How safe is amalgam?
These “silver” fillings corrode or ‘rust’ releasing mercury as a dangerous vapour. This vapour is deposited all over the body with sometimes devastating effects on our health and well-being. Mercury is one of the most toxic metals occurring naturally and mercury vapour is the most dangerous form of mercury. The mercury vapour has a special affinity for nerves which is why it causes such mental, psychological and neurological damage.
Symptoms of mercury toxicity
The symptoms of toxicity can appear within days or 30 years later. The connection between the amalgam filling and disease symptoms is often missed mainly because it is never looked for.
Some symptoms of Mercury Toxicity include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chron’s disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hormone dysfunction
- Immune system disease
- Intestinal disease
- Joint pain
- Kidney disease
- Learning disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Reproductive disorders
- Senile dementia
- Thyroid disease.
Some facts about Mercury-amalgam fillings
- There is more mercury in your body from amalgam fillings, if you have them, than from every other source combined.
- Mercury is constantly being released from amalgam 24 hrs a day.
- Every time you chew, have a hot drink or brush your teeth the amount of mercury released is dramatically increased.
- The mercury vapour is absorbed through the lungs and within seconds deposited in the brain, heart, kidneys and all the other organs.
- 5. If you have other metals in your mouth, such as metal crowns, gold fillings or a denture, then due to the galvanic action (battery effect) the quantity of mercury being released is at least doubled.
The Safe Removal of mercury amalgam fillings
Here at Cape Town Smile Studio we believe that removing amalgam fillings must be done with great care. We follow the IAOMT (international academy of oral medicine and toxicology) scientific amalgam removal protocols. We run through this with you at the initial consultation. We then use non-metal replacements such as composites, poly ceramics, ceramics and zirconium.
To help rid the heavy metals stored in the body we then refer you to your Homeopath or Integrative medical doctor for Chelation therapy.
Following this approach we often see remarkable improvements in one’s health.
Ellijay, GA, October 9, 2007 – The National Kidney Foundation’s alleged failure to warn kidney patients that they are particularly susceptible to harm from ingested fluoride from drinking water and other sources is the subject of a precedent-setting letter to the Foundation from a legal firm. Coming at a time of increased public suspicions over the operations of large national nonprofit organizations…
Did Kidney Foundation Leave Millions at Risk by Failing to Warn about Fluorides and Fluoridated Drinking Water?
Ellijay, GA, October 9, 2007 – The National Kidney Foundation’s alleged failure to warn kidney patients that they are particularly susceptible to harm from ingested fluoride from drinking water and other sources is the subject of a precedent-setting letter to the Foundation from a legal firm. Coming at a time of increased public suspicions over the operations of large national nonprofit organizations, the letter is sure to draw the attention of many of the 20 million American adults that the Foundation says have chronic kidney disease. The letter lists both the Foundation itself and its officers and directors individually as being potentially liable for not telling kidney patients important, state-of-the-art fluoride information.
For decades, water agencies have added fluorides to drinking water supplies as a means to help prevent cavities. But recently, major cities such as Juneau, Alaska and Quebec have voted to halt fluoridation amid increased public concern and growing evidence of fluoride’s serious unwanted side effects on kidneys, bones, teeth, and perhaps even other organs such as the thyroid.
Kentucky attorney Robert Reeves’ letter to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) cites an authoritative report from the National Research Council issued last year that admits that, “Early water fluoridation studies did not carefully assess changes in renal function.” The NRC report also identifies kidney patients as a “susceptible subpopulation” that is particularly vulnerable to harm from fluorides. Reeves asks the Foundation, “Why has NKF not publicly and effectively notified its constituent kidney patients and care givers of the National Research Council’s statement.?” He also questions why NKF has not openly disseminated news of the link between kidney impairment and possible skeletal fluorosis from fluoride depositing in bones, and about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new efforts to measure amounts of fluoride ingested by Americans from foods and beverages.
