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Mary Starrett
April 1, 2003

We should all be walking around with a skull and crossbones prominently affixed to our lips.

The universal symbol for poison would remind those of us with mercury amalgam fillings that we have a mouthful of poison, and that every time we brush, swallow, chew , drink something hot, or for that matter breathe, we're releasing the most toxic, non-radioactive element known to man into our bodies.

It would also serve as a reminder of one possible reason so many of us just don't feel well, and we'd stop wasting our time running from doctor to doctor to find out why.

Mercury-containing products like thermometers and mercurochrome have been banned. The toxic metal has been taken out of contact lens solution and efforts have been successful to remove it from vaccines (that's another toxic cocktail we've been subjected to) . Still, the mercury which stands to cause the greatest harm is routinely being packed into our teeth. The stuff is more toxic than arsenic and lead.

The American Dental Association, long on the defensive about the fillings they've held patents on for years, says: "There currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental amalgam".

" No justification" unless you ignore such pesky annoyances as:

Certain cancers
Memory problems
Shyness Irritability
Lou Gehrig's Disease
Heart and Kidney problems
Changes in vision or hearing
High blood pressure
Fetal abnormalities
Lung and respiratory illness
Muscle incoordination
Immunological disorders… To name just a few .

And don't think all these horrible maladies affect only those with a mouthful of mercury. This most volatile of all the heavy metals gets into the blood, brain and organs of those who don't even have teeth. The developing fetus is at risk to have even higher blood mercury levels than the mother has. It's harmful effects include brain damage, mental retardation, seizures and an inability to speak. The toxic metal even winds up in breast milk.

But not to worry says the ADA: This "safe, affordable and durable material has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans." That's it, right there. The ONLY answer to questions about the safety of amalgam fillings this august board has been able to come up with is "Hey, look, we've put it in a lot of mouths, so it MUST be ok". No kidding.

Maybe that's why 60 million Americans suffer from multiple chronic illnesses their doctors can't explain .

Maybe that's why in 1989 the ADA issued a gag rule for dentists that said they were forbidden to discuss the risks of mercury amalgam fillings with their patients. Some dentists in Maryland took issue with this gag rule saying it violated their First Amendment rights. Dental Mafia

The ADA has enforced this gag rule by threatening dentists with the loss of their licenses. It happened to Dr. Terry Lee, a Phoenix, Az. dentist who for 27 of the 33 years he's been practicing, has done so without using mercury fillings. He's been hauled before the state board and has had to defend the fact that he even suggested some of his sick patients might get better if their fillings were removed. Despite the harassment, Dr. Lee has countless patients who've seen astounding results once the poison in their mouths was safely removed.

One patient had adult-onset epilepsy and had been prescribed the strong anti- seizure drug Dilantin. He was, by all accounts, a " zombie" as a result of the medication. His wife feared she'd have to institutionalize him. Once the mercury amalgam fillings were gone, so, too, were his seizures.

Another patient, a woman in her 40's, had severe depression and anxiety. That woman's health so improved after her fillings were removed that today she's a regular speaker at conferences for mercury-free dentistry.

Ever heard that dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession? That might be because depression is a classic symptom of neurologic damage caused by high levels of mercury in the brain. Dentists have also been shown to have higher than normal aggression levels and motor impairment. Female dental workers have a higher than average rate of miscarriage and more of their babies are born with birth defects. The high incidence of alcohol abuse by dentists is also another telltale sign. Dr. Lee points out that could be because alcohol numbs the effects of what mercury does to the brain.

Despite all this, and over 1,000 studies showing toxicity in animals and humans, the ADA is standing by it's position that mercury is completely safe. That's for a very good reason. Can you imagine the liability once it becomes common knowledge that dentistry has perpetrated a 150 year experiment on the American public? The ADA simply cannot now reverse itself without admitting guilt and incurring a tremendous financial liability. Why, it'd make the tobacco company settlements look like they were tried in small claims court. Major manufacturers of amalgam fillings see the liability handwriting on the wall and have issued contraindication warnings for children, pregnant women nursing mothers and those with braces.

How Low Can They Go?

The ADA has put it's seal of approval on amalgam fillings as well as on certain brands of toothpaste and other dental products. Think that's because these products are so much better than anything else out there? No, actually the ADA makes money by "selling it's seal, it's" approval" to the highest bidder- something even the AMA won't do. That should show you just how smarmy the ADA bunch really is.

Fortunately state legislatures all over the country have bills pending that would either ban the fillings or require dentists to inform their patients of the risks. A bill recently proposed in Arizona seeks to prohibit dentists from using mercury fillings in children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. A brand new bill in Oregon cites alarming statistics that show the state has the highest per capita rate of Parkinson's disease in the nation and ranks third for Alzheimers. ( Based on toxicology studies pointing to mercury being a factor in both those diseases.) Another Oregon bill calls for written, informed consent prior to any procedure that uses mercury. The bill would also prohibit the use of amalgam fillings in those with braces and outright bans amalgams after 2007.

Charles Brown, counsel for Consumers For Dental Choice says there's movement on this issue all over the country. The 6 New England states along with the Atlantic provinces of Canada have "zero mercury" bills pending which would tackle the issue from an environmental standpoint. (If you live in any of these states, now's the time to speak up and let your elected representatives know you want these bills PASSED!)

In case you're still not convinced of how deadly this dental deception is- Consider that young athletes who suddenly die from " mysterious" heart problems have been shown to have 22,000 times as much mercury in their heart tissue as do patients with other cardiac conditions.

The "silver" fillings you've been sold on aren't silver at all. Just goes to show- if the dental deities are so all-fired sure of their stance on amalgam fillings, why not call them "mercury" amalgam? With over 50% of the filling made up of mercury, and not "silver", they must have figured that people know, on some level, that mercury is toxic to every living organism. The FDA has never "approved" these fillings since they've been around so long and the amalgam is actually cooked up by each dentist.

Worth noting: Each amalgam filling contains the same amount of mercury found in a thermometer. Remember, mercury thermometers have been banned in many states. If the stuff is considered dangerous in a glass tube , then why not in our mouths?

Dentists like to point out that the mercury becomes "stable" or inert once it's placed in the tooth. Scientist Boyd Haley, a chemistry professor at the University of Kentucky says that's a lie: "They place this stuff in people's mouths and it's toxic before it goes in and it's toxic when it's placed in your tooth, so how does it suddenly become safe"? Good question, especially when you consider how wigged-out the EPA is about mercury in our environment. How about that same level of concern about what's being put into our mouths?

For now, until this mercury madness is relegated to the scrap heap of foolish medical practices we must encourage our state legislators to jump on the mercury ban bandwagon. Call them, email them, write them. And to quote Dr. Terry Lee , if your dentist suggests mercury amalgams…. " get out of that office as fast as you can!"

Do some homework. I'll list some resources at the end of this article and I hope you'll take the time to look into this on your own… for your health's sake. As for me, I have scheduled an appointment to have my mercury amalgam fillings removed.

N.B. "Mercury-free" dentistry is not the same as "biological/ holistic dentistry". Make sure you find a practitioner who also acknowledges the dangers of root canals, incompatible dental materials and infections which can arise from previously extracted teeth. A biological-holistic dentist is your best choice. And be aware the removal of amalgam fillings is an extremely dangerous procedure if not done properly. After all, that stuff you've been carrying around in your head is poison.

For more information:,,,

Books: Solving The Puzzle Of Mystery Illnesses/ Hot Off The Press Printing (2000)
It's All In Your Head/ Hal Huggins

© 2003 - Mary Starrett  All Rights Reserved


Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows.  E-Mail