To acknowledge this Mercury-free dentistry week, Joseph Mercola MD just
interview with Charlie Brown, the president of Consumers for Dental Choice and former
Attorney General of West Virginia.
For reasons unclear to me, the tone of the question “Is mercury safe
when placed in the mouth?” has taken on an almost religious fervor,
with passionate arguments on both sides.
American Dental Association declares that mercury amalgams are safe and non-toxic.[i] Several other organizations declare that mercury amalgams are toxic and
should be banned. The
International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology declares “ADA lies through their teeth about mercury fillings.”[ii] The
International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM) declares that what happens in the mouth is reflected in the body,
and espouses fluoride-free mercury-free dental restoration.
A dentist in my office building complex made this statement to me in about
2004 – only 12 years ago.
I will be happy to remove your fillings and replace them with white fillings
if you think they are ugly. I will not do it if you think they may be
dangerous to your health. The American Dental Association disagrees, and
the Arizona Board of Dentistry will see that as a reason to discipline
Most dentists now place composite fillings (white) rather than amalgams
(“silver” which are 50% mercury) although the ADA still does
not acknowledge that mercury is not safe to use in dentistry. “Dental
amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively. Amalgam restorations
have not been found to be associated with adverse health effects.”[iii]
There are, of course, arguments on both sides of the fence. Mercury amalgam
is very strong, very shiny (when it is first placed in your tooth), and
certainly not immediately toxic.
Nevertheless, there is evidence that dentists and their assistants accumulate
mercury in their tissues, proportionately to the length of time they have
been working in the dental field.
One study showed significant evidence of increased blood mercury levels
in dental professionals in the dental field, the concentrations increasing
with their experience and length of time in the field.[iv]
Another study acknowledges the increased levels of mercury, but denies
their practical or clinical significance.[v]
We finally removed mercury compounds from children’s vaccinations
in the year 1999, on the grounds that any exposure to mercury was too
much for the developing nervous systems of the human infant. Then we replaced
the mercury preservative with aluminum adjuvant, which may be almost as
toxic, but that’s another story.
We continue to place amalgam fillings in the teeth of the poor, the uninsured
and the ill-informed, on the grounds that it is an excellent material,
easy to work with, long lasting and inexpensive – all of which are true.
Whether it is a healthy choice will have to be up to you. Read the literature,
consider the options, and make up your own minds.
Martha M Grout, MD, MD(H)
is the Medical Director of the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, and the President of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association
(AHIMA). Her office of Integrative and Homeopathic Medicine is in Scottsdale,
AZ. She treats patients with Lyme disease and other chronic illness, using
techniques as diverse as intravenous nutritional therapy, supplementation,
and autologous stem cell therapy for best possible restoration of the
body to its healthy template. She works with biological dentists to help
her patients eliminate toxic amalgam and chronic dental infection from