“We believe the kidney patient community and also jurors will find deep pause in consideration of these questions,” he writes.
A search of the National Kidney Foundation’s website for the word “fluoridation” did not return any results, and a search for “fluoride” showed only five results, none notifying families of the NRC’s findings.
Daniel Stockin, a public health professional with The Lillie Center, Inc., a firm working to educate Americans about harm from fluorides, questions why there are redundant filtration systems for water used in kidney dialysis machines, to remove fluoride and other harmful substances, but kidney patients are allowed to drink fluoridated water. “It makes no sense. How many people with renal disease who did not need dialysis and were hoping to avoid it, were kicked over into needing a lifetime of dialysis by fluoride ingestion?” He points out that dialysis center patients have died or become fluoride-poisoned due to accidental overfeed of fluoride at a water plant or failure of filters on dialysis machines. “Overfeeds of fluoride happen a lot more often than most people know, but fortunately poisonings at dialysis centers are very rare, and dialysis centers provide an extremely valuable service,” he says. “But kidney patients’ lives and quality of life are at stake on and off dialysis machines, and even before their condition worsens to the point of needing dialysis. What could justify not telling kidney patients they are particularly susceptible to harm from fluoride intake? Is it fear of lawsuits? I would hope not.”
“The letter to the National Kidney Foundation is only the tip of the iceberg,” Stockin says. “The kidney and diabetes lawsuits are about to begin. Employers, water agencies, food and beverage sellers and manufacturers, you name it — I would suggest they immediately halt use or sale of fluoridated water or products containing it.”
Attorney Reeves’ letter supports this tip-of-the-iceberg assessment. Insurers, employers, contractors, unions, and outdoor workers will also want to be made aware of the issue. Reeves notes that workers in hot jobs who drink water or other beverages to replace lost fluids may find that their pre-existing kidney conditions become exacerbated by continued ingestion of fluoridated beverages when working.
Legal actions also threaten to engulf the Centers for Disease Control, a key federal agency facing increased questioning over its continued promotion of fluoridation. Reeves’ letter points out that CDC’s ethics committees received a detailed ethics complaint over CDC’s promotion of water fluoridation in August, the news of which piqued his interest. Now, kidney patients are beginning to contact him. He has offered NKF an opportunity to officially change its current, outdated position on water fluoridation, but won’t wait much longer. “People on dialysis, or who have chronic kidney disease, who have transplanted kidneys, or who have kidney stones have trusted the National Kidney Foundation,” he says. “Why hasn’t NKF told them about fluoride?”
Press Release from The Lillie Center Inc.
Is Your Dentist “Mercury Safe?”
Many dentists have taken to using the phrase “mercury free” to describe that their practice does not use mercury amalgam fillings. This is a welcome trend, though the most recent U.S. survey showed that half of all dentists still use this “silver” dental filling material. Read how to distinguish between “mercury free” and “mercury safe.”
First, some background information. All “silver” (amalgam) fillings contain approximately 50% mercury. This is one of the most toxic substances on earth, and even a very small amount of mercury can be harmful to the body. It is a fact that dental amalgam is an inherently unstable compound, and all amalgam fillings “leak” some mercury. This is usually in the form of mercury vapour, which is inhaled or swallowed or absorbed into the soft mouth tissues. Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It is also volatile, emitting colorless, odorless and tasteless mercury vapour. Any increase in temperature significantly increases mercury vapour release. The same is true for an amalgam filling. It is easy to demonstrate that mercury vapour escapes from the surface of an amalgam filling, and that this escape is dramatically increased by raising the temperature. Think: hot coffee, friction from chewing food, or friction from getting your teeth polished at a dental office. For a dramatic and graphic demonstration of this mercury release from an amalgam filling, see the “Smoking Teeth” video on the web page www.iaomt.org , the official website of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). This has led to a decades-old controversy over whether this filling material should still be used in dentistry. This article won’t address that issue, but rather the potential hazards of unsafely removing old amalgam fillings.
