Mercury Amalgam: Don't Let Dentists Badger You with This Outdated Practice…
September 06, 2011
- The Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry seeks to end abominable 150-year historical mistake of using mercury-containing amalgam fillings
- Health ramifications of amalgam use disproportionately affects working class with limited insurance plans and Medicaid recipients, particularly the disabled
- Dental amalgams are a taxpayer rip-off. If dentists using amalgam had to pay for environmental cleanup, the price of amalgam would be exorbitant
- Detailed action plan for Americans, Canadians, Australians, Britons, and Europeans to help remove mercury fillings from their countries
By Dr. Mercola
With Consumers for Dental Choice
That American dentistry became mired in mercury is a story of profits first, people last. Amalgam is a primitive, pre-Civil War, pollution product that is half mercury. The 50 percent of North American dentists still using amalgam likely do so for the quick and easy profits – while handing us the bill for the health effects and environmental disaster.
Now is the time for those dentists still using amalgam to switch, and join their brother and sister dentists who practice mercury-free dentistry. Now is the time for you to decide that henceforth you will not allow mercury in your mouth or your child's mouth – no matter what a pro-mercury dentist might say. Now is the time for you to tell your neighbor, cousin, or best friend: Don't get a mercury filling.
And what is a mercury filling?
It is what the mainstream press calls "silver fillings."
Mercury Amalgams More Commonly Used in Minorities and the Poor...
Just like the one-size-fits-all strategy of medicating community water supplies with fluoride, the use of mercury amalgams disproportionally affects minorities and the poor, as they frequently are left without options—even when they know better and want a safer alternative.
As explained by Charlie Brown in the featured interview:
"People on these very limited dental insurance plans or on Medicaid often have no bargaining power with their dentists. They are being told by the dentists, "This is what I'm going to do." The dentist may not even tell them what they're going to do. They just put in fillings. Some dentists treat their patients and those teeth like dollar signs.
There's a disproportionate impact on working [class] American families—whether in Appalachia, where I'm from, or in inner-cities. Working [class] families: white, African-American, Latino, and Native Americans are much more likely to get a mercury filling.
... It's unscrupulous dentistry and it's terribly unfair to these families... One group that is particularly badly treated are children with disabilities... [T]here was just an all-out battle in Philadelphia, because we succeeded in getting a fact sheet law, so the parents were reading the fact sheets, saying, "I don't want amalgam." The dentists serving children with disabilities were telling the parents, "You will get the filling I decide on"... Parents were forced to leave the office or accept a mercury filling! These dentists were backed up by the Pennsylvania Dental Association. That was condemnable.
... The ADA in fact issued an apology recently for its history of racism. That appears to continue with their attitude that those who are disabled have no rights to mercury-free dentistry. That's one of the battles that we're [facing]... to protect those who are less able to fend for themselves in this economic society."
Consumers for Dental Choice Paves the Way for Mercury-Free Dentistry Worldwide
Leading the charge against mercury fillings is Consumers for Dental Choice, a nonprofit group founded by Charlie Brown that merits your support. With its worldwide Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry, we get closer – year-by-year, and day-by-day – to ending this abominable 150-year historical mistake. But to win, we need action in communities across the United States and around the world.
Here's what you can do right in your community or your workplace:
- If your dentist has not switched to mercury-free dentistry, this is the time for him or her to do so. Call your dentist and ask. If they use mercury and insist on sticking with it, re-consider your choice of dentists.
- If you work for a company that covers dental fillings, ask if they will cover composites, ART, or other alternatives to amalgam. Consider the stellar example of the Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin company, which fully covers composite but does not pay for amalgam! Parker-Hannifin employees and their families are getting non-toxic dental fillings.
- If you have dental insurance, ask about ending primacy for amalgam. That's what United Concordia has done with its policies.
- If you know your Mayor or a member of your City or Town Council, consider asking if they will do what is happening in some California cities: pass a resolution calling for an end to amalgam and a request that dentists in your town stop using amalgam.
What You Can Do to Help Abolish Mercury Amalgams
Charlie Brown, who runs Consumers for Dental Choice, is headed to Nairobi in October to lead a worldwide delegation participating in the world mercury treaty negotiations. With him will be a team of dentists, consumers, attorneys, and scientists fighting to get amalgam into that treaty. With the world deciding whether we continue allowing mercury in children's mouths, much is at stake.
During this Mercury-Free Dentistry Awareness Week, I urge you to take action.
Here's what you can do:
Americans: Our number one problem is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has partnered with the American Dental Association (ADA) to cover up the mercury; to make you think you are getting silver instead of toxic mercury in your mouth. The FDA intentionally conceals the warnings about amalgam deep in its regulation -- so parents will never see them. On its website, the FDA gives dentists the green light to continue to deceive consumers with the term "silver fillings"
"Americans are ready for the end of amalgam." This was the theme of the testimony to the U.S. Department of State on August 18 by former West Virginia state Senator Charlotte Pritt. Yes, Americans are ready. But FDA is not. So let's send them a message.Nine months ago, FDA scientists advised the agency to disclose the mercury to all patients and parents, and to stop amalgam for children and pregnant women. Yet FDA sits – sits actually in the pocket of the American Dental Association – ignoring its own scientists.
Please write the Director of FDA's Center for Devices, Jeff Shuren, firstname.lastname@example.org Ask Dr Shuren why the FDA continues to ignore scientists and covers up the mercury from American parents and consumers. Ask when the FDA is going to get in step with the world on mercury.
Dr. Jeff Shuren, Director
Center for Devices, U.S. Food & Drug Admin.
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
WO66-5431, Room 5442
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
Californians : Dr. Shuren is coming to San Francisco for a "town meeting" on September 22. We urge Northern Californians to attend. It will go from 8 am to 12 noon, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, San Francisco Airport (telephone: 650.589.3400)
In Southern California, Consumers for Dental Choice is organizing a city-by-city attack on amalgam --- and needs volunteers. If you wish to help with the grassroots work of organizing for city council hearings, gathering petitions, and telephoning, volunteer by writing email@example.com
Australians: Your government, Aussies, is now in last place on the mercury treaty, asking the world to throw in the towel instead of working to phase out dental mercury. A great new group has started, Australians for Mercury-Free Dentistry, led by dentist Lisa Matriste and consumer activist Anna Priest. We urge you to go to its website and join: http://www.mercuryfreedentistry.com.au/
Canadians: The chief dental officer of Health Canada doubles as a lobbyist for the pro-mercury World Dental Federation. Pretty outrageous, eh? We ask that you write Minister of Environment Canada Peter Kent at Minister@ec.gc.ca, and tell him that you as a taxpayer are amazed that Environment Canada is letting someone with such a conflict of interest influence the nation's treaty policy on amalgam. Ask him why Environment Canada is silent on amalgam, and if this is due to the fact that Canada's Chief Dental Officer was at the treaty sessions boasting that he "wears two hats," paid government employee and lobbyist for a special interest group.
Brits and other Europeans: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution this spring calling for the end of amalgam. The Council of Europe is not the European Union -- it is every European nation, all 47 of them. Deputy Jean Huss drafted the meticulously-researched report upon which this resolution was based. This ground-breaking report explained that “[A]malgams are the prime source of exposure to mercury for developed countries, also affecting embryos, fetuses (through the placenta) and children (through breastfeeding)… Exposure to mercury can seriously affect the health of patients and dental professionals…[B]etween 60 and 90 tonnes of mercury from dental surgeries are released into and contaminate Europe’s atmosphere, surface waters and soil every year.” Please thank Deputy Huss for his excellent work at Jhuss@chd.lu.
Folks worldwide: If you aren't on that list, there's plenty to do – for example, Dominique Bally, an outstanding young advocate from the Ivory Coast, runs the Amalgam-Free Africa Campaign. If you want to help somewhere, anywhere, and there's nothing on the list above for you, write Charlie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but certainly not least, I encourage you to contribute to Consumers for Dental Choice. The Natural Health Research Foundation, founded by me, Dr. Mercola, will double match whatever you give this week. I believe that strongly in the mission, the commitment, and the quality of work of Consumers for Dental Choice and its Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry.
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