientific Affairs statement, “BPA can become part of dental composites or sealants in three ways: as a direct ingredient, as a by-product of other ingredients in dental composites or sealants that may have degraded, and as a trace material left-over from the manufacture of other ingredients used in dental composites or sealants.” Furthermore, “based on current research the Association agrees with the authoritative government agencies, that the low-level of BPA exposure that may result from dental sealants and composites poses no known health threat.”
To the doctors at ORA this was not a strong enough stance, so they diligently sought out a BPA-free composite resin that does not compromise bonding, handling, or aesthetics. Upholding the precautionary principle within their practice, ORA Dental Studio is the first dental practice to exclusively utilize a BPA-free and Bis GMA- free dental composite resin. In addition, none of the Invisalign aligners or Vivera retainers that they use contain bisphenol A or any phthalate plasticizers.
What can you do as a patient?
Patients need to encourage their dentists to take on more non-toxic and green practices by voicing their concerns and by starting dialogue with their healthcare providers. Another great resource to start with is the “Green My Dentist” program extended by the EDA (Eco Dentistry Association, www.ecodentistry.org) to help guide patients and their dentists towards better, safer patient health, as well as planetary health.
Patients can also choose to be treated only by practitioners who practice mercury-free dentistry and who utilize non-BPA containing resins. There is only one BPA-free resin available on the market at the moment, so have your dentist do their homework and specify that this is what you prefer that they utilize.
Patients and consumers are beginning to realize that one way that they can contribute to a healthy community and environment is to support green businesses and healthcare facilities. Every dollar spent, in essence, is a vote for or against the environment and the health of our communities.
Foreword from Dentistry for the Health Conscious on the following study:
“Obviously, not everyone experiences acute toxicity effects from the mercury in amalgam fillings. I do not recommend that people assume automatically that they will be healed by the removal of amalgam fillings, I recommend going into the mercury amalgam removal procedure knowing that, at the very least, you will have removed yourself from a regular exposure to an extremely toxic material such that it will not build up in your organs and possibly cause significant health problems at a later date. We recommend that you educate yourself in all views and positions on this process, and make an educated decision. Speaking with your Medical Doctor is also recommended.”
SYMPTOMS BEFORE AND AFTER PROPER AMALGAM REMOVAL
IN RELATION TO SERUM – GLOBULIN REACTION TO METALS
The results of this study indicate that proper amalgam removal – and in some cases removal of all the other metals too – and replacement with biocompatible composites – can eliminate or reduce 80% of the classic symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning.
These results also show that the strength of an individual’s serum-globulin reactions, too many metals used in dentistry, especially the five metals present in amalgam, has important implications for recovery.
It has been documented that mercury escapes from amalgam fillings and adversely affects health. 1.2.3.
Many clinical experiments have also demonstrated that symptoms associated with mercury poisoning greatly decrease when amalgam fillings are removed and replaced by less toxic materials – for example, composite materials. 18.104.22.168.8.
This study differs from similar clinical studies in demonstrating the correlation between the patient’s serum-globulin reaction to dental metals and the patient’s response after amalgam fillings (and other metals) are replaced with composite materials found to be biocompatible with the individual patient.
One hundred eighteen patients participated in this study, consisting of 97 women and 21 men ranging in age from 18 to 73 years. The average age of participants was 45 years. Before treatment began in 1990-91, a blood serum test was performed on each patient in order to determine which dental materials caused minimal reactions in the individual. This serum analysis incorporated globulin reactions for metals.
Scientific research by Pleva, Clarkson, Masi and many others has proven that metals are essential for normal human functioning. However, certain metals are poisonous, even in extremely small quantities, and serve no biological function. Heavy metals, including mercury and cadmium, are in this category.9 10 11. Other metals, for example copper, zinc and selenium, are necessary in minute quantities, but are toxic in large quantities. Products of corrosion and metals which react chemically with proteins or methyl groups are extremely poisonous.12
Removing all dental metals, thereby removing a constant and probably excessive source of exposure to metals, could obviously have a positive impact on the patient. Individuals react differently to many metals, as demonstrated by the blood serum test. This suggests that individuals will show varying degrees of improvement when exposure to these metals ceases.
Method and Result
The 118 patients involved in the study completed a survey discussing 38 classic symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. Before removal of amalgam (and in some cases, additional metals) each patient underwent a blood serum test of their globulin reaction to 34 different metals and assorted dental materials. The patients then had all amalgam fillings removed. Some patients also elected to have other metal and porcelain dental work removed.
