Amid the on-going controversy over the safety of mercury-containing dental fillings, a University of Saskatchewan research team has shed new light on how the chemical forms of mercury at the surface of fillings change over time.
Their work, just published in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, shows that the surface forms of mercury in older ‘silver’ fillings (also known as amalgams) may be less toxic than previously thought.
Now, if you only read this far, you might be apt to think that this item is just confirming the conventional, ADA- and FDA-sanctioned “wisdom” regarding the “safety” of mercury fillings. But as the song says, “It ain’t necessarily so”:
‘The dental amalgam on the surface of an old tooth filling may have lost as much as 95 per cent of its mercury but what’s left is in a form that is unlikely to be toxic in the body,’ said U of S Canada Research Chair Graham George who led the study. (Emphasis added)
Well, isn’t it great that the remaining 5% of mercury isn’t so toxic? But where did the other 95% go?
Into the body, of course – via outgassing, erosion and in some cases breakage. It is ingested and absorbed. And some people become very sick as a result – typically those who are poor excretors of heavy metals or have an especially high body burden of toxins. Others, of course, are much more able to excrete mercury. This is why the fillings don’t make everyone sick, and this is why the conscientious holistic or biological dentist would never recommend that everyone have their mercury fillings removed, whether they’re showing signs of mercury-related illness or not.
Notably, the above media release does touch upon the issue of the remaining mercury:
But the team cautions that due to the significant mercury loss over time, human exposure to mercury lost from fillings is ‘still of concern’ and that further research is needed to determine when, how and in what form mercury is lost from fillings.
We would like to see continued research in this area to further refine our understanding of why we see what we have seen clinically for years: people with chronic illnesses proven to be related to dental amalgam regaining health after proper pre-treatment, safe and methodical mercury removal and detox. Of course, there’s much we know already from research such as the pioneering work of Peter Störtebecker, Boyd Hayley and Hal Huggins. But there is always more to learn…
…including things like the importance of reading beyond headlines and the first few paragraphs of any news story.