But the American Dental Association continues to defend its stance on mercury. Its Statement on Dental Amalgam reads in part Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectivenessThe CSA (ADA Council on Scientific Affairs) supports ongoing research on the safety of existing dental materials and in the development of new materials, and continues to believe that amalgam is a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients.
In April 2013 the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) disputed allegations that the ADA had made that there is no scientific evidence validating the harmful health effects of dental mercury fillings - specifically, following a March 28th segment on The Dr. Oz Show, which warned viewers about dental mercury dangers. The ADA issued a press release the next day accusing Dr. Oz of sensationalism and declaring that not one credible scientific study shows dental mercury is a health risk.
But the IAOMT fired back claiming it has catalogued hundreds of scientific studies that demonstrate that mercury in dental fillings is hazardous to human health. Heres a few:
- In 1845 the American Society of Dental Surgeons the ADAs predecessor required its members to pledge not to use amalgam because mercury was known to be extremely toxic.
- Norway, Sweden and Denmark have banned the use of mercury fillings.
- Other countries have restricted the use of mercury fillings for children, pregnant women and patients with kidney problems.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991 and again in 2003 confirmed that dental amalgam is the greatest source of human exposure to mercury in the general population.
- In 2005 the WHO issued a report listing adverse health effects caused by mercury exposure stating, Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur.
- In 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration warned about dental mercurys potential neurotoxic effects on children and fetuses, but removed the warning without explanation.
- Amalgam risk assessments were conducted in 1995, 2010 and 2012 by Dr. G. Mark Richardson of the European Unions Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks. The research revealed that toxic levels of mercury were released from dental fillings.
More Mercury Amalgam Facts
In December 2013, the Global Healing Centers Natural Health & Organic Living site published its 10 Shocking Facts About Mercury Amalgam. The article stated that mercury is toxic to humans and that dental amalgam fillings, which use a 50 percent mercury base combined with other metals, is one of the most common types of exposure. Research proving the extensive damage mercury can cause to human tissue and brain function is why the author Dr. Edward F. Group III advocates discontinuing their use and if you have mercury fillings their removal.
The article concluded that:
- Mercury fillings leak.
- Removing the amalgam fillings requires caution, and that to prevent absorption of mercury during the process, proper patient preparation during and after the procedure is extremely important to minimize exposure and ensure complete removal.
- Mercury is immediately toxic and, once in the body through infection, the blood stream or inhalation, is quickly absorbed and distributed to major organs. One study of children ages eight to 18 observed kidney damage in children with amalgam exposure as well as chemical indicators of kidney damage in the urine of children with dental amalgam.
- Mercury may be linked to autism. One study found that women with six or more amalgam fillings were three times more likely to have children with severe autism compared to those with five or less fillings.
- Mercury affects hormone levels. Once absorbed into the blood stream, mercury has been observed to accumulate in the organs that regulate hormone function, damage the tissue of these organs, change hormone concentrations, interact specifically with sex hormones, and affect enzyme production.
- Mercury is gender specific and affects men more. In a survey, dental professionals evaluated the impact of regular exposure to mercury amalgam on DNA health and found the greatest negative impact on DNA function occurred in men.
- Mercury harms the thyroid. A study looking at the pre-natal through post-natal period of 75 women-child pairs identified low levels of mercury such as those from amalgam fillings to impact thyroid hormone levels.
- Mercury is toxic to mouth tissue affecting oral health. A study released in 2013 analyzed oral cells from 63 men and women and revealed fillings containing mercury showed cellular and DNA damage.
- Mercury is dangerous to children. An ongoing study reported in 2012 that children with mercury fillings have increased levels of mercury in their body year after year. Another study linked mercury fillings to several aspects of oral health including ulcers, white patches and burning-mouth sensation.
- Medical officials have been aware of mercury amalgam fillings danger well over a decade and report increasing levels of mercury in the liver, kidney and brain in individuals with amalgam fillings.
Other symptoms of mercury poisoning include asthma, allergies, auto-immune diseases, mental disorders, ADHD, anxiety, mood changes, migraines, cancer, insomnia, memory loss, developmental disorders, arthritis, depression, birth defects, stomach pains, oral lesions and infertility.
In 2013, the ADA lobbied the U.S. Department of State to oppose a ban or limit on the use of amalgam fillings in connection with the United Nations Environment Programmes legally-binding mercury treaty. However, the treaty text agreed upon includes the global phase-down of dental mercury fillings.
While worldwide action is being taken to protect humans and the environment from mercury, the ADA continues to mislead the public into believing that one of the most toxic elements on this planet somehow becomes less poisonous when it is placed in their mouths, stated IAOMT President Dr. William Virtue, DDS.
Despite the ADAs stance, many dentists are now practicing holistic, mercury-free dentistry dedicated to mercury-safe and health-based dentistry with the goal of treating patients in the most healthy and holistic way possible while sharing information about dental wellness so patients can make their own educated oral health decisions. Amalgam removal should be done safely by a dentist specializing in safe amalgam removal. Healthy alternatives to dental amalgam include composite resin (white) fillings, porcelain, and glass ionomers.
Dr. Richard Fischer, the first dentist to testify before congress about the physiological and environmental effects of dental mercury advocates a mercury-safe dental practice which is mercury-free and amalgam/silver-filling free. Fischer, along with thousands of other holistic dentists, follows the holistic dentistry philosophy that recognizes the teeth and associated oral structures are a part of the whole body. Along with this whole body approach to oral care his practice offers mercury-free fillings and also removes amalgam fillings, based on the recommendations of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.