Symptoms before Amalgam Removal
The survey covered 38 symptoms and complaints common to chronic mercury poisoning, as found in related literature. Participating in the survey were 118 patients who have been with my clinic since 1984.
The following symptoms and complains were common – before amalgam removal – to more than 50% of the participants.
Fatigue 83% Headache 58% Poor concentration 76% Bloating 58% Poor memory 65% Throat pain 57%
Irritability 64% Joint pain 57% Muscle fatigue 62 Allergies 55% Metallic taste 61% Poor appetite 51%
Prior to amalgam removal, all patients had an average of 17.4 of the 38 symptoms and complaints listed in the study. The 58 patients who reacted strongly too many metals had on average no more symptoms and complaints than the 60 patients who demonstrated milder total reaction to metals.
Blood Serum Globulin Reaction
All patients had a blood test taken at an authorized laboratory. The separated blood serum was frozen and sent via over night to the Diagnostic Center’s laboratory in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. This laboratory is state approved and highly reputable.13
Another laboratory in Colorado Springs, under the direction of W.J. Clifford MS, member of IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology), performed the same serum analysis.14
The test performed is described in medical literature as a precipitin test. The test determines the quantity of globulins (IgA, IgG and IgM) formed when the patients blood serum comes in contact with the metals, components and corrosion products in many dental materials.
The globulins are measured photometrically and the results indicate the relative serum reaction of individual patients. Besides the dental materials, the blood serum test applies to 34 additional metals. Participants responded positively to 32 of these metals. The distribution of patient’s response is shown below.
|Strong Reaction:||Moderate Reaction:||Reaction on “Amalgam-Metals”:|
|Molybdenum 99%||Titanium 14%|
|Zinc 97%||Selenium 14%||Mercury 82%|
|Cadmium 93%||Beryllium 10%|
|Copper 92%||Iridium 3%|
|Indium 87%||Lithium 1%||silver 86%|
|Silver 86%||Tungsten 3%|
|Mercury 82%||Cobalt 4%|
|Nickel 79%||Chromium 1%|
|Aluminium 75%||Bismuth 3%||Copper 92%|
|Tin 69%||Antimony 2%|
|Palladium 31%||Vanadium 8%||Tin 69%|
|Cerium 22%||Ruthenium 2%|
|Iron 14%||Gallium 1%||Zinc 97%|
|Selenium 14%||Strontium 1%|
|Gold 14%||Zirconium 0%|
Serum tests of several hundred patients showed that 98% reacted to some of the most popular composite materials. About 75 participants reacted to aluminum, which is present in many dental filling materials. Because aluminum is present in all glass Ionomers, all patients who react to aluminum will react to this material. Some sufficiently strong composite dental materials, for example Posterior II and Conquest, do not contain aluminum. These are composed of substances and metals to which most patients react mildly.
Metals Used In Dentistry
A tremendous variety of metals are used in dentistry. A gold crown normally consist of gold and platinum and may contain many different metals, especially in the case of a “discount crown”, where silver, copper, palladium, tin, indium and/or molybdenum are substituted for the expensive metals. The metal hardware under porcelain crowns frequently contains gold, palladium, silver, platinum, tin, indium, gallium and copper. Wires for regulating teeth and bands placed around teeth are composed of nickel, chromium, molybdenum and silicon. Dentures made of metal, so-called unitors are usually made of cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, silicon, titanium and sometimes nickel.
Many patients demonstrate globulin reactions to these metals, as indicated by the blood serum test. Participants reacted to a range of 3 to 19 metals, the average participant reacting to 10 metals. The metal reactions were calculated with values ranging from 1 to 9 for each metal, 9 being the strongest reaction. The average combined reactions to all metals totaled 40 points, ranging from 6 to 108 points. When the 5 amalgam metals (mercury, copper, silver, tin and zinc) are considered exclusively, the average reaction is 20 points ranging from 2 to 45 point.
The known potency of the material must be taken into consideration when comparing these reactions. For example, beryllium and mercury are known to cause adverse reactions with extremely small doses. Other metals like copper and aluminum may cause a relatively higher reaction as measured in point, without being more dangerous. However, in this study this issue is immaterial because for each patient we compare the total of reactions to all metal/amalgam metal with their symptoms before and after removal of metals.
