Evidence is rapidly accumulating to indicate that amalgam fillings, which contain up to 50% mercury, are dangerous and can even make you sick. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA), however, hold to their resolve and advocate that metal fillings are safe.
This argument has been building over the past 30 years, and the FDA refuses to declare a public warning about the neurotoxic risks that come with dental amalgam – relating to afflictions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney and brain damage. In fact, in 2009, the FDA endorsed it as harmless to adults and children over the age of 6, placing it into the Class 2 devise category.
Mercury is the Most Toxic, non-radioactive Element on the Planet
The evidence showing that mercury is highly toxic has become overwhelming. Every time we eat, drink, brush, or stimulate our teeth a dangerous vapor releases in your mouth which crosses over into cell membranes, the bloodstream, the lungs, the central nervous system, and then through to the kidneys. This is known to cause mayhem with your psychological, neurological, and immunological systems. Mercury bio accumulates in body tissue and the longer you have metal fillings in your mouth, the higher at risk you become to its potent and adverse effects.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in their 2011 report entitled: “Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration” had called for a phasing-out of amalgam. In addition to this, the Council of Europe issued a statement asking for restrictions to be made, even prohibiting mercury fillings in some cases. Amalgam fillings are already banned in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. After, in 1996, Health Canada publicly voiced their concerns and the use of Mercury was stopped for use in children, pregnant mothers, and anyone with kidney related diseases.
In 2013, an international treaty entitled “United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury” was agreed. It concluded that there would be a phasing out of Mercury-containing paraphernalia, including thermometers, by the year 2020. It also called for the end of the mining of mercury by 2029. This treaty, however, is yet to take effect as it requires ratification by a minimum of 50 nations, and this process can take years.
The FDA and ADA are actively prolonging this phase-out and keep pushing their stalling tactics by calling for additional research to be carried out. There are alternatives available to replace amalgam which are cost effective, mercury-free, and have already had years of research conducted to prove their effectiveness.
A recently filed suit against the FDB by the international Academy Forr Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has been made so to seek an order demanding a response to several petitions signed in 2009. These petitions called for the banning of dental amalgam, or at the very least, placing it into the Class 3 device category, which would require it to adhere to additional restrictions to those most vulnerable, including pregnant women and children. They would, in addition, need to provide more stringent proof of safety, including an Environmental Impact Statement.
A leading Dr of Dental Surgery, Griffin Cole, President of the IAOMT stated in a recently press release:
“We have banned mercury in disinfectants, thermometers, and many other consumer products… There is no magic formula that makes mercury safe when it’s put into our mouths. It’s inexcusable to use mercury in dental fillings when there are much safer alternatives.”
It may be coincidental, or there may be a conflict of interest, nevertheless, the ADA was previously the patent-holder of amalgam. They have actively “couched” the term mercury by referring to amalgam fillings as “silver fillings”, deceiving the public, as the composite material for these fillings is 49 to 50% mercury.
How Fillings Hurt
If you have amalgam fillings, each time you actively eat, drink, chew, or even when you have your teeth checked at the dentist, mercury will release a vapor into your oral cavity, rendering it directly to your bloodstream. These vapors are unsuspectingly odorless, without color or taste, and are virtually undetectable to us. These fillings are potentially releasing as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day into our bloodstream. Given that the average person has on average eight mercury fillings in their mouth, we are potentially absorbing up to 120 micrograms of this per day.
Ironically, back in 2006 a formal worldwide warning had been release regarding the dangers of the consumption of mercury tainted fish and shellfish, however, these only contain as little as 2.3 micrograms per serving and fall way below what we are carrying around in our mouths!
Environment and Health Concerns
As well as the internal toxic dangers that we are exposed to with mercury fillings, there are larger scale risks to our environment. Contributing to around 50%, dental surgeries are the largest source of mercury waste which publically enters into our water treatment facilities. Mercury waste converts to methyl mercury, which is dangerously toxic as it affects the brain and nervous system functions, putting unborn children and toddlers at the highest end of the risk scale. Mercury accumulates – once in the air, water, and soil, its contamination builds up over time and can be a threat to the health of people and wildlife in many environments that are otherwise unpolluted.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2010, declared that dental practitioners will need to install amalgam separators, treating the wastewater at the dental surgery and this will remove 95-99% of the mercury cast into our wastewater systems. This was supposed to have been achieved by 2012. However, the EPA is controversially now about to withdraw this ruling.
What are the Alternatives?
Biological, holistic, or environmental dentistry treats your teeth and gums as an integrated and connected part of your body function, aiming to reconcile your dentistry in harmony with working with the rest of your body. Here are some suggestions that you can ask your dentist to provide to minimize mercury corruption:
- Providing an alternative source of air and not breathing through your mouth
- Using a cool water spray, minimizing the mercury vapors
- Using a rubber dam in your mouth, avoiding swallowing or inhalation of mercury toxins
- Using a high volume evacuator close to the tooth during the entire procedure to contain the mercury vapor
- Using room air purifiers
The most popular alternative is a resin composite, made out of a plastic reinforced powered glass. This is commonly used throughout the world and has credible advantages over amalgam.