Mercury Amalgam FAQ

Amalgam fillings – the so-called “silver” kind – are a mixture of silver, tin, copper and zinc powder blended with liquid mercury. Mercury, of course, is one of the world’s deadliest poisons. Only plutonium is more toxic.

About half of American dentists today still use mercury amalgam as their filling material of choice, even though better, nontoxic alternatives are available. They will earnestly assure you of their safety, just as they themselves were told. But such assurances cannot change the simple fact that mercury placed in the mouth does not just stay in the mouth.

Chewing, clenching and grinding movements erode the mercury, which is released as vapor that circulates through the entire body. This perpetual poisoning can give rise to numerous chronic, degenerative illnesses, many of which are autoimmune in nature, including MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and fibromyalgia. While proper mercury removal and detoxification can’t be said to cure such conditions, they do improve health, with some people actually reporting that they have helped reverse the disease process altogether.

There is lots of detailed, well-documented, quality information available on the health-hazards of dental mercury. Maybe you’ve already studied the best of the online sources or read one or more of the excellent books available. Many people have before contacting our office. In fact, their research is what brought them to us in the first place. Still, they have questions…

How long have you been a mercury-free dentist?

I have been a mercury-free dentist since the mid-1970s.

What qualifies you to diagnose and safely treat dental mercury poisoning?

I have taken hundreds of hours of postgraduate training in order to learn the proper techniques of and science supporting this dental treatment. This study is in addition to my general qualifications as a dentist and related continuing education, which you can read about here.

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How do you know if mercury amalgam fillings are causing a problem?

I begin by gathering as much information as possible. This process actually begins before your first visit in our office, with your giving us your complete dental and medical history, past testing and lab results, descriptions of symptoms and related background material. Having this information in advance, we can make the best and most efficient use of your appointment time, as my staff and I will already have some knowledge of your unique dental health situation.

Your first visit will involve a comprehensive, oral, head and neck examination, in which we fully chart your current dental, periodontal (gum) and oral conditions. We evaluate the state of your occlusion (bite), TM joint function and musculoskeletal condition, and perform galvanic, pulp vitality and allergy tests. We get further documentation of conditions via intra- and extra-oral photos, x-rays and diagnostic cast models.

Unfortunately, there is still no single test that can prove without a doubt that dental mercury is causing a particular health problem. However, there are several tests that can help confirm diagnosis. These include hair analysis, fecal mercury analysis, blood chemistry, heavy metals urine challenge and electrodermal screening. If you need or want such tests, we will refer you to the appropriate labs.

After your initial exam, we will have a 15 minute consultation to talk about my preliminary findings and recommendations. Once I have thoroughly reviewed and studied all of the evidence, we will schedule another consultation to fully discuss the findings and your treatment options.

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What sort of preparation is needed before removing the mercury?

As mentioned, once I have thoroughly studied the evidence, we will meet to talk about your unique dental health situation, my recommendations and all of your treatment options. We will also discuss the proposed timing, sequence, number and length of appointments for removing the mercury, as well as biocompatibility testing, detoxification protocols and other post-surgical concerns. You may find it helpful to bring your spouse or partner, child, parent, caregiver or other significant person involved with your healthcare to this consultation and take part in the discussion.

Whatever your decision with respect to treatment, I want it to be a fully-informed one. Thus, I will encourage and help you to learn all you can about your specific dental health situation. I also encourage you to get and consider other opinions, and to ask as many questions as needed to understand your options.

Before we remove the mercury, you must prepare your body to handle the detoxification and healing process. This is a vital step without which the removal may be of little benefit, as your body won’t be able to rid itself fully of its built-up toxic burden. In some cases, skipping this step can make things worse.

Preparing to heal typically begins with nutritional improvements, adjusting your current diet to be more detoxifying and immunity-building. We will also create a supplementation regimen for you to help strengthen your immune system and support the organs of elimination ( kidneys, bowels, liver, intestine and other organs that help rid your body of metabolic waste and toxins). The supplements will also help replenish any nutrients your body may have become deficient in through years of spending its resources resisting the slow poisoning by mercury.

The typical regimen includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, enzymes, herbs and homeopathics. Your specific needs will be established via test results, applied kinesiology or electrodermal testing.

Once your body has been prepared to heal, we can begin removing the mercury.

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Which mercury-removal protocols do you follow?

Standards of care for safe removal have been established and are maintained by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). These standards help ensure that the mercury is removed safely and that the patient, dentist and staff are not exposed to the poisonous mercury vapor that is released during the process. My staff and I are trained in and have followed this protocol since its inception. Before that, we followed the widely-accepted Huggins Protocol, which continues to guide our work in this area, as well.

The IAOMT protocol is available as a PDF here.

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What will you replace the mercury fillings with?

There are hundreds of different dental restoration materials and cements that can be combined in literally millions of ways. Our rule of thumb is to use the most practical and least toxic. We’ll look to what’s most compatible with your specific biochemistry and what’s most suited to the specific dental conditions we need to recreate in your mouth.

Some fillings can be rebuilt on site with any number of nontoxic composite materials, a number of which may be considered safe for almost all people. If crowns or other lab-created restorations are called for, near-universally-biocompatible materials such as zirconium, Diamond Lite and Diamond Crown may be used. Others do better with a highly pure gold/platinum alloy.