We compared the change in the symptoms of participants who reacted strongly to amalgam metals with those of participants who reacted mildly to amalgam metals, and the same procedure was followed for those who had a strong or mild reaction to other metals.
All amalgam fillings were replaced in all participants. 2,600 amalgam areas were removed, averaging 22 areas per patient. 29 patients had all other metals replaced, especially gold/porcelain. This group had 128 gold surfaces, average 4.4 per patient. The replacement of fillings took place according to methods recommended by Hal Huggins DDS MS, Colorado Springs, USA.
His recommendation include:
- reinforcement of immune system with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and special dietary; guidelines before and after treatment;
- protect with rubber dam while drilling;
- proper ventilation;
- strong external and internal oral suction;
- carbon tablet ingestion before and after each treatment;
- one drink of alcohol immediately before treatment;
- electrical checking of polarity of fillings was performed before each drilling to ensure that the fillings in the quadrant with the greatest negative charge were removed first;
- treatments were not performed on the same days of the week to avoid depressed immune defense, which occurs on the 7th, 14th and 21st days after stress;
- the patients had amalgam fillings and other metals replaced with the most biocompatible plastic material, as indicated by their blood serum test. The composite Posterior II was used in most cases;
Each patient received a very detailed explanation and written instructions before treatment began.
All questions arising during treatment were addressed.
Best results are obtained when both doctor and patient follow these methods.
Results After Proper Amalgam Removal
After amalgam removal, 79 participants had no amalgam or metals remaining. 39 had no visible amalgam, having elected to retain one or more gold or porcelain crowns, under which amalgam may be present. One to four years after removal, all patients responded to the same survey as previously noted, inquiring whether the 38 symptoms and complaints had improved, disappeared, or remained unchanged.
The results of this survey indicate that for the average participant,out of 17 symptoms, 8.2 were reduced, 5.1 were eliminated, and 3.7 were unchanged. In other words, 48% of symptoms were reduced, 31% were eliminated, and 21% were unchanged. See Fig.1)
In total, 79% of the symptoms and complaints were reduced or eliminated after amalgam removal.
In over 90% of responses, the following symptoms were reduced or eliminated: tender teeth; bad breath, metallic taste; diarrhea; leg cramps; frequent infections.
In over 80% of responses, the following symptoms were reduced or eliminated: bleeding gums; blisters & sores; throat pains; nasal congestion; nasal discharge; headache; migraine; irrational fear; irritability; insomnia; dizziness; muscle tremors.
This study indicates that patients with mild reactions to metals are more likely to have fewer or no symptoms than those patients with strong reactions,
This difference is more pronounced when comparing patient`s reactions to the five amalgam metals (mercury, silver, copper, tin and zinc). Patients with strong amalgam metal reaction showed reduction or elimination of 74% of symptoms and complaints, whereas patients with mild amalgam metal reaction showed reduction or elimination of 84% .(See Fig.3)
The group with mild metal reaction showed greater than 10% improvement in following symptoms: allergies; skin problems; tender teeth; nasal discharge; constipation; fatigue; insomnia; muscle fatigue; muscle tremors; sciatic pain; joint pain; cold hands and feet; frequent infections. The group with strong metal reaction showed greater than 10% improvement in the following symptoms: blisters and sores; digestive pain; heart problems.
CHANGES IN INDIVIDUAL SYMPTOMS AND COMPLAINTS FOLLOWING AMALGAM REMOVAL.
|Symptoms / Complaints||Number of symptoms before amalgam removal||Number of symptoms reduced after amalgam removal||% of symptoms eliminated after amalgam removal||High Metal Reaction||Low Metal Reaction|
|Blisters & sores||46||20||21||96||86|
|Cold hands – feet||58||20||18||51||81|
|Urinary syst. disorders||29||15||5||78||75|
For years, science has demonstrated that mercury found in the body comes primarily from amalgam fillings.15 It is also widely understood that many of the metals used in dentistry are toxic or hazardous.16 Innumerable scientific experiments on animals and humans have demonstrated that mercury from amalgam is hazardous to cells and functions of organs. Specifically, mercury affects the immune system;17 the kidneys;18 mouth and colon bacteria;19 the reproductive system;20 and the central nervous system.21
Many clinicians have demonstrated over the course of the past century that removal of amalgam fillings and gold/porcelain fillings improves an extensive array of symptoms, complaints and diseases which have been otherwise unsuccessfully treated. Professor Fredrik Berglund’s book which appeared in 1995, surveyed the literature on this subject and collected the case histories of 150 patients whose diseases, symptoms or complaints were eliminated or reduced after removal of amalgam and other metals.22
Metal-free dentistry is possible today
Dental use of metals is no longer necessary thanks to good composites and especially to the new PCDMA-based, shock-absorbing and extremely durable composites.23 24 25
Laminate fortified composites with characteristics very similar to natural tooth material are now used for crowns and bridges.26 27 These materials are tested for biocompatibility with the individual patient.
