For starters, they’re not really silver.
There may be a little silver in them, but they’re also 50% MERCURY. According to the CDC, “Amalgam is made by blending almost equal parts of elemental liquid mercury and an alloy powder of mostly silver, and some tin and copper. Smaller amounts of other metals are sometimes used.”
So anyway… We know that Mercury is a toxin. We know that it is a neurotoxin with detrimental effects on the brain. We know that it is a nephrotoxin with disastrous effects on the kidneys. We know that it is a reproductive toxin with significant effects on unborn children. I mean we know this.
Mercury is so dangerous that has been listed consistently as a priority pollutant by the US EPA since the 1970s.
But apparently, we get to use it all the time in all sorts of ways including putting it in our mouths to chew on even.
Amalgam fillings, which are comprised primarily of mercury, are still used regularly in the United States even though countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden have banned the use of amalgam dental fillings. In 2008, Norway’s Minister of Environment Development Erik Solheim said: “Hg is among the most dangerous environmental toxins. Satisfactory alternatives to Hg in products are available, and it is therefore fitting to induce a ban.” In the United States, a few state governments have enacted informed consent legislation for dental patients receiving dental restorations, and I guess that’s a bonus… but the majority of mainstream parents still say, “If it wasn’t safe, our government wouldn’t let them still use it.” REALLY?! I mean, really? Go to your child’s school and take a look at the HFCS and sodium levels in their food that our government regularly subsidizes via the Free and Reduced Meals Programs and then tell me again just how much the government cares. That’s an easy lesson. For a more maddening lesson though, go educate yourself about Monsanto and our government’s allowance of this megacorporation’s hideously unhealthy practices. It’s just not true that if it weren’t safe our government wouldn’t allow it.
The fact is, The American Dental Association has said for the past 150 years that the mercury in amalgam is safe and does not leak. However, no clinical studies were done and the Food and Drug Administration approved amalgam under a grandfather clause. I’m not comfortable with neurotoxins and nephrotoxins being Grandfathered in through the teamwork of two organizations that are designed to keep us safe.
The New Findings on the Safety of Amalgam Fillings
In November of 2010, in the FDA’s advisory board’s final report, it concluded that, “Dental amalgam is the primary source of exposure to Hg0 in the general, non-occupationally exposed population. Amalgam-related Hg exposure exceeds that from fish or other sources for the majority of the population. Amalgam-associated Hg is detected not only in urine but also in: feces; exhaled breath; saliva; blood; various organs and tissues including the kidney, pituitary gland, liver, and brain; in amniotic fluid, placenta, cord blood, meconium and various fetal tissues including liver, kidney and brain, due to maternal amalgam load; and in colostrum and breast milk in association with maternal amalgam load. Amalgam fillings are sufficiently significant to personal Hg exposure that the influence of amalgam load on blood and urine Hg concentration can be detected despite moderate occupational Hg exposure “
If you are not utterly appalled that our FDA and our dentists still put amalgam fillings into our teeth then go back and read that paragraph again.
Anyway, even though the FDA says that amalgam fillings are fine provided you’re over six and not pregnant, searching through their site, you can find all sorts of evidence to the contrary. For your browsing pleasure, here are some direct links of information found within the FDA’s directory:
- In some private directory that we can’t see, you can find this PDF file which gives great links to all of the information the FDA has on their dockets about amalgam fillings: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/06n0352/06N-0352-EC22-Attach-27.pdf I wish I knew what the ohrms directory is. I bet there’s all sorts of interesting reading on there.
- Here’s a link to information that the Medical Devices ADvisory Team Supplied the FDA with about amalgam fillings: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/MedicalDevices/MedicalDevicesAdvisoryCommittee/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236379.pdf
- FDA’s advisory board’s final report in 2010 on amalgam fillings: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/MedicalDevices/MedicalDevicesAdvisoryCommittee/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236362.pdf
Other great resources for information, if you still are not convinced that may make you think twice about using amalgam fillings:
- Study done by the professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky pertaining to mercury in dentistry being a factor in Alzheimer Disease: http://www.medicalveritas.com/images/00161.pdf
- Here’s an interesting study done by the Center for Progressive Medicine showing how amalgam fillings can effect Multiple Sclerosis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9727079
To find a Mercury-Free Dentist in your area or a dentist that is trained to safely remove amalgam fillings, click here.