MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

What? Holistic dentistry? Dentists drilling holes in our teeth?

No, it is something quite different; this article tries to explain it in some detail:

… holistic dentistry involves an awareness of dental care as it relates to the entire person, with the belief that patients should be provided with information to make choices to enhance their personal health and wellness…

Some of the philosophies include:

— Alternatives to amalgam/mercury fillings

— Knowing and following proper mercury removal

— Multi-disciplinary, or integrated, health care

— Nutritional and preventive therapies and temporomandibular joint disorder therapy.

Personally, I find this sounds a bit like a string of platitudes designed to lure in new customers and boost the dental business. An awareness that the mouth and its content is part of the whole body is not a philosophy; alternatives to amalgam have existed since decades and are used by ‘normal’ dentists, integrated health care is a con, nutrition is part of conventional healthcare and temporomandibular joint disorders are most certainly an issue for conventional dentistry. Perhaps another article might do a better job at explaining what ‘holistic dentistry’ is all about:

…Holistic dentistry is not considered a specialty of the dental profession, but a philosophy of practice. For those dentists who take the concept to its core, holistic dentistry includes an understanding of each patient’s total well-being, from their specific cosmetic, structural, functional, and health-related dental needs to the concerns of their total body and its wellness. Holistic dentists tend to attract very health-conscious individuals.

Some of the things holistic dentists are especially concerned about are the mercury found in traditional amalgam dental fillings, fluoride in drinking water, and the potential relationship of root canal therapy to disease in other parts of the body. Holistic dentists’ primary focus is on the underlying reasons why a person has dental concerns, and then help correct those issues by strategic changes in diet, hygiene and lifestyle habits.

Natural remedies to prevent and arrest decay and periodontal (gum) disease can also be utilized. Many holistic dentists are skilled in advanced levels of nutritional physiology and use natural means of healing patients, often avoiding the more standard use of systemic antibiotics, pain control management and surgical procedures.

This partly describes what good dentists have always done and partly it seems to be nonsense. For instance, natural remedies for tooth decay and gum disease? Really? Which remedies precisely? I know of no such treatments that are backed by sound evidence. Let me try a third quote; this one is directly from the horse’s mouth (pun intended), i. e. from a holistic dentist:

Holistic Dentistry, many times referred to today as “Biological” or “Biocompatible” Dentistry, is based on the concept that the mouth and oral structures are an integrated part of the body. It is a paradigm or a philosophy within dentistry and not a specialty.

Holistic dentistry supports your choice to live a healthier, more natural and less toxic life. We bridge the gap between conventional clinical dentistry and natural healing modalities. All holistic health care models share basic philosophical foundations. They all promote health and well being through healthful nourishment, elimination of toxins, and the promotion of physical, mental and energetic balance.

As holistic dentists we recognize that the mouth is connected to the body and that it cannot be viewed as an independent system. It is a reflection of the overall health of the body and much can be done to impact it both positively and negatively. Like many conventional dentists we first look to see if the foundation is solid. Are your gums bleeding and swollen? Is this a reflection of poor nutritional habits? Or are there signs of infection and disease? Are the teeth moving? Is there a stable bite? Can you chew comfortably on both sides of your mouth? Do you get frequent headaches? Are your teeth in harmony with your jaw joint? Are there signs of oral cancer?
The Basic Principles of Holistic Dentistry
Proper nutrition for the prevention and reversal of degenerative dental disease.
Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials.
Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems = physical imbalance)
Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis
We check the condition of the teeth themselves. Is there more filling than tooth structure? Are the fillings made from the most non-toxic materials available? Are they supporting the bite correctly? Will they be there in five years? Is there decay? Does your diet support your oral health? Then together with our patients we formulate a plan to determine what we can do to help you achieve a stable and healthy mouth. This examination can be a first visit scenario in many dental offices.
Holistic dentists also make fillings, take x-rays and use anesthesia to numb your mouth. However we only use mercury-free white fillings. More importantly, we take extra precautions when removing your old silver fillings to minimize your exposure to mercury vapor. Why don’t we use Mercury? Mercury is one of the heavy metal toxins implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease and autism. However according to the American Dental Association, it is a safe filling material and, as recently as two years ago, the Florida board of dentistry attempted to pass legislation to prevent doctors from advertising as mercury-free dentists.