This study demonstrates the positive results of removing amalgam fillings and other metals from patients who suffer from an extensive array of symptoms which they have not otherwise been able to treat successfully. Obviously, some participants may anticipate improvement, which in itself may result in improvement. This placebo effect results in 20-25% improvement at best and disappears gradually over time. Given that it generally takes 6 to 12 months or longer for symptoms to be eliminated or reduced, in order to counteract this effect, patients completed surveys one year after treatment, and in some cases, again four years later.
Patients generally improve gradually as years pass after amalgam removal. This correlates with the fact that large deposits are continuously found in the tissues of the body and are slowly eliminated. An active detoxification treatment could accelerate the improvement. The patients with a strong reaction to amalgam metals did not recover as favorably as those with mild reactions. Metal deposits in tissues and organs may be present for years in different degrees in these two groups of patients.
Periodontal diseases is very common. 42% of the participants in this study had bleeding gum’s and 46% had tender teeth, before amalgam and metal removal. It is commonly believed that bleeding gum’s and tender teeth are the early symptoms of pyorrhoea and are caused by plaque and microorganisms on teeth and in teeth sockets.
However, the results of this study indicate that metals and specially amalgam metals are the actual cause.28 In this study, 88% of the incidence of bleeding gum’s was reduced or eliminated.
91% of the incidence of tender teeth was reduced or eliminated.
Digestive problems were very common among participants. They can be caused by many factors, but amalgam removal demonstrates a strong positive effect on these problems. The mercury released from the amalgam fillings combines with the saliva, forming extremely poisonous methyl-mercury in the mouth, stomach and colon. The composition of digestive bacteria is changed as a result, and mostly mercury-resistant bacteria survive. Thus, many bacteria essential to healthy digestion are destroyed. A new study indicates that people with amalgam fillings have many more strains of penicillin-resistant bacteria than those without amalgam fillings.29
The results after amalgam removal are as follows:
74% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of pressure and air in stomach (bloating);
60% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of acute hunger pains;
76% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of poor appetite;
90% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of diarrhea;
76% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of painful colon cramps.
Central Nervous System
Problems with the central nervous system are also very common. (See figures 4-6). Both recent and earlier studies demonstrate that mercury escaping from amalgam fillings, especially as mercury vapor, can harm the central nervous system. Alzheimer`s disease is a primary example of this.21
The results after amalgam removal are as follows:
85% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of headache;
81% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of migraine;
71% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of poor concentration;
70% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of poor memory;
88% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of irrational fear;
80% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of irritability;
89% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of dizziness;
79% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of muscle tremors;
90% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of leg cramps;
The immune system is often debilitated by mercury.17 Symptoms frequently include fatigue and frequent infections. These symptoms are significantly reduced or eliminated, as demonstrated by the following results:
71% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of fatigue;
91% indicate reduced or eliminated symptoms of frequent infections.
Experiments with sheep and monkeys with implanted amalgam fillings demonstrate reduced kidney function.30
25% of participants had urinary system disorders prior to amalgam removal;
52% experienced reduced symptoms;
17% eliminated any complaints of urinary system disorders after amalgam removal.
Many symptoms commonly associated with mercury intoxication can be related to harmful effects from metals used in dentistry. About 16,500 observations were gathered during the prolonged study of these 118 patients; these data indicate that about 80% of the symptoms and complaints were eliminated or reduced one to four years after removal of dental metals, especially amalgam metals (mercury, silver, copper, tin and zinc) and proper replacement with biocompatible plastic.
This study confirms other classic and scientific results.30 31 and suggests that dentists should avoid the use of metals because of the reactions they clearly cause in many patients.
The greatest positive reactions are shown by the group with the mildest blood serum-globulin test reaction for the amalgam metals. This suggests that the determining factor for the degree and rate of recovery is dependent on the patient`s individual tolerance and degree of reaction to certain metals.
