A History Of The Amalgam Filling Controversy
A History Of The Amalgam Filling Controversy: What You Need To Know
Amalgam metal fillings can be toxic to your body because of the mercury off gassing into your body. Many dentists will claim there is no evidence of these metal fillings being toxic, so they still use them as a mainstay for fillings in their practice.
We believe knowledge is power for you and your health. Here is a history of the amalgam filling controversy. Once you know more about it, you’ll be able to understand the current issues and why amalgam fillings have been known to be toxic since they were introduced to the US in the 1800’s.
Amalgams Introduced To The U.S.
Around 1830, a new dental material was introduced in the US called amalgam. It contained a number of metals including silver, copper, zinc and mercury. It had been used in England and France prior to being brought to the US. Evidence of its first use is in China in the 600AD time period.
Around 1844, the only association for dentists, the American Society of Dental Surgeons, had its members sign pledges not to use mercury fillings. They considered its use malpractice because of possible mercury poisoning and preferred the use of commonly used gold flake.
Several dentists in New York City were suspended for this malpractice of using amalgam fillings. Dentists wanted to use the amalgam because it was cheaper and easier to use than gold. Because of the conflict within the organization around the metal fillings, a new organization was formed called the National Dental Association and later renamed American Dental Association.
The American Society of Dental Surgeons disbanded in 1856 because of the amalgam conflict and resulting loss of members. The American Dental Association took hold, with amalgam fillings now being a standard of care in use.
Scientific Findings On The Dangers Of Amalgam Use
In 1926, Dr. Alfred Stock, from Germany, identified amalgam fillings were a source of mercury vapor. He had his own fillings removed and led an international movement to halt the use of amalgam fillings based on his 30 scientific papers. In WWII, his lab and all of his research was lost in the bombings, which prevented him from doing more to stop the use of amalgam fillings.
The FDA grandfathered in the use of amalgam fillings, in 1976, due to their long-term use, but without any of their own studies, and without regard to the growing number of scientific findings on mercury poisoning.
In 1984, the use of human autopsy studies helped reveal the amount of mercury found in the brain and kidney tissue directly relates to the amount of amalgam fillings in the teeth of those who were autopsied. Also, in this year, the University of Calgary School of Medicine found mercury from amalgam fillings could be found in the blood and tissues of pregnant women and their babies within a few days.
In 1991, Norway declared they would phase out the use of amalgam fillings, starting with pregnant women. Norway banned the use of most mercury-based products, not just amalgam fillings, in 2008 with Sweden following along soon after because of health and environmental concerns.
A 2009 paper from a study at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada in Chemical Research in Toxicology it is estimated older fillings can lose 95% of their mercury content over time. The mercury doesn’t evaporate, but goes into your body. The body can clear much of this toxin if it is in strong health. Anyone with compromised health will have a harder time clearing the mercury. The mercury that doesn’t get cleared from the body is stored, generally in fatty tissue like the liver and brain.
Holistic Dentistry Does Not Use Amalgam Fillings
This information is only the highlights of the amalgam filling controversy. There are many more scientific studies and cases documented by doctors of health related issues stemming from the mercury in amalgam fillings.
Based on this history, you can understand why we do not use amalgam fillings in our office. This is also why we also go above and beyond most dental offices, in regards to amalgam filling removal, so our patients don’t ingest the mercury, or inhale the off gassing, as it is being removed. Read more about our Mercury Safe Filling Removal.
Contact us today to find out more about safe amalgam filling removal and how our dentistry can benefit your health for years into the future.