In holistic dentistry we minimize your exposure to toxic substances in every area of our work. Therefore we use a digital computer generated x-ray unit to take your x-rays which reduces your exposure to radiation by as much as 90%. We don’t advocate the indiscriminant use of fluoride in adults or children, for it is a known poison (check the label on your toothpaste tube) and a commonly used pesticide. We have installed distilled water sources in our office to minimize bacterial contamination. We research and attend courses to find the safest and most biocompatible materials available for dental work. Further, because we recognize that each individual has a different threshold of tolerance for dental materials, we sometimes suggest further testing to determine an individual’s ability to tolerate particular restorative material over long periods of time.

Ultimately you are responsible for your own health. You can choose your health care partners consciously. You can reunite with a part of your body that has been disenfranchised and polluted with toxins. You can reclaim your own unity and wholeness by taking the time to notice what goes into your mouth and how it comes out of it. Your mouth is a sacred portal through which breath, mantra and food travel in and out of your body.

See what I mean?

This is more of the same again. PHILOSOPHY? PARADIGM? REUNITE WITH DISENFRANCHISED PARTS OF THE BODY? The more I read about holistic dentistry, the more I suspect that it is the equivalent of integrative/integrated medicine: a smoke-screen for smuggling bogus treatments into conventional care, a bonanza of BS to attract gullible customers, a distraction for highjacking a few core principles from real medicine/dentistry without getting noticed, and a dubious con for maximizing income.

‘Holistic dentistry’ makes not much more sense than holistic banking, holistic hairdressing, holistic pedicure, holistic car-repair, etc., etc. Dentistry, medicine, hairdressing, etc. are either good, not so good, or bad. The term holistic as it is currently used in dentistry is just a gimmick, I am afraid.

If I am wrong, please tell me so, and explain what, in your view, ‘holistic dentistry’ means.

37 Responses to Holistic dentistry?

  • You are spot on as always. There’s nothing wrong with ‘normal’ dentistry. And ‘scare’ reference to eg toxins, water fluoridation, autism and dementia are nothing short of disgraceful hooks on which to ensnare anxious patients.

  • I think you are wrong, Edzard: you don’t do these people proper justice.

    As holistic dentists we recognize that the mouth is connected to the body and that it cannot be viewed as an independent system.

    That’s surely an insight not many dentists can boast.

    We have installed distilled water sources in our office to minimize bacterial contamination.

    That’s an amazing advance. Do they not also use oral antiseptics to wipe out the billions of bacteria already present in their patients’ mouths? Oh no, they’re holistic: nothing but intravenous antibiotics so they respect the connection with the whole body.

    We research and attend courses to find the safest and most biocompatible materials available for dental work.

    That obviously puts them ahead of non-holistic dentists who only seek the most damaging and bioincompatible materials.

    What, in my view, does ‘holistic dentistry’ entail? Simple. Unlike ordinary dentistry, holistic dentistry involves filling the patients’ heads with horse shit while simultaneously working on their teeth.

    • ‘That obviously puts them ahead of non-holistic dentists who only seek the most damaging and bioincompatible materials.’

      You probably couldnt find anything much more damaging and bioincompatible than Mercury.

    • That’s surely an insight not many dentists can boast.

      Absolutely. When I was studying dentistry in the late seventies, we only got courses on general anatomy and head-and-neck anatomy. I am totally floored by the idea that the mouth is connected to the body. I would never have guessed. I always thought the mouth was floating around freely in some type of reductionist vacuum. The holistics have really discovered something here! Nobel prizes coming, no doubt, unless there is a global conspiracy.

  • The word ‘holism’ was coined in 1926 by South African soldier, statesman and
    Scholar, Jan Christiaan Smuts in ‘Holism and Evolution’. He defined holism as ‘the
    tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through
    creative evolution.’ His use of the term was modern, but the underlying principles
    were ancient. (See ‘Real Secrets of Alternative Medicine’, chapter 6, Amazon 2016.)