1. Hanson, M:.”Amalgam- hazards in your teeth”. J Orthomol. Psych.12:194-201,1983.
2. Stock, A.:”Die chronische quecksilber und amalgam vergistung”. Arch Gewerbepath 7:388, 1936.
3. Bauer, J.G.and First,H.A.-”The toxicity of mercury in dental amalgam”. Calif Dent Assoc J 10:47-61. 1982.
4. Hanson, M: “Changes in health caused by exchanges of toxic metallic dental restorations”. Bio-Probe Newsletter 5:2, 3-6 marts, 1989
5. Siblerud, R:”The relationship between mercury from dental amalgam and health”.Ph.D.discertation in process, Dept. of Physiology, Colorado State University, 1988.
6. Lichtenberg, H: “Elimination of symptoms by removal of dental amalgam from mercury poisoned patients, as compared with a control group of average patients”. J.Orthomol. Med. Vol. 8,No.3,1993.
7. Siblerud, R: “Health effect after dental amalgam removal”. J.Orthomol.Med. 5 (2),1990.
8. Zamm, A: “Removal of dental mercury: often an effective treatment for very sensitive patient”.J. Orthomol.Med. 5, 1990.
9. Pleva, J.: “Mercury poisoning from dental amalgam”. J. Orthomol.Psych. 12: 184-94.
10.Clarkson, T.W.,Hursh, J.B.,Sager, P.R., and Syversen, T.L.M. (1988).” Mercury.In Biological Monitoring of Toxic Metals” ( Clarkson, T.W., Friberg, L., Norberg, G. F., and Sager, P.R., eds) pp. 199-246. Plenum, New York
11. Masi, J.V.(1995) “Corrosion of amalgams in restorative materials: the problem and the promise”. In status quo and perspectives of Amalgam and other Dental Materials ( Friberg, L.,Schrauzer, G.N.,eds) Thieme-Verlag,Stuttgart. In press.
12. Gross, M.J., nd Harrison,J.A.(1989) “Some electrochemical features of the in vivo corrosion of dental amalgams”. J.Appl. Electrochem. 19, 301-310
13. Huggins, H: DDS.MS.:Medical and legal implications of components of dental materials.P.O: Box 2589 Colorado Springs, CO 80901. USA 1989.
14. Clifford, W.J. MS, RM(AAM):Materials reactivity testing Background, basis and procedures for the immunological evaluation of systemic sensitization to components, which emanate from biomaterials. P.O. Box 17597 Colorado Springs, CO 80935 USA 1987. 1988. 1990.
15. World Health Organization (1991) Environmental Health Criteria 118, Inorganic mercury (Friberg,L.,ed) WHO,Geneva
16. Störtebecker, P. “Mercury Poisoning from dental amalgam”. Störtebecker Fdn, Res.,Bioprobe, Orlanda,FL, pp,138,149,151-54, 1985.
17. .Hultman, P.,Johansson, U., Turley, S.J.,Linh,U., Enestrøm, S.,and Pollard, K.M.(1994) “Adverse immunological effects and autoimmunity induced by dental amalgam and alloyin mice FASEB J, 8,1183-1190
18 Zalups, R.K. 1991) “Autometallographic localization of inorganic mercury in kidneys of rats; Effect of unilateral nephrectomy and compensatory renal growth”. Exp.Mol.Pathol. 54, 10-21
19 Summers,A.O.,Wireman,J.,Vimy,M.J.,Lorscheider,F.L.,Marshall,B.,Levy,S.B.,Bennett,S.,and Billard, L, (1993)”Mercury released from dental “silver”fillings provokes an increase in mercury- and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in oral and intestinal floras of primates”. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother, 37, 825-834
20 Rowland, A.S.,Baird, D.D.,Weinberg, C.R.,Shore, D.L., Shy,C.M., and Wilcox, A.J. (1994) “The effect of occupational exposure to mercury vapour on the fertility of female dental assistents”. Occup. Environ. Med. 51, 28-34
21. Lorscheider, F.L.,Vimy, M.J.,Pendergrass, J.C., and Haley, B.E. (1994) Toxicity of ionic mercury and elemental mercury vapor on brain neuronal protein metabolism. 12th International Neurotoxicology conference, Hot Springs, AR, October 31, 1994. Neurotoxicology 15, 955
22. Berglund, F. 150 years of dental amalgam. Published by Bio-Probe,Inc. P.O. Box 608010 Orlanda, FL 32860-8010. USA. 1995
23. Waknine, S.et al: Direct/indirect commercial composites characterization on strength shrinkage and wear IADR 1722, Acapulco,1991.