The specific materials used will depend on your unique physical and biochemical needs, which we will determine and discuss with you prior to mercury removal.

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How do you know if a material is biocompatible?

The suitability of materials can be accurately assessed via serum compatibility testing, electrodermal screening (EAV) or applied kinesiology. Of these, serum compatibility is the surest and most thorough, and we strongly recommend it for those with autoimmune disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities or other environmentally-aggravated illness.

For serum compatibility testing, samples of your blood are specially prepared and mixed with hundreds of dental chemicals that are used in several thousand dental products. The antibodies produced provide an immunological record of offensive chemical families, and this information is cross-referenced with over 2000 dental products. With this info at hand, we can find the materials most suited to your unique biochemistry.

We prefer the serum testing provided by Clifford Consulting and Research. We can act as third party to your having this testing done or put you in contact with them directly.

Before settling on any particular restoration materials, we double-check their suitability via electrical testing and applied kinesiology, both of which we provide in our office. We want to be absolutely sure that we never replace one poison with another.

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Once I get the mercury removed, how do I detox?

We recommend first that within 24 hours of each mercury-removal visit, you have an IV infusion of specific proportions of vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. This helps get the detoxification process rolling. We can refer you to physicians who are expert with this protocol.

Once all mercury has been safely removed, we will hone in on helping your body rid its tissues of the mercury that has built up over the years. At bottom, this process continues the nutritional and supplementation process through which you prepared your body to heal. Now you may wish to add other complementary therapies, including chelation.

During our pre-treatment consultation and through the removal process, we will discuss your options with you and work with you to develop a specific detoxification plan appropriate to your needs and situation. As needed, we will refer you to complementary practitioners for services we don’t provide on site.

Regardless of the methods you ultimately choose, it is vital to remember that the process can be dangerous if not closely monitored by an experienced practitioner.

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How fast can I expect to feel better after removing the mercury?

While you may have read some accounts of people feeling physical relief within hours of having old mercury amalgams removed, it’s unrealistic to expect instant results.

It is impossible to say how quickly you will experience relief – or whether you will experience significant relief at all. Results can never be predicted. Each affected person carries a different toxic burden. This alone varies the time it takes to rid the body of mercury completely. Some people may show improvement within months. Those with heavier toxic burdens or more compromised immune systems may need years to recover.

That said, you can consider it a positive health choice whenever you eliminate any toxin from the body. Even if it doesn’t pay off immediately, you do pave the way for eventual healing.

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How long does the whole process take, from first appointment through detox?

It is impossible to give a specific time estimate that applies in every single case. This is because, again, every person is unique, from their biochemistry to the number of fillings needing to be removed; from their particular toxic burden to their physical ability to detoxify. Those who have been chronically ill for a long time will need more time than others to prepare their bodies to heal. Those with many fillings or severely compromised immune systems may need to have the mercury removed quite gradually over several appointments. Those who show no symptoms of mercury poisoning but choose to have their fillings replaced as a preventive measure may go through the whole process very quickly.

Ultimately, the time for removal and restoration depends on what’s physically, practically, financially and emotionally doable for you in your specific situation. This is another reason why we spend so much time talking with you about your needs and values: so with you, we can create the best timeline for your wishes and needs.

With respect to detoxification, it can take months if not years to safely and completely eliminate heavy metals from the body and heal from their effects. This may sound like a long time, but if you’re one of the many who have become chronically ill due to dental mercury, you know that it also took you a long time to get sick – years, in fact, of the toxins building up to the point of doing harm. Conversely, complete healing can take a long time, too. But the results, I’m sure you’ll agree, are worth it.

You are entitled to good health.

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How much does it cost?

The cost of the initial exam visit depends on the specific types of services required. Each new patient needs to have at least a basic exam so we can evaluate the current dental and oral conditions. If more extensive testing is desired or needed, or if we need to take x-rays, additional fees will apply. These will be discussed with you before setting your first appointment.

The total cost for removal and replacement varies from case to case and depends on factors such as the number of teeth to be treated and restoration materials to be used. The treatment plan we create for you will include the total financial commitment. If cost is a factor, let us know. We will work with you to find a treatment option that is both appropriate and economically doable for you.

That said, it’s important to remember that the monetary costs of treatment – no matter our financial resources – are best understood in context of the unlimited potential benefit that quality dental work can provide: higher quality of life and relationships; beauty and abundant living; love, joy and peace; and connection to our own inner selves.

Cast in this light, the procedure becomes a bargain at any price.

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I feel fine. Should I have the mercury removed anyway?

Eliminating any toxin from the body is an undeniable good. While there may not be an immediate effect, you pave the way for greater health, quality of life and longevity. Taking preventive measures is to be properly concerned with the long-term impact of the health choices you make today.

You may never experience symptoms from dental mercury. Some people have stronger immune systems or constitutions well-suited to dealing with such physical insults. But its also quite possible – indeed, likely – that symptoms will crop up down the road. The question thus becomes: How much risk are you willing to take?

Obviously, I recommend removing any potential source of illness or dysfunction. But it is not my role to make your choices for you. You must consider your own needs, desires, values and goals. You must consider the whole of your knowledge of your health and how to maintain good health. You must educate yourself about your options. It is my role to help you do this – and make the most informed choices possible.

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For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.

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