    Smuts thought native Africans should not be given political power. In 1929 he advocated separate institutions for blacks and whites, and encouraged racial segregation in South Africa. He was no proponent of ‘holistic politics’!

    ‘Holistic dentistry’ is a term used by some dentists in order to develop their practices by taking advantage of the gullibility of patients who are attracted to Condimentary (adds flavour, but no substance) and Imaginative Medicine (IM). Such dentists have not qualified as doctors in order to practice non-dental aspects of health care ethically, and so they use misleading marketing terminology to attract custom. C’est la vie. Caveat emptor.

    • “LOSE WEIGHT WITH THE LAP-BAND! SAFE 1 HOUR, FDA APPROVED; 1-800-GET-THIN; 1-800-953-5000; PPO INSURANCE; FREE INSURANCE VERIFICATION”

      It appears that not only(and I quote Dick here) “dentists who have not qualified as doctors…..use misleading marketing terminology to attract customers.” Some bariatric surgeons prey upon people(and, of course, their insurance companies) with self-esteem issues for the purpose of enhancing their profits. My, my, I would think that “modern medicine” would be above such schemes. I wonder what Dick thinks about such advertising practices?

      • perhaps you haven’t realized yet: THIS IS A BLOG DISCUSSING ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE!

        • @ Edzard

          This blog primarily discusses quackery, does it not? Quackery takes many forms, as you well know. Sometimes quackery is birthed within “modern medicine.” It’s telling, relative to the bias and prejudice of many of this forum’s posters, that your readers are quick to pounce(with snarky comments) onto CAM quackery but run, hide, and bury their heads in the sand when asked to rebut, or else point out errors in my examples of such practices which I believe evince medical quackery.

      • I think there are some doctors who are quacks and frauds.
        And I do all I can to expose them, root them out, and disbar them from the profession.
        But what bad doctors get up to is not the subject of this thread.
        (Though I would like to know what Logos-Bios does about camists (practitioners of camistry, CAM) who are quacks and frauds).

        The subject here is ‘holistic dentistry’ and the propensity of some dentists to mislead the public with their pretentious advertising.
        Please do not keep dragging red herrings on to these threads, and banging on about how lousy ‘medicine’ is.
        We know that. We can recognise the ‘tu quoque’ logical fallacy when we see it.
        What should be done about quack dentists?

        • @ Dick Rawlins

          Fair enough! Quack dentists should be reprimanded and fined. If they continue to practice in unethical ways, their licenses should be suspended. The same goes for quacks in medicine, chiro, podiatry, bariatric surgery, etc.

          “Camistry”? You made up this word, right?

          I don’t consider my mentioning comparable quack scenarios within “modern medicine” to those imputed to chiropractic to be blatant red herrings. Were discussions regarding specific CAM procedures on this site to be done academically and dispassionately, there would be little need to cite medical comparisons. However, such is not the case and the term “chiropractic” is used entirely disdainfully by the majority of this forum’s cynics as though the profession has not grown scientifically since its inception. Ergo, insulting and dismissive comments regarding chiropractice warrant, IMHO, the elucidation of similar non-evidence-based practices within medicine.

    • I wouldn’t trust an Orthopaedic Surgeon advice in this area. They are only too happy to hack away at your body with little to no regard.
      I saw one due to a past knee injury, he suggest getting a high tibial osteotomy for the arthritis.
      Anyway, I thought to myself, time to clean up my health, eat better, get my posture looked at and after a short period of time my pain was reduced from a 8 out of 10 to a 2 out of 10.
      Imagine if I got that procedure, i’d be limping around like a fool..

      • I did not know that fools limb; I thought they talk nonsense.