24. Waknine, S., “Conquest DFC: A novel Universal Dental Composite Restorative System”, Journal of Esthetic Dentistry Update, Vol 2, No. 4, 70-79, August 1991.
25. Waknine, S.,Goldberg, A.J., Mueller, H.J., Legeros, J., Prasad, A., and Schulman, A., “Fracture Toughness of a new semi-crystalline resin”, paper # 1660, J. Dent. Res., March 1992, Amer. Assoc. Dent. Res., March 1992, Boston, Ma.
26. Ogolnick, R., Picard, B. and Denry, I., Cahiers de biomatéiaux dentinaires No 2. Materiaux Organiques, Masson, Paris 1992.
27. Waknine, S. et al,: Fracture toughness of a new semicristalline Dental resin, MDR 1660, Chicago, 1992.
If you have ever wondered about this topic and did a basic “google” on the subject, you most likely found what I did. Sites too numerous to count, much less read. There are just as many sites supporting the placement of a material in you mouth that is 50% mercury as there are against. It’s really hard to sort things out-fact, fiction, myth, greed, corporate power, politics. The amalgam mercury “team” gives one punch and the anti-amalgam mercury “team” hands over one of their own. Lord Baldwin , joint chairman of the British Parliamentary Group for Alternative and Complementary Medicine questions the research around proof of safety. He feels as if the proof just isn’t there and that the fact that its been used for over 100 yrs isn’t the proof of safety. The WHO has noted that, depending on the personal habits of a person, the mercury levels can be increased by as much as 5.3 fold. They also report that none of the tests that are presently being used to prove safety can really be effective. They found that no matter what “team” you are on the data remains inconclusive and there still is not solid proof of safety or danger. Scientist at the University of Milan disagreed with the ADA and say that there are several studies supporting the release of mercury from dental fillings into tissues and that mercury content in the brain, thyroid, kidney and pituitary gland are directly related to the number of amalgam mercury fillings present. They also feel that the health effects are not clear enough. Also keep in mind that the release is not just a temporary event, it occurs throughout the life of the filling.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says in one breath that the mercury (at least 50% of amalgam material) binds with other components in filling and becomes stable. Then in the next breath they agree that there is detection of mercury being released, but its really small. (This means a slow continuous release of a material that is accumulative) If it’s stable, why is any amount detected. They further state that leaking (of the now changed and stable material) is reduced due to the Zinc oxide layer on top of filling. What happens once the layer is gone?? The layer is removed by the simple act of eating, chewing gum, brushing your teeth or even clinching or grinding your teeth. Those are hard things to avoid in order to keep that layer there to prevent leaking of a “stable” substance that has gone through a “binding process “. It makes me think of a news report on Nicor when it was in the process of finding homes in the Chicago area that had mercury contamination. The Nicor employee was explaining that they use a special meter to detect levels of dangerous mercury. The meter will react and measure the amount of toxic mercury present, and then he placed it in his mouth to demonstrate what he was talking about. I think that if I had a device for detecting toxic mercury and was able to get a reading in my mouth, I would be making a dental appointment as soon as possible.
The other topic of information and advertisement that seemed to be abundant was the method of disposal for unused amalgam mercury filling and the amalgam mercury filling after you remove them. So lets see if we have it right. The mercury mixes with the other metals, becomes stable and non-leaking and creates no health issues at all once it is placed in the mouth. However, the containers the filling material came in must be placed in a special “ wide mouthed, airtight container” clearly labeled. You must also do the same for the non-contact and contact amalgam mercury before and after its removal or placement. That means that once you take it out or if it was left over during the filling, it must be put in airtight containers and a special company has to get it (for a price, of course). There are also guidelines for not rinsing or cleaning the items in sinks or drains areas that hold the amalgam mercury while doing the filling. Extracted teeth with amalgam mercury fillings must also be disposed in the same way. We now have “amalgam separators” that must be installed so that before anything leaves the office via plumbing, the mercury must be separated out and isolated. There just seems to be a lot of rules, regulations and guidelines for a “stable” substance that has no health risk. This stuff is allowed to go into your mouth and your children’s mouth but it cant go into the garbage or plumbing due to environmental hazards.
Then there’s the manufacture’s label on the containers of amalgam mercury fillings.
