Dr. Oz Causes "Controversy" with Dental Amalgam Segment
By Dr. Mercola
Dental amalgam is a primitive, environmentally polluting product. It is an antiquated remnant from the Civil War era—which is composed of about 50 percent mercury, a well-known neurotoxin.Aside from the health risks associated with placing mercury into your teeth, there’s also the issue of environmental pollution caused by the dental industry. Once released into the environment, dental mercury converts to methylmercury and contaminates fish, which are the largest dietary source of mercury in the US.The ADA was also among the pro-mercury forces seeking to have dental amalgams exempted from the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) worldwide environmental treaty on mercury.1Fortunately, earlier this year the scheme failed. On January 19, 2013, more than 140 nations agreed to the treaty, giving birth to “The Minamata Convention on Mercury,”2 which includes worldwide phase-down of dental amalgam to reduce environmental mercury pollution. However, mercury-containing vaccine preservatives were excluded from the treaty.Thankfully an increasing number of dentists and health professionals have started to take notice and are turning their backs on this archaic practice. According to a survey, 52 percent of American dentists report they are no longer placing amalgams in their patients’ mouths.
Dr. Oz Causes 'Controversy' with Amalgam Segment
Dr. Oz recently aired a segment about the dangers of dental amalgams,3 which was quickly denounced and attacked by the ADA and “skeptics” alike. In an ADA rebuttal published by the Sacramento Bee, ADA President Dr. Robert Faiella states:4"As a physician, Dr. Oz missed an opportunity to educate his viewers, and instead focused on conjecture rather than fact.”And Steven Salzberg, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University5 wrote a scathing critique in Forbes,6 in which he accuses Dr. Oz of demonstrating “poor understanding of science,” and being “ignorant of the truth.”“Why aren’t people dropping like flies from the fillings in their teeth?” he writes. “With little effort, I determined that, contrary to Dr. Oz’s statements, nothing new has been discovered lately about silver tooth fillings. I found studies going back to the 1970s that showed what we’ve long known for decades - that mercury is released from these fillings. But Oz ignores all these.” [Emphasis mine]
In this case, he criticizes Dr. Oz for saying that he’s showing the proof of mercury vapor release “for the first time,” which would be technically inaccurate if viewed over the course of history of modern science perhaps, yet accurate if you limit it to Dr. Oz’s show, or perhaps even television. After all, when was the last time you heard or saw anyone demonstrating how mercury vapors are released from dental amalgams on TV?Salzburg also disagrees with any claims that this mercury vapor may in fact be harmful to your health, although he offers no proof of its harmlessness, aside from the insinuation that since people aren’t dropping dead, how bad could it be?If you’re wondering the same thing, remember there’s a big difference between acutely lethal toxicity and insidious, disease-producing toxicity that accumulates over time. Just because it doesn’t instantly kill you, does NOT mean it’s harmless!To perpetuate such an idea is reprehensibly irresponsible, yet this is what’s happening not just with mercury fillings, but also with water fluoridation, pollution, plastic endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other environmental pollutants that collectively take their toll on your health. “Science-based skeptics” keep hammering out the message that avoiding toxic exposures is “controversial,” as if your health and well-being depended on ignoring such advice. When are we going to stop giving them the time of day? How could such a notion possibly BE controversial when you consider that the human body was not designed to run on toxins and man-made chemicals?
Smoking Teeth—Toxic Gas
Salzberg also questions the credentials of David Wentz who performed the mercury vapor demonstration on Dr. Oz’ show. But a similar visual demonstration of this toxic gas release originates from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology7 (IAOMT).The video powerfully demonstrates that if you have amalgam fillings, then every time you eat, chew, visit the dentist or drink hot coffee, mercury vapors are released into your oral cavity, where it can be absorbed into your blood stream. The poisonous vapors are odorless, colorless and tasteless however, so you won't be able to tell that they're there. A single dental amalgam filling may release as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day. The average individual has eight amalgam fillings and could absorb up to 120 micrograms of mercury per day. In contrast, eating mercury-tainted seafood will expose you to about 2.3 micrograms per day -- and that alone was enough for scientists to call for a worldwide warning8 back in 2006.
The Truth about Mercury Fillings: Disasters for Your Health and the Environment
The mercury used by dentists to manufacture dental amalgam is shipped as a hazardous material to the dental office. Any amalgam leftover is also treated as hazardous and requires special precautions to dispose of, yet it’s supposed to be “safe” to keep it in your mouth for years to come.Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can damage your brain, central nervous system and kidneys. Children and fetuses, whose brains are still developing, are most at risk, but really anyone can be affected. Sadly, many live with toxic reactions for extended periods of time, never connecting the dots between their failing health and the mercury in their teeth.Once someone dies, their amalgam fillings actually pose a risk to the living as well. Emissions from the combustion of mercury fillings during cremation are a significant contaminator of air, waterways, soil, wildlife and food. Seven to nine metric tons of mercury per year escapes into the atmosphere during cremations, and it is estimated that, left unchecked, crematoria will be the largest single cause of mercury pollution by 2020.When you factor in environmental costs and clean-up costs, amalgam is actually the MOST EXPENSIVE dental material in the world. It is also the number one cause of mercury exposure for consumers, according to the Canadian government and other sources.
Important Information Regarding Amalgam Removal
For those of you who have mercury fillings, I recommend that you have them removed … but avoid making the mistake I did nearly 20 years ago by having it done by a non-biological dentist. When you have these fillings removed you can be exposed to significant amounts of mercury vapors if the dentist doesn't know what he or she is doing. It's also for this reason that I strongly suggest you get healthy BEFORE having your fillings removed, as you want your detoxification mechanisms optimized prior to removal.My struggles with my own teeth led me to learn about and embrace biological dentistry, also known as holistic or environmental dentistry. In a nutshell, biological dentistry views your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, and any medical treatments performed takes this fact into account. The primary aim of holistic dentistry is to resolve your dental problems while working in harmony with the rest of your body.Biological dentists are well aware of the dangers involved with toxic materials such as mercury fillings (aka amalgams). Some things that need to be done to keep you (and your dentist) safe during amalgam removal include:
- Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breathe through your mouth
- Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors
- Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don't swallow or inhale any toxins
- Using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor
- Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)
- Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed
- Using room air purifiers
How to Find a Qualified Biological Dentist
Knowledgeable biological dentists can be hard to come by, so start your search by asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or inquire at your local health food store. The following links can also help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:
- Consumers for Dental Choice
- International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM)
- Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (DAMS). E-mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-644-4572 for an information packet
- Huggins Applied Healing. You’ll need to fill out a form and they will connect with you to find a suitable dentist in your area
- Holistic Dental Association
- International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists