Mercury (Hg): A Poison In Your Mouth
The Quebec Holistic Dental Association is a non-profit
organization comprised of dentists whose practice philosophy is centered on a
global vision of health.
This philosophy is based on the following principles:
"First do no harm" (Hyppocrates' first precept) and "Treat the
person, not the symptom"
Holistic dentists apply these two principles by using more
biocompatible restorative materials.
This folder expresses the concerns of the members of the QHDA
concerning the use of dental amalgam and, in particular, concerning its mercury
Don't go from the frying pan into the fire! In removing dental
amalgam without appropriate protection you will risk being exposed to elevated
toxic mercury vapors. Be well informed before deciding.
Dentists have been using amalgam to fill cavities for over 160
years. "Silver" fillings actually contain 50% mercury and are used to restore
approximately 80% of cavities. The use of dental amalgam has restored teeth and
improved mastication for millions of people over the years. Dentists appreciate
its clinical properties: it is durable, easily inserted in a cavity and
Good Clinical Performance
Although its physical properties have been evaluated and
continuously improved, its biological properties have totally been ignored
It was long believed that the mercury was chemically locked-in
with the other metals in amalgam: silver, tin, copper and zinc. Recently,
however, technology has allowed us to detect mercury vapor leaching out of
Mercury - even in very small quantities - is a poison more toxic
than lead, arsenic or cadmium. And the vapors that come off amalgam are readily
absorbed through the lungs and rapidly transported to all organs of the body
where it can cause harm; health problems may occur much later in a very
Studies published in professional dental journals shed doubt on
the reports of any dangers associated with mercury in amalgams. This is why
most dentists still use it today and believe it is safe.
Research published in medical journals, however, relate mercury
amalgam to many functional disorders.
Studies are currently being done on the effects of amalgam on
Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, renal
problems and many other diseases of unknown origin. Hundreds of individuals
have already reported the improvement of a number of chronic symptoms after
having had their amalgams removed. Related symptoms are:
Periods of depression
Tingling and numbness in extremities
Urgent need to urinate (at night)
Cold hands and feet
Bouts of anger
Twitching of face or other muscles
Difficulty taking minor decisions
Frequent cramping of legs
Ringing in the ears
Unexplained chest pain
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers that the most important source of
mercury for the general population that is not exposed industrially is from
An average dental amalgam filling contains enough mercury to exceed the limit
recommended by the American EPA for a period of 100 years.
Toxicology experts agree that the smallest
quantity of mercury that does not cause harm is still unknown.
Amalgam waste - the part that the dentist does not use - is considered "hazardous
for the environment.
When a dentist removes a piece of amalgam and places it on a shelf, it again
becomes "hazardous waste"
and must be manipulated with caution. If this waste is found in the
environment, the dentist may have to pay a fine.
Sweden and Germany have already begun to reduce or eliminate the use of
Only twelve parts per trillion in water constitutes a real danger for
In 1996, Health Canada Recommended That Dentists:
Avoid using mercury to restore children's teeth.
Avoid placing or removing amalgam in the teeth of pregnant women.
Avoid using dental amalgams in patients suffering from kidney
Use methods and equipment to reduce the risks of exposure to
mercury vapor to protect their patients and their staff.
Avoid using amalgams in patients who risk suffering from
allergic hypersensitivity (5 to 15% of the population).
On the advice of a physician, remove amalgams from a patient who
has become sensitive.
Avoid placing amalgam in contact with other metal appliances in
the mouth (orthodontic appliances, etc).
Fully inform patients of the risks and benefits involved.
Recognize patient's right to refuse treatment using a" specific
Considering these facts, do you still feel mercury should be
used to restore your teeth?
For more information on this subject or to contact a dentist in
your area who has been accredited in the safe removal of mercury fillings,
contact the QHDA at: (514) 333-4020.
The Canadian and American dental associations still support the
use of mercury amalgam fillings. They feel that because they have been used for
over 160 years, they must be safe and they are unaware of scientific studies
demonstrating that exposure to mercury fillings can cause disease.
Attention: Pregnant Women
The Canadian, Swedish and German governments recommend no dental
work be done either inserting, polishing or removing amalgams during pregnancy
and breast feeding in order to protect the child from excessive accumulation of
mercury in its tissues. The QHDA supports this position.