Most people haven’t seen it unless you work in an office that uses the amalgam mercury fillings. “WARNING: Ingestion: May cause Neurotoxic Nephrotoxic effects. “ Wait, I thought this was stable and bonded to another agent so that it didn’t leak release or become available. There were other warnings all over the label along with liability limitations and the “ ADA accepted” stamp. You can view the entire label on the internet (DAMS is one of the sites that has the label with all of the warnings, also found on Stanford.wellsphere.com/general…/mercury-amalgam-label/362628, with some of warnings removed and www.mercurypoisoned.com/hazardous_mercury_warning.pdf)
There are some other countries along with a couple of states in this country that have chosen to no longer allow the use of amalgam mercury fillings or at least limit the individuals that are allowed to have them. In six European countries it’s illegal to place amalgam mercury fillings. California has now made it illegal to place them in pregnant women with Canada not too far behind in the process of making it illegal to place the amalgam mercury fillings. Australia is also in review of the use of the filling materials. Do you think we will be the last country to finally decide that if its not good for a pregnant lady or the environment that it just may not be good for all human species regardless of age or sex?
There was one overwhelming thought, after looking at all the arguments for and against. The agencies that were pro mercury amalgam fillings in your mouth were just that, agencies, corporate companies, patent owners etc. They have everything to gain financially if these practices of using mercury amalgam fillings continue. They also have a great deal to lose if it becomes illegal. Who is behind the FDA? Who are their supporters? The groups or individuals that want mercury amalgams banned have no real financial gain. There is no gain behind their motives other than helping people. All fillings must one day be replaced after wear, tear and decay. That is money that is sort of already in the bank. If the amalgam mercury fillings are banned, there will one day no longer be the business of mercury amalgam removal, no disposal companies or any other associations related to the business of dental mercury pollution.
There are many arguments for either side. There just seem to be more contradictions and holes in the stories for one vs. the other. I invite you to read over some of the research/information sites that I will list and let you decide for yourself. What ever you decide to do, do it from a point of researched confidence and not fear. In the future, if the fillings are somehow found to truly, without question or doubt, be safe, you can always pick up where you left off. If, however, the claims of damage are true, the damage will have already been done, you can’t take that back.
I personally chose to side with the countries that have decided to error on the safe side and ban the product until true conclusive results are available.
“Exposing The Dangers Of Mercury” (see ref listed after article)
Are Mercury amalgam fillings safe, and will we ever know? – by Dr. Andie T. Pearson
Mercury And Dentistry – by Dr Diane Meyer
From Bad To Worse? What’s In Your Mouth? – by Ashley Daniels R.D.H. and Steven A. Koos D.D.S., M.D.
Don’t Settle for “It’s Your Hormones Honey!” – by Dr. Diane Meyer
Going from doctor to doctor and hearing “It’s your hormones honey,” made me want to scream! As an educated person, degreed in Psychology and Dentistry, I knew there were answers I wasn’t getting.
The many doctors I consulted with were stymied, as my persistent and chronic symptoms were so varied. Having no connection with one another, they did not know what to call my illness. Grappling with various labels, and unable to identify a cause, the symptoms were classified as idiopathic.
Sick and tired of living with a laundry list of debilitating chronic symptoms including mental confusion, irritability, short temper, memory loss, uncontrollable bursts of anger, tingling/numbness in my hands and feet, muscle spasms, rectum and vaginal pain which felt like a stabbing knife, carpel tunnel, sore throats, urinary infections, ulcerated esophagus, reflux, irritable bowel, acne, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, tremors, overwhelming fatigue, slurred speech, neck & shoulder pain, depression, anxiety attacks, low self esteem, hearing problems, blurred vision, headaches, heart palpitation, irregular menstruation and a miscarriage at 5-1/2 months while in my senior year of dental school. WOW!!!! Hormones? I don’t think so!
I was a walking medical disaster, and I emphasize WAS. At the suggestion of a friend I attended a seminar. There, I learned that the myriad of symptoms I had been battling for years were most probably not of hormonal origin, but a direct result from occupational exposure to mercury from placing/removing silver-amalgam fillings, including the fillings in my own mouth.