Let’s try and make this a little more real with some numbers. How much mercury exposure is safe? It would be fair to say that no level of exposure can be guaranteed to be safe. Some agencies have looked at what exposure levels have correlated with known mercury toxicity problems. This includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). They have set exposure limits to workers with potential exposure to various toxins in the work place. For mercury, it has been determined by WHO and NIOSH that employers must not expose workers to a mercury concentration in the air in excess of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50µg/m3), averaged over an 8 hour work day. Other agencies have set this limit at 25µg/m3, and as low as 10µg/m3 for women of childbearing age. There is also a “ceiling limit”, which means a level of exposure that should never be exceeded even for an instant. The ceiling limit OSHA has set is 100µg/m3.
So, what happens in a dental office? If amalgam fillings are polished by the dentist or dental hygienist, levels can be measured over 200µg/m3. Grinding into an amalgam filling to remove it, without specific protective protocols, can release mercury levels over 1,000µg/m3! These levels are generated right at the breathing zone of the patient, the dentist, and the dental assistant! By the way, simple toothbrushing can release mercury vapour at a level over 200µg/m3. Please don’t take this to mean you should stop brushing your teeth!
That means a potentially hazardous exposure to all three (patient, dentist and assistant), every time an old amalgam filling is removed for any reason. This is an occupational exposure that is often overlooked, even by many dentists who consider themselves “mercury free.” From the standpoint of OSHA regulations, a huge number of dental offices would be in violation with respect to employee exposure. OSHA has no jurisdiction over the patient or the dentist, but both are being unnecessarily exposed also. Does this mean amalgam fillings should never be replaced? Absolutely not. It means amalgam fillings should never be removed and replaced unsafely.
There are a number of protective protocols that have been developed by the IAOMT and others, designed to protect from this unnecessary mercury exposure. A dentist who incorporates these effective protocols is properly protecting his or her patients. Also protected are the dentist and the dental staff. And, if the dentist has taken proper measures to protect the discharged office wastewater from mercury, the environment is also being protected. Such a dentist can be considered “mercury safe.” The aforementioned IAOMT website also has a short video with a brief outline of some of the mercury safe protocols. Any dentist should adopt these procedures as a minimum of appropriate protection. There is a more detailed and extensive training available for dentists on being mercury safe from New Directions Dentistry (www.newdirectionsdentistry.com), now available as a DVD training course for dentists.
So, it can be said that “mercury free” is really a misnomer. All dentists who ever replace an amalgam filling are dealing with mercury in the office. How they deal with that step has a significant impact on the potential for unnecessary, harmful exposure to toxic mercury. A dentist who no longer places amalgam fillings and has learned and is committed to effective protective protocols while replacing old amalgam fillings is mercury safe.
How do you know if your dentist is mercury safe? You could ask a few simple questions. Has the dentist taken extra, specific training in mercury safe protocols from the IAOMT or New Directions Dentistry? Is the patient given an oxygen nosepiece so that their breathing air is separate and clean? Does the dentist use a rubber dam or other protective barrier when removing amalgam fillings? There is a lot more to it, of course, which is why training courses are offered, but if a dentist answers “yes” to at least the above questions, they are more likely to be committed to being mercury safe.
Is your dentist mercury safe?
Dr Letitia Versfeld
Five Steps You Can Take to Naturally Promote Healthy Gums and Prevent Disease
Did you know that 75% of American adults have some level of gum disease? And most don’t even suspect that they have it! Why not? Because this infection is sneaky. It’s PAINLESS until very advanced. Often, your first clue that a serious problem even exists is when you lose a tooth or start suffering from painful abscesses.
First, a basic definition: when microbial plaque and calcium build up on teeth, they often cause a gum infection called gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious inflammation, which also damages the bone supporting your teeth – and will eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Here’s the really scary part – very few people realize how many other parts of the body are affected by this condition. And its effects are both wide-ranging and significant. Gingivits has proven connections with coronary artery disease, stroke, pneumonia, and diabetes. In fact, a growing body of research shows that the bacteria of any inflammation travel throughout the body and cause damage far from the initial infection site.