        • I didn’t say they limb, I said limp.
          So do you disagree Edzard that proper nutrition and posture alignment can’t fix chronic pain problems? I think doctors should start with those two items before cracking on with toxic pharmaceuticals. So many ppl lack any awareness of how they should treat their bodies.
          I tend to agree with some of the holistic dentist thoughts though. why is it that mercury contains handling warnings and should never be handled without gloves, but the dental associations were so keen to put it in our teeth – doesn’t make sense.
          We are so worried about eating toxic meat / fish and the health effects, but when it comes to dentists, agriculture (montsanto) and big pharma, then they can do what ever they want

          • sorry – my mistake!
            “do you disagree Edzard that proper nutrition and posture alignment can’t fix chronic pain problems?”
            which type of chronic pain? and what is the evidence for each type?

      • Good for you Gus.
        Sure, orthopaedic surgeons like any other human beings are prone to fall for the moral hazard of a pay-per-case reimbursement. Such a situation is more common in e.g. the US while it is less common in my part of the world where such services are socially regulated and funded. I think however most surgeons have enough patients and do not have to stretch the indications for surgery to increase their income.
        You have decided to believe the bone-hacker was just after your money but I bet his or her advise may not have been so bad. As I say most surgeons do not like to do unnecessary operations, even if they get paid more for more cases. In the long run it destroys their reputation.
        Why do I say the advise you got from your surgeon may not have been bad?
        The knee joint consists of two weight bearing contact surfaces, an inner and an outer. “compartment” A tibial osteotomy is sometimes advisable when arthritis worn out more of one side of the joint which has carried more of the load, usually the inner one due to a slight bowleggedness. This may be due to or triggered by trauma as in your case. The procedure is rather simple and relatively safe. It simply changes the angle of the knee to shift the load over to the better side and thereby delaying the destructive process. It is mostly used in younger, active patients to delay the need for joint replacement.

        I would guess that you lost weight in the process of ‘cleaning up his health’ as you put it. Most if not all orthopedic surgeons give such advise whether they consider operating or not. Maybe you forgot what he/she said in that respect?
        In my part of the world at least, they may even refuse surgery of weight bearing joints if the patient is too heavy and the results of surgery may be compromised by the weight of obesity. Many of our patients come for bariatric surgery primarily to be able to lose enough weight so they can have their knees or hips fixed.

        Increased activity is also beneficiary in any arthritis if it does not involve much wear-inducing (impact) activity.

        Another probable explanation for your improvement is that osteoarthritis is by nature a disease that intensifies in periods. The time most people go and seek advice is when they are in the middle of an “attack”. At that time it is usually not long before they start feeling better again so whatever therapy or advise the patient is given may induce the ever pervasive post-hoc fallacy where the patient thinks it was whatever treatment he got, useless or not, that did the trick when it was just nature going about its usual business and the disease activity going downhill for a while.

        • hi bjorn, you are right in some ways, but wrong in others.
          I have always been a mid tier athlete so have a good awareness of the rights and wrongs of general health.

          For me, the root of my problems was simply too many carbs, this triggered anxiety and arthritis. I switched to a nutrient rich diet of proper food (not packaged) and problems are now limited – sadly no more 100km+ bike rides as that leads to incorrect posture problems.

          How many doctors talk to the patients about diet and recommend that they change things around – not many.

          Since this is a blog on dentistry all I will say here is that I think there are fundamental flaws in our healthcare – we are now starting to realise that basic concepts were wrong and so we should revisit and re-examine everything with a fresh set of eyes. The way that research papers are written and assessed also needs a review as researchers need to publish a set number of papers otherwise they don’t get paid – how about quality.
          From my limited knowledge I think Iceland and the other EU countries have a far better model, but US/UK/Aust – it is very far from perfect.

          • sadly no more 100km+ bike rides as that leads to incorrect posture problems.

            Ride an upright bike. They are far more comfortable, and they do not force you to contort your body. Since I live in Toronto, mine had to be ordered in Holland, but it seems that North Americans (if that is where you are) are slowly getting smarter, and are starting to buy reasonable bikes, and – unless you want good quality – it is no longer necessary to to order them over there.

  • Myself and a few other will be discussing this very subject at QED later this month.

    https://qedcon.org/news/2016/say-aaargh-dental-pseudoscience

    • I have just returned from Vienna where I was invited to give a lecture at the annual meeting of the Austrian dentists… some of the audience were not amused at all by what I told them about the quackery in dentistry. it seems to be much bigger than I had assumed.