Motivated to research the toxicity of mercury in silver/amalgam fillings, I discovered from many governmental agency such as the (ATSDR) Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, (NIOSH) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the manufacturers of the silver-amalgam material safety data sheets, and other reliable sources, we found that that these fillings are a potential health risk. Interesting, silver-amalgam fillings are classified as hazardous waste prior to placement in the body and hazardous waste after removal from the body. I was in shock to learn that the mercury in these fillings are released in the form of a vapor. I was taught the mercury is locked in and can not come out. We know that mercury is a neurotoxin, but I wasn’t taught to what degree, or that my unborn/children I nursed could also be harmed by these vapors.
Here I was, I found out that I was misinformed about the fillings. It was my wake-up call to question what I knew and see where that would lead me. The more I learned the more I realized that my health had been severely compromised by my own mercury amalgam filling and occupational exposure. I knew enough from dental school and my research to know that upon removal of the mercury amalgam the amount of mercury exposure increases as it is drilled. Thus, you are likely to receive a large exposure. I sought out a dentist trained in minimizing this problem. Following removal of the fillings, I sought help from many physicians trained to treat people with mercury toxicity. Having the fillings removed is just the beginning of a long road to recovery because the mercury had been absorbed into the body.
So I had begun a ten year journey of recovery with the realization that I had been mislead about something that I thought was helping people. I took this increased awareness and began a quest for answers. I used my scientific intellect to ravenously research ways to support the body. I reached out to many other healers, and I used my spiritual intent to know that our bodies are self-healing.
It took five years of treatment, now nearly 9 years post removal, and I have regained my life. The good news is people can improve their health with the help of doctors who learn how to diagnosis and treat the mysterious symptoms from chronic mercury poisoning/allergy.
After my own quest for health and all that I have heard and learned from my patients, I know with clarity the power we have to heal. We just need to be pointed in the right direction and given awareness of our available tools. I know that this can be a daunting task to people, especially if they are ill. This is why I like to work with people to support and guide them on how they can start on their own journey. With my medical background, research capability, and the wealth of information I have gathered through my healing journey, I feel I can give people the start they need to find their healing modalities as well as coach them through their quest for health.
It is my wish that you don’t settle for less. You need to believe in yourself, your instincts, do your homework and don’t accept being sick without questioning what the cause might be. Below I have attached a list of symptoms that will help you in your journey! Don’t settle for “it’s all in your head or it’s your hormones honey!!!”
Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
Recognized by ADA
It is well known that mercury will stores:
1st in the kidney
2nd in the liver
3rd in the neurological tissue
4th in the GI tract, and then in the rest of the tissues
Symptoms related to mercury are vast; however, even the American Dental Association (ADA) admits to the following symptoms:
Pressure in chest
Unexplained chest pains
Loss of appetite
Immune deficiency disease
Susceptible to flu, colds, etc.
Loosening of teeth
Loss of teeth
Bone loss around teeth
Increased flow of saliva
Enlarged salivary glands
Burning sensation in mouth
Metallic taste in mouth
Periodontal (gum) disease
Sore throat – persistent cough
Central Nervous System
Voices in head
Ringing in ears
Unexplained leg jerks
Failure of muscle coordination
Noises or sounds in head
Narrowing of field of vision
Numbness of arms and legs
Tremors of hands, feet, lips
Tingling of fingers, toes, lips, or nose
Loss of ability to perform hand movement
Pain in joints
Cold hands and feet
Decreased sexual activity
Chronic low body temperature
Frequent urination – especially at night
1) Tremor observed in fine voluntary muscle movement, such as handwriting, eventually progressing to convulsions.
2) Depression, fatigue, increased irritability, moodiness, nervous excitability – especially when criticized
3) Inability to concentrate, loss of memory
4) Insomnia or drowsiness
5) Nausea and diarrhea
6) Loss of appetite
7) Birth defects in offspring
8 ) Nephritis or symptoms of kidney disease
10) Swollen glands and tongue
11) Ulceration of oral mucosa
12) Dark pigmentation of marginal gingiva and loosening of teeth
|Other documented symptoms that affect various body systems include the following:|
|Psychological & Behavioral|
|Apathy||Inability to concentrate|
|Fits of anger||Manic Depression|
|Forgetfulness||Lack of self-control|
|Irritability||Short attention span|
|Hallucinations||Short-term memory loss||Skin|
|Nervousness||Sleep disturbances||Acne||Excessive itching|
|Nightmares||Difficulty making decisions||Dermatitis||Rough skin|
|Tension||Unexplained suicidal ideas||Skin flushes||Rashes|
|Your Dr. said, “It’s your nerves”||Energy Symptoms|
|Tiredness||Lack of energy|