Mercury Free and Mercury Safe: What's in a Name?

We are honored once again to feature a guest post by world renowned dentist Dr. Tom McGuire, DDS.

Strictly speaking, the term mercury free refers to dentists who do not put amalgam fillings in their patients teeth. But over time, the term mercury free came to indicate those dentists who not only didnt put mercury amalgam fillings into their patients teeth but those who also safely removed them.

However, mercury free isnt really an accurate description because as long as dentists still remove amalgam fillings, their offices cant officially be called mercury free. Therefore, mercury safe is a more accurate description of those who not only dont put amalgam fillings in teeth, but also remove them as safely as possible. Thus, I encourage true mercury free dentists use the term mercury safe to describe themselves if they not only do not place amalgam fillings but also uses a safe protocol to remove them.  You can Click Here to access a list of the removal protocols and read why they are so important. To access the most extensive listing of dentists who will safely remove amalgam fillings Click Here: Mercury Free and Mercury Safe Holistic Dentists.

Today its even more important for dental patients to know the difference between a mercury free and mercury safe dentist. In 2008, for the first time, over 50% of general dentists no longer use amalgam, primarily because it simply isnt a good filling when compared to the newer composites. Because they no longer us mercury amalgam fillings, these dentists are now promoting their practices as being mercury free.

However, that doesnt mean that they believe mercury fillings are a health hazard, or will use established and safe removal protocols to protect patients from excessive exposure to mercury during amalgam removal. Bottom line . . . you cant assume that a dentist who advertises his or her practice as being mercury free, is also mercury safe! You must take the responsibility to specifically ask if they are also mercury safe.

The Difference between a Mercury Safe and a Pro-Mercury Amalgam Dentist
By the third year of dental school, every dental student knows how to remove and replace amalgam fillings. In private practice every pro-amalgam dentist removes and replaces old amalgam fillings with new amalgams many times a day. Removing amalgams without using a safe protocol is a simple and quick process. What really separates mercury-safe and pro-amalgam dentists is that mercury safe dentists know that:

- amalgam fillings continuously release poisonous mercury vapor and are a health hazard.
- the mercury released from amalgam fillings negatively affects your health.
- patients need to be protected from exposure to toxic mercury vapor during the amalgam removal process.

Mercury safe dentists also have the specialized equipment, training, experience and skills necessary to minimize your exposure to mercury during amalgam removal.

While I absolutely respect the right of pro-amalgam dentists to expose themselves to mercury, I dont believe they have the right to expose their patients, their staff and the environment to mercury—just because theyve chosen to believe what the because they've chosen to believe what the ADA tells them; that mercury amalgam fillings are safe.

Its one thing to believe that the mercury released from a patients amalgam fillings on a daily basis isnt a health hazard. But its another thing entirely not to offer the dental patient protection against mercury vapor exposure during the removal process. These are really two separate issues because theres a huge difference between the amount of mercury emitted from the fillings on a daily basis and the amount released during their removal at the dental office, up to a 1000 times more during unsafe removal.

If you want to have your amalgam fillings removed I cant stress enough the importance of finding a mercury safe dentist who has the qualifications to safely remove them. It may cost a little more to get this kind of protection, but its well worth it.

Another advantage of going to a mercury safe dentist is that you wont have to debate why you believe amalgam fillings are a health hazard, why you want them removed, and why you want to minimize your exposure to mercury during the process. In fact, no regulatory agency, scientist, or health professional would ever suggest not doing everything possible to minimize your exposure to mercury, regardless of its source; except for one group pro-amalgam dentists.

Amazingly, the dental profession uses more mercury per year than any other business. In fact, it's the only industry using elemental mercury that isn't regulated by the government. Hopefully that will change soon but in the meantime you can minimize your exposure to mercury during amalgam removal by making sure they are removed by a mercury safe dentist! To find dentists who will safely remove amalgam fillings link to Mercury Free and Mercury Safe Holistic Dentists.

In Health,


Tom McGuire, DDS

To learn more about the health hazards of mercury amalgam fillings and how gum disease damages overall health, I encourage you to visit my website, For those of you who want to know the truth about amalgam fillings and what you need to do about them, I suggest you read my book, The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings . . . Hazardous to Your Health!


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