      • How about giving the forum some examples of what you said to the dentists and what some of their specific responses were? While you’re at it, please explain why giving a patient what he desires(e.g. a mouth free of dental amalgam, 50% of which is Hg) is quackery when face lifts, nose jobs, breast implants, and even elective bariatric surgeries(to re-capture that “young, sleek look”) are not, at least in your view.

        Note that your response, if it would be on point and reasonably well developed, will require more than 1 or 2 short sentences. I anticipate your hopefully cogent reply. Be well.

  • Holistic & Biological Dentistry—a description by Andrew Weil, M.D.

    Dr. Weil has provided a concise description of holistic dentistry for Edzard, Dick, and Odd Frank(or is it Frank Odds?). I sincerely hope this advances your understanding of the practice. Personanlly I’m agnostic to the practice. It will be interesting to read the comments of others regarding Dr. Weil’s thoughts.

    What is holistic dentistry?
    Holistic dentistry, also known as biological dentistry, takes into account a person’s entire state of physical and emotional health. Holistic dentists use natural therapies (often in combination with conventional ones) to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases of the oral cavity.

    How did it come about?
    Many treatments for oral conditions and diseases include elements that we know are toxic. Amalgam, for example, which is commonly used in fillings, contains more than 50% mercury, a heavy metal that can damage the central nervous and immune systems. A 2006 poll by Zogby International found that 72% of the more than 2,500 Americans surveyed were not aware of the levels of mercury in dental fillings.

    In addition to exposing the body to mercury during placement or removal of amalgam fillings, common dental procedures such as gum cleanings and root canals can force bacteria into the bloodstream, which may be harmful to some patients. Gum cleanings are essential to good oral health and holistic dentists often use natural antibacterial agents to minimize this risk .

    In 1978, a group of dentists banded together to form the Holistic Dental Association, whose mission is to educate and support knowledge about the practice among dentists as well as inform the public about its health benefits.

    What are the risk factors in traditional dentistry?
    Dental amalgam fillings are the primary source of mercury exposure for the general population according to a Canadian study, and mercury can stay in the body for up to a year.

    In addition to the release of mercury and bacteria into the body, there are environmental concerns. Improper disposal of dental waste can cause the release of heavy metals into water sources, posing a threat to wildlife and affecting the food chain. This may be a cause of increased levels of mercury discovered in recent years in certain types of fish and fish-eating animals.

    Mercury amalgam also accumulates on dental supplies, such as cotton swabs and gauze, and these materials may be deposited in the regular trash. In local areas where trash is incinerated, the mercury can be released via air emissions.

    What is the relationship between oral health and overall health?
    Oral health is crucial for overall health. The oral cavity is the starting point and portal for many microbial infections to enter the bloodstream. Oral health may be a risk factor for, indicate the presence of, or exacerbate the effects of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) may first exhibit symptoms in the mouth. People with periodontal disease have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar. And 95% of Americans with diabetes have gum disease.

    The incidence of premature and low birth weight babies is linked to gum disease as well. Those with respiratory infections may have greater difficulty breathing when oral health is compromised.

    Poor oral health also contributes to depression and other mental health conditions. It can affect social interaction, intimacy, and contribute to low self esteem.

    How is holistic dentistry different from traditional dentistry?
    Dentists who practice holistically look at the whole body, not just the teeth and gums. They may advise and offer programs on preventative care that goes beyond practicing good oral hygiene to emphasize better nutrition, smoking cessation, and moderate alcohol consumption for their patients who consume alcoholic beverages.

    Views among holistic dentists may differ. For example, some may be against using fluoride because they believe it does not prevent tooth decay and poses long-term health problems such as increased risk of cancer and degenerative bone diseases. On a more political level, they may be against fluoridation of the water supply, viewing it as government forcing medication on the public.

    Many holistic dentists are against performing root canals. They believe that the use of chemicals in sterilizing agents, in addition to bacteria becoming trapped in the canal as a result of the procedure, can cause long-term health effects.