So, how can you avoid the unpleasant circumstances connected to gum disease? Here are 5 simple, yet crucial steps you can take right now:
- Don’t smoke! Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, it has the following negative effects on your gums:
- Increases the amount of plaque on your teeth.
- Can lead to deep, painless areas of infection between your teeth and gums.
- Promotes bone loss and tissue loss inside the structures that support your teeth.
And cigarettes aren’t the only culprit – pipes, cigars, chew – so if you want healthy gums, avoid any and ALL tobacco products!
- Eat a nutritious, balanced diet. A healthy body promotes healthy gums. In fact, in many cases gingivits can be directly connected to poor NUTRITION habits. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet packed with plenty of protein, minerals, vitamins, and other components. Vitamins C and B are both very important to healthy gums – so load up on your fruits and green leafy vegetables if you want that smile to last. If you are prone to gingivitis consider adding concentrated buffered vitamin C to your list of daily supplements.
- Live an active, youthful lifestyle. Do at least some amount of exercise every day and maintain a healthy weight. Learn which BMI (body-mass index) level is appropriate for you. “Why is this necessary?” you ask… because each of the familiar behaviors now known as “LIFESTYLE RISK FACTORS” accelerates the aging process. (E.g., Smoking, obesity, inactivity, drug or alcohol abuse, and so on.) A healthy diet combined with a healthy lifestyle helps keep the years at bay and maintains your body’s natural resistance to disease.
- Brush and irrigate. We know… you know… everybody knows: brushing alone is just not enough. You really do need to irrigate between the teeth and the gum twice per day. Doing your part to remove the plaque that builds up below the gum line will go a very long way towards keeping your gums (and teeth) in tip-top shape. So, at the risk of being tedious, do the right thing. Brush your teeth at least two to three times a day. And buy a water irrigator and use it regularly!
- Get regular medical and dental check-ups. Finally, don’t let your health providers become strangers, especially your dentist. Regular, professional cleaning by a dental professional helps keep your teeth and gum line free from the plaque that leads to gum disease. And working with your doctor to stay healthy is critical to the overall balance you need for a healthy life and healthy gums.
Here’s the bottom line: Healthy Body, Healthy Gums. Take the time to invest in your overall health and well-being. It not only will pay off in how you look and feel, it will help ensure that you can have a healthy, happy smile that will last a lifetime.
What is “Green Dentistry”?
Green dentistry (also known as eco-dentistry) is an environmentally friendly way of practising dentistry by using techniques and equipment to reduce waste, conserve energy , decrease pollution and reduce our carbon footprint. Aside from helping to protect the environment, going green can also help save money and time…
What is “Green Dentistry”, also known as eco-dentistry?
Currently, the amount of waste generated by dental practices around the world is staggering, from mercury dumped in the wastewater to using large amounts of water and electricity. Eco-dentistry aids in identifying simple measures that we and our patients can take to reduce waste and conserve energy, thereby promoting awareness of the environment.
Some popular examples of eco-dentistry are the following:
In South Africa there is a real need to conserve energy, as frequent electricity blackouts are a testimony of. At Cape Town Smile Studios we switch off unused lights, and have replaced traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient versions where possible. Outside lights are on timers, and are only switched on at night.
Dental surgeries waste a lot of water on an annual basis. This is usually the result of leaving taps running while dentists, staff and patients wash their hands. brush their teeth or rinse their mouths. Simply turning the tap off during washing will save a huge amount of water over a period of time. Pour some water into a cup and use that for rinsing. Dental staff at CTSS are trained to use predetermined amounts of water for mixing dental materials. This not only reduces monthly bills but contributes positively towards water conservation.
