What is biological dentistry?
Biological dentists recognize the impact of toxic materials and relate it to dental and physiological health. These dentists are concerned with the integrity of the oral cavity and use materials and procedures in their practices that are systemically compatible.
Is there a concern about the use of mercury in dentistry?
Many people do not realize the "silver" amalgam fillings are 50% mercury. A large filling may contain as much mercury as a thermometer. Mercury vaporizes easily at room temperature, and in this state, is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Inhaled mercury vapor is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. The World Health Organization has concluded that dental fillings contribute more mercury to a person's body than all other sources of mercury combined. Mercury is a powerful poison. Published research demonstrates that mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium or arsenic. No amount of exposure to mercury vapor can be considered harmless. Especially considering its cumulative effect.
Is there an associated health risk?
Mercury is the most toxic, non-radioactive element on the earth. Most medical and scientific researchers have called for a ban on the use of mercury in all products. However, the U.S. Government has ignored the potential harmful effects of mercury fillings. Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune, urinary, cardiac, and respiratory and digestive systems. Under laboratory conditions, mercury has produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in victims of Alzheimer's disease.
Should I have my mercury fillings removed?
Utilizing an efficient suction system in the oral cavity with a special tip or its equivalent to contain amalgam particles and mercury vapors.
Operating a vacuum system at maximum efficiency.
Applying copious amounts of water to the filling during removal.
Removing the amalgam in large segments to minimize the generation of mercury vapor and amalgam particulate.
Providing the patient and dental staff with a mercury-free source of air.
Chronic exposure to mercury, even in minute amounts, is known to be toxic and poses significant risk to human health. Current scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that dental amalgam unnecessarily exposes dental parents to substantial amounts of mercury vapor, particulate and other forms and is therefore not a suitable material for dental restorations.
It is incompatible with current valid scientific evidence to continue to endorse or otherwise condone the use of permanently implanted material in teeth that continuously emits a very potent enzyme inhibitor and metabolic toxin. Moreover, mercury’s damaging influence on the developing brain makes dental amalgam an entirely inappropriate material for use in children and women of childbearing age.
Countries to include Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Japan and Taiwan have voluntarily abandoned the use of dental amalgam or, under government mandate, place restrictions and/or issued advisories against its use. In September of 2006, a joint panel of FDA scientific experts rejected a FDA whitepaper’s assurances of the safety of dental amalgam. Furthermore, in 2008, FDA modified its website with respect to its prior claims of ‘amalgam safety’ to read, in part, “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses”.
In light of the above facts and the trajectory of the emerging science implicating dental amalgam in a wide variety of confounding medical problems, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and its Scientific Advisory Board I urge FDA to exercise one of three regulatory options in order of preference:
1. Ban dental amalgam from commerce in accordance with section 516 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act;
2. Initiate a crease distribution and mandatory recall order with respect to dental amalgam in accordance with the provisions of CFR 21 part 810;
3. Regulate encapsulated amalgam as a class III medical device consistent with CFR 21 860;
Finally, Physicians and dentists should, where patients are suffering from pathological states and diseases of unclear causation, consider whether exposure to mercury released from dental amalgam filling might be an exacerbating factor in such adverse health conditions.
Boyd Haley, PhD, FIAOMT, chairman. Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky; permanent member, NIH Biomedical Sciences, Study Section.
Thomas Burbacher, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, research Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability, Director of the Taiwan Division of Environmental Health & Occupational Medicine.
Louis W. Chang, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Founding Director of the Taiwan Division of Environmental Health & Occupational Medicine.
H. Vasken Apohian, PhD, Professor of cellular and Molecular Biology, Professor of Pharmacology, University of Arizona, College of Medicine.
Herbert Needleman, MD, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh school of Medicine.
Maths Berlin, MD, PhD, Advisor to this Committee. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Medicine, Medical Faculty of Lund, Sweden. Dr Berlin was the chairman of two World Health Organization conferences on mercury exposure in 1991.
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