    Holistic dentists will not use amalgam, nickel, or other metals to fill cavities. Instead, they will use composite resin, a practice that has also become common among dentists who do not describe themselves as holistic. They may also encourage patients to let them remove existing amalgam fillings and replace them with healthier materials.

    The use of digital X-ray equipment, which exposes the patient to substantially less radiation, is also part of holistic dentistry. Some conventional dentists are also using this type of equipment to minimize radiation exposure.

    How do you find a holistic dentist?
    The Holistic Dental Association maintains a database of dentists nationwide who use holistic practices.

    What does Dr. Weil think about holistic dentistry?
    Holistic and integrative approaches are important in any area of medicine, and Dr. Weil contends that dentistry is no exception. His advice: whether you use a conventional or holistic dentist, don’t be afraid to ask questions such as the types of materials that are used in fillings and other dental procedures, whether they use digital X-rays, and how they dispose of medical waste. Yet he does not necessarily agree with all practices among holistic and biological dentists; in particular, he believes that removing existing amalgam fillings is often unnecessary, not to mention costly and stressful. The therapeutic effects of mass amalgam removal in his experience have been minimal. Dr. Weil suggests evaluating fillings and exchanging the amalgam for composite resin only when they break down and need to be redo

    • The points there are either supported by good evidence – in which case we are doing it already – or are not, in which case we rightly regard them as shameless quackery used by charlatans to defraud the unwary. The key phrase is “they believe”. Belief is not a basis for for good healthcare. Science and evidence based policy is. The science and the evidence shows those beliefs to be worthless.

      It should be noted that in the UK dentists, or anyone else for that matter, are not allowed to make unevidenced claims in advertising.

    • Logos-Bios asks and then tells us:
      “How is holistic dentistry different from traditional dentistry?
      Dentists who practice holistically look at the whole body, not just the teeth and gums. They may advise and offer programs on preventative care that goes beyond practicing good oral hygiene to emphasize better nutrition, smoking cessation, and moderate alcohol consumption for their patients who consume alcoholic beverages.”

      So, they are practicing medicine without a licence.
      That is quackery.
      Doctors (in UK at any rate) must stick to fields in which they are trained and competent.
      If dentists want to be doctors they should qualify as such.
      I know many who have.

      Of course all dentists will advise patients to stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, and eat well.
      But that is common sense, not ‘dentistry’ of any sort.
      “Stick to the knitting.” (Peters).

      The term ‘holistic dentistry’ is used as a marketing tool to promote a number of other health concepts (many of which are endorsed by Dr Weil) which have no plausible evidence to support them.

      Just why do some dentists use the term ‘holistic’?
      To attract business. For no other reason.

      • Dick, Please note that my entire post was in direct response to Edzard’s request for what holistic dentistry is or “means.” My post clearly stated that the discussion directly referenced Andrew Weil, M.D.’s specific positions on the subject. I did not ask or tell the forum anything about holistic dentistry in the post; all of the information was provided by Dr. Weil vis a vis me.

      • Richard, in reference to ‘Of course all dentists will advise patients to stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, and eat well. But that is common sense, not ‘dentistry’ of any sort.’

        You say it is common sense, but its actually not – esp for the general public. Go to any ‘health’ food store and look the rubbish they sell. The gluten free isle contains other ingredients that may be harmful to the body.
        My brother just last night said to me that he has a healthy breakfast of Nutragrain every morning – it is not healthy as it contains a huge amount of sugars and other refined anti nutrient ingredients – the marketing promote this as healthy option.
        Look at our populations in the US/UK/Aust – people are getting fatter and fatter – none of them seem to practice a common sense approach.
        Look at India, in the cities some of the populations have been reverting to western diets and now they too are suffering from western health conditions with similar rates and trends.

        Maybe specialist doctors/dentists shouldn’t give the holistic advice, but maybe there should be better / well communicated support structures for people to go to so they can learn the ‘common sense’ things.

    • As soon as I got to “Dr. Weil” I stopped reading. That nincompoop is not worth my time.

