How Accurate are the QuackWatchers? Mercury Amalgam Fillings

From Amalgam Myths and Facts (amalgam here means mercury-containing amalgams used by dentists):

Myth 10: Amalgam has been banned in Germany and Sweden and therefore should be banned in the United States.

Fact 10: Dental amalgam has not been banned in any country in the European Union.

From a 2009 press release:

The [Swedish] Government today decided to introduce a blanket ban on mercury. The ban means that the use of dental amalgam in fillings will cease.

In response to the Swedish ban, the American Dental Association put out a press release that said such a ban was “not necessary” in America because dentists do such a good job recycling the amalgam that doesn’t go into your mouth. Moreover, “a recent economic impact study published in the journal Public Health Reports indicates dental care costs in the U.S. would increase up to $8.2 billion in the first year alone if amalgam use was discontinued.” I don’t know what “up to” means. Perhaps it means that dental care costs would increase by a trivial amount “up to” $8.2 billion. Mercury-containing amalgam fillings are about half mercury.

Soon after I had two mercury fillings removed, I slowly became faster at arithmetic.

10 Replies to “How Accurate are the QuackWatchers? Mercury Amalgam Fillings”

  1. What happened to you accuracy in the mental arithmetic tests? I remember you wrote an earlier post (not about mercury) that mentioned that your speed increased but the accuracy decreased.

    How much did your speed increase?

    Seth: About 50 msec? From an average time/problem of 600 msec to 550 msec. Something like that.

  2. Quackwatch makes no effort to be accurate, it’s merely a website put there to scare you away from any healthful natural remedy or lifestyle change and into your doctor’s arms. I really hate that guy!

  3. I had a mouthful of amalgams (12+) removed last fall at the insistence of my functional medicine doctor, and my autoimmune (Hashimoto’s) symptoms are finally improving. My endocrinologist has been fiddling with my medicine for years, but they never helped. I absolutely believe amalgam fillings are deleterious to health.

  4. I asked my dentist about fillings last time I had to have one put in. Now, granted he is probably pretty “main stream” but he said something that made me think. He said “we have a history with the metal fillings but we don’t with the new fillings.” I.E. we know what happens with the metal fillings but what will all the material in the new fillings in our mouths do to us? Aren’t they a form of plastic?

    Seth: Yes, they are thermosetting plastics. I’d ask your dentist: what does that history show? There’s an even longer history of tonsillectomies. Long history does not equal safe. Tonsillectomies were recently found to be associated with a 50% increase of risk of heart attack.

  5. No, just because we’ve always done something a certain way does NOT mean we should keep doing it that way if something better comes along. But the thing that I’ve noticed is that the “new thing” ends up being worse for us than the old. Butter and margarine are examples. We are told to not eat butter because of the saturated fat then we find out that margarine is very bad for us due to trans fats. We hear of a new drug that is supposed to really help people and five years down the line we find out it causes strokes. We are told to take/eat more of a vitamin and then find out that higher rates of cancer are correlated to higher intake of that vitamin. It’s confusing. So should I remove what is already in my mouth which I don’t think is causing me harm (I could be wrong though!) , an expensive proposition, and replace it with an unknown substance? Will we find out in 20, 30, 50 years that it’s leaching out chemicals into the body? That is the question.

  6. Here’s the thing abut dental amalgams – they do reduce the metal that they are made out of at the rate of something like 1% of that metal to 2.1% of that metal per year. Now the big problem is that when people get all concerned about the amalgams, they go into their local dentist, and demand the amalgams get removed.
    There is a right way to do it. This right way involves there being an cannula providing oxygen from a canister to the nasal passages of the person having the mercury and silver fillings removed. Otherwise, without the cannula, the person is breathing in somewhere’s between 5 to 15% of the amalgam itself! Depending upon how the dentist drills out the material.
    No one should ever have more than one filling removed at a single time. And make sure you have a dentist who understands that his drilling away at the filling will be essentially vaporizing the filling. Make sure you are not going to breathe in any of the amalgam. The dentist must be careful to provide you with you protection. Otherwise his or her actions will hurt you more than help you. To say nothing of his or her health, and the ehalth of the staff.

  7. Given how heavy metals remain in the body, wouldn’t any harm from them be more-or-less permanent? In other words, wouldn’t you expect your arithmetic ability to stop falling further, but not to recover?

    Seth: “Given how heavy metals remain in the body…” That my arithmetic score improved after my amalgam fillings were removed suggests your theory is wrong — that a substantial amount of heavy metals are removed. Mercury is excreted in hair. Maybe it is also excreted in other ways.

  8. Yes it is true that amalgam has been banned in Sweden and Denmark, this month there are meetings in Europe to create more restrictions on the use of this mercury filled material, it is true that mercury comes off silver fillings all day long in small doses. The largest amount of mercury is when it is placed in and taken out of a tooth. Mercury is a toxin, our body is not built to defend against a chronic exposure to mercury. The EPA demands that this filling material be delivered and picked up from dental offices in special hazard material containers but it is ok to put in peoples mouths, that makes no sense. All consumers should atleast be informed and sign a note of consumers consent upon knowing that what is being placed in there teeth is 50% mercury and small amounts come out into the body on daily basis.

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