Using digital radiation techniques rather than conventional radiation techniques reduces the amount of radiation that the patient is exposed to by up to 90%, while at the same time the amount of radiation sent into the universe is reduced. Image quality is not only better (therefore less xrays are needed to get just the correct image), but our carbon footprint is smaller because we no longer have to use toxic developers and fixers to get the image on a plastic film. By switching to digital X-rays, it is estimated that each dental surgery would prevent the disposal of around 200 litres of toxic dental X-ray fixer and more than 7,200 lead foils (part of the packaging of the conventional xrays) over a five year period.And our patients have the added advantage that their xrays can be sent around the world. Storage of conventional xrays in a large practice such as CTSS has been a major problem, but not since 1999 when we first started using digital xrays.
Reuse / Recycle
At CTSS all paper is recycled, even the ads from companies that are only printed on one side is used to print internal office information on the other side! Paper or plastic products, magazines, and general waste are placed in recycle containers. Recycling helps to reduce costs as well as cutting down on waste.
Nowadays, most companies depend on computer technology to do accounts, keep client records, make appointments, communicate with clients and other companies, pay bills, online banking and many other important everyday functions. Dental practices are becoming increasingly reliant on computers but some are still using paper records, appointment books and paper forms, which means a significant amount of paper is being used. CTSS has been using computer technology for patient records, an online appointment system and an online payment system since 1999, reducing paper usage and making the system much more efficient and accurate. The only printed statement the patient receives is on the day of treatment. In fact, monthly statements have not been printed since 2001. Where patients later require another statement, this is emailed to them as a pdf.
Dealing with hazardous substances
Many people will probably be unaware of the risks associated with several chemicals and materials used on a daily basis in dental surgeries, but this is an issue that has been highlighted in reference to green dentistry. Some of the materials used in dental offices can potentially be very harmful to the environment; amalgam, for example can be hazardous to unborn babies. Amalgam is used in fillings and contains mercury. Most practices in South Africa still use mercury as the alternative (composite) fillings are much more expensive and difficult to use.
Mercury from dental offices ends up in the central sewage networks, where it can be converted into a toxic substance, known as methylmercury, by bacteria in the sewage system. Methylmercury is extremely toxic, and enters the human food chain through the fish we eat. Mercury toxicity accounts for more than 200 health symptoms.
Currently, there is no law in place which requires dentists to reduce the amount of mercury that they release into the wastewater. Dr Ilona Visser, senior consultant at CTSS, will be presenting the facts of mercury toxicity from dental offices at a mini-forum on environmental toxins at North West University in November 2010.
What difference will green dentistry make?
It is easy for people to be sceptical and wonder what kind of difference simply turning off a few light bulbs and recycling some paper will do. However, research has shown that making simple changes can make a huge difference to the environment in a very short space of time. As well as helping to protect the environment, deciding to go green can also reduce costs and lower bills.
Tips for patients
Patients can also do their bit to help the save the environment. Ideas to help out include turning off the taps when washing your hands, sharing lifts to or from the dentist or using public transport (where possible) and recycling waste. The drive for greener dentistry is still in its infancy so there is no doubt that more improvement is needed.
Dentistry is just one facet where Ozone Therapy has made a spectacular difference to how people are cared for. Just 25 years ago, the possibility of reversing dental caries by a simple 40-second procedure was but a dream; dental research had got as far as recognising that caries was an infection, but then dentists proceeded to amputate the infected portion of tooth rather than treat it pharmaceutically. This culture of ‘drilln’fill’ entered the patient into a cyclical treatment pattern of further, increasingly expensive restorative care that would fail at some point in the future. Yet our general medical colleagues stopped cutting off infected appendages over 100 years ago, by managing the infection with ozone and later, by ‘modern’ antibiotics. For some reason, the dental profession failed to see what their medical counter parts were doing – as speed became a consuming goal and religion, the air-driven turbine was the instrument of choice, and tissue destruction continued unabated.
With the advent of MRSA and resistant bacteria, fungi and viruses, ozone is starting to come to the fore again; to date not a single microbe has evolved the ability to withstand exposure to ozone gas!