  • “If I am wrong, please tell me so, and explain what, in your view, ‘holistic dentistry’ means.”

    “Holistic dentists also make fillings, take x-rays and use anesthesia to numb your mouth. However we only use mercury-free white fillings. More importantly, we take extra precautions when removing your old silver fillings to minimize your exposure to mercury vapor.”

    UPDATE

    http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/dental-fillings-raise-levels-of-mercury-in-body-uga-study/

    “Dental amalgam has been the go-to dental filling material for more than 150 years, because it’s affordable and durable. However, about half of the compound contains mercury, a heavy metal known to be toxic at high levels, causing brain, heart, kidney, lung and immune system damage. New research suggests that methyl mercury may cause damage even at low levels.
    “As toxicologists, we know that mercury is poison, but it all depends on the dose. So, if you have one dental filling, maybe it’s OK. But if you have more than eight dental filings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher,” Yu said. People with numerous dental fillings who are also exposed to mercury from other sources, such as seafood or work environments, are most at risk.
    The results show that individuals with more than 8 fillings had about 150 percent more mercury in their blood than those with none. The average American has three dental fillings, while 25 percent of the population has 11 or more fillings.”

    • @Iqbal
      From the original paper, geometric mean blood total mercury levels were 0.48, 0.69 and 1.17 μg/L for people with 0, 0-8 and >8 fillings respectively (measured in 2003–2004) and 0.51, 0.69 and 0.99 μg/L when the measurements were repeated in 2013–2014. There is therefore an unequivocal association between the number of dental fillings and blood mercury levels.

      But what is the ‘safe’ level of blood mercury (after all, it’s about 0.5 µg/L even in people without dental fillings)? According to the New York State Department of Health it’s 5 ng/mL. That’s 5 µg/L — 10 times higher than the level in patients without fillings and 4–5 times higher than the level in people with >8 fillings.

      Perhaps that’s why most people with amalgam fillings live normal lives.

      • @Frank Odds on Thursday 29 September 2016 at 08:41

        “But what is the ‘safe’ level of blood mercury (after all, it’s about 0.5 µg/L even in people without dental fillings)?”

        Who are these people that have such values? What do they eat and do they demonstrate symptoms of mercury poisoning? And their children? You believe mercury levels and tolerances for people eating fish (generally contaminated with mercury) and vegetarians would be the same? Are you aware that Mercury poisoning effects generations. Check with a homeopath.
        http://cen.acs.org/articles/89/web/2011/03/Harm-Mercury-Passes-Down-Through.html

        “According to the New York State Department of Health it’s 5 ng/mL. That’s 5 µg/L — 10 times higher than the level in patients without fillings and 4–5 times higher than the level in people with >8 fillings.”

        Who provided these figures to the NYSD of Health? I could not see any references. They have experts doing tests or they source documents from industry? Who would be best placed to provide information on mercury? Industry manufacturing mercury and using mercury: There is not only one Ernst in this world who is ready to sell his soul. There are many. And most of these guys are sitting in industry as experts. Expected outcome?

        “Perhaps that’s why most people with amalgam fillings live normal lives.”

        Have you heard story of the frog in a water container put on stove? He did not jump out. He just allowed himself to be boiled. You can reason why. Do you believe humans would be very different?

  • For those who speak dutch and want a good laugh (or a good cry) this is the website of an anthroposophic dentist in the Netherlands: http://www.tandartsborm.nl/index.php?p=12&r=p23&s=p232

    He recommends biographical consultancy (whatever that is) and eurithmy. He discourages the use of fluoridated tooth paste.

  • Frank, I suggest that you reference the following:

    Appendix III
    Evaluation of Risks Associated With Mercury Vapor from Dental Amalgam

    Prepared by the Subcommittee on Risk Assessment
    Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs

    November 7, 1991 (revised August 28, 1992)

    The authors’ recommendations and conclusions are quite reasonable, I believe. HG with valence of +2(vapor from agitated amalgams) and its associated potential health risks require further study and should not be dismissed even though there is not currently strong evidence that it causes non-specific symptoms in some patients.

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