Safe? Or one of the most toxic substances known? Let me give you some facts and let you decide. Dental Amalgam fillings contain five metals: mercury, nickel, zinc, tin, and silver. In a brand new filling, mercury comprises 50% of the filling - about ½ gram worth. Mercury has a half-life of 4 years. This means that every four years half of the mercury leaks out. Mercury vapors are also released after chewing (food & gum), brushing your teeth, and consuming hot or acidic foods.
Why is this of any significance? Most people know that mercury is very toxic. Spilled mercury is considered an environmental hazard. It is rapidly absorbed into the body upon physical contact. Very serious. Mercury Amalgam use has been banned and is on a scheduled phase-out in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden. Here in the U.S., scrap dental amalgam, the excess portion of the filling when it is placed and old fillings that are taken out to be replaced, were declared a hazardous waste in 1988 by the EPA.
There are very specific guidelines for handling amalgam fillings outside the mouth. For instance, the scrap Amalgams have to be:
Stored in non-glass, unbreakable containers and tightly sealed.
Stored under specific liquids.
So let me ask you a question. Does it seem strange that outside of your mouth Amalgams are toxic but inside your mouth it is safe? The American Dental Association has done many studies on the strength of these Amalgams but they have not produced any studies on the safety of these amalgams, even though they have been asked by many health care professionals and organizations to provide them. There are many dentists that are not convinced of the safety of mercury amalgams. Richard D. Fischer, DDS says, "I don't feel comfortable using a substance designated by the EPA to be a waste disposal hazard. I can't throw it in the trash, bury it in the ground or put it in a landfill, but they say it's okay to put it in people's mouths. That doesn't make sense." Makes you wonder doesn't it.
Have you ever heard of the term "Mad Hatter"? It's not just a fictional character in Alice in Wonderland. Workers in the hat industry making felt hats, in which mercury was used, frequently suffered from mental deterioration and were sent to insane asylums, thus "mad hatter". The "hatter's shakes" is another term used to describe the tremors common to mercury toxic workers in the hat industry.
Hal Huggins, DDS, a proponent of mercury removal for over 25 years has shown that there is a relationship between mercury and MS. Upon examination, MS patients have shown to have up to eight times more mercury in their cerebrospinal fluid - the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord - than those who do not have MS. Dr. Huggins has had good success with treating MS in his clinic. (NOTE: There is a very specific protocol used to remove mercury amalgam fillings. There are few dentists trained to take out the amalgams safely. If you decide to have them taken out, please use caution selecting a dentist to do the procedure. If they are removed out of sequence or without the proper shields in place, your symptoms may become worse.)
According to the Parks and Wildlife Department if a ½ gram of mercury was dropped into a 10-acre lake, the lake would be considered a hazardous site and you would not be able to eat the fish out of that lake. Approximately ½ gram of mercury is used in EACH filling for EACH tooth in your mouth!
How do I get tested to find out if I have High levels of mercury?
One of the most reliable tests is a hair analysis. According to an EPA study, hair is a "meaningful and representative tissue for biological monitoring of most of the toxic metals." It is also non-invasive and inexpensive.
If my mercury levels are too high, how do get rid of it?
There are several steps to eliminating mercury. First, if you have dental amalgams containing mercury get them removed by a qualified dentist. Second, working on the organs of elimination is essential. Most mercury is excreted through the bowels. If the bowels are not eliminating 2-3 times per day, there will be a build up of toxins in the body. I say again, you should be having 2-3 bowel movements everyday. If not, your body is not effectively eliminating the toxins that build up everyday. Third, making sure the liver is properly functioning so that the process of detoxification is optimal. This is done through diet modifications and supplementation. This can be a long process, over a couple of years, but the rewards are well worth the effort.