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the battle against putting mercury in our mouths

This is some insight into the effort environmental and health activists both agree on. Putting mercury into our mouths and environment is one disservice the dental industry should STOP providing. For reasons that defy rational explanation, the American Dental Association has been fighting to not only continue this in the face of strong evidence against the practice, but to silence critics as well.

Their days of owning the conversation and poisoning us are running out.

– Ted –


Story at-a-glance

  • During this Mercury-Free Dentistry Week, we highlight those who stand firm against amalgam: the mercury-free dentists of the world. We salute these pioneers for challenging the dental industry’s abhorrent policy of dumping mercury into the bodies and environment of American families
  • Consumers for Dental Choice ended dental board oppression of mercury-free dentists by the notorious “gag rule,” which attempted to mandate silence rather than disclosure by dentists
  • The documentary Mercury Undercover, and the report Measurably Misleading, by amalgam foe Consumers for Dental Choice, provide outstanding overviews of why it’s time for the truth — the whole truth — to be told in oral health care
  • Most dentists continue to stand silent. Only 11% of consumers have been told that amalgam fillings have mercury. Thus most consumers don’t know that about amalgam fillings, and many are understandably deceived by the term silver fillings, a consumer fraud
  • You can help hasten the day for mercury-free dentistry by donating to Consumers for Dental Choice. I have extended the deadline to September 16 to match all gifts, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000

Less than a generation ago, only three percent of dentists were mercury-free. Dentistry’s best-kept secret was that amalgam fillings had mercury, a neurotoxin that can permanently injure the developing brains of children and fetuses.

The secret was enforced by tyrannical dental boards, which threatened to pull the license (the right to practice) of dentists who spoke out — and who did in fact pull mercury-free dentists’ licenses in California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and New York.

Other mercury-free dentists faced unrelenting pressure from their peers to conform. An historic irony that dentists doing the right thing were ostracized is that is that the term “quack” derived from the German word for mercury, “Quecksilber.” The “quacks” were the health professionals who used mercury!

It is to the great credit of these dentists — who studied the science and opposed putting pollution in their patients’ mouths — that they stuck with their principles. As mercury-free dentistry grew, dentists began to adapt by offering mercury-free dentistry. Synergistically,, as mercury-free dentistry grew, so did consumer awareness.

Consumers for Dental Choice was created in 1997; its first project was to free up dentists to be able to advise, advocate, and advertise for mercury-free dentistry. To take out this notorious gag rule root and branch, Consumers for Dental Choice used a comprehensive strategy.

This NGO (non-government organization) built alliances with advocate groups, such as the Goldwater Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union. Then, this NGO went to the media, most spectacularly in California, where a page one story in the Los Angeles Times in September 1999 blew the lid off the dental board’s denial of free speech rights.

Charlie Brown optimized his role as a former Attorney General, sitting down with his peers in several states to show why the law was in favor of the dissenting dentists. He found allies in state legislatures, such as Senator Karen Johnson of Arizona, Representative Hal Lynde of New Hampshire, and Representative John Rogers of Alabama.

Charlie Brown and his team worked to put supporters of mercury-free dentistry onto the formerly monopolistic dental boards, such as Dr. Jessica Saepoff of Washington state, Kevin Biggers and Dr. Chet Yokoyama of California, and the late Dr. Ron King of Minnesota.

With a growing body of public officials supporting mercury-free dentistry, they launched the State and Local Public Officials Mercury-Free Caucus, now chaired by former Senator Charlotte Pritt of West Virginia. (Later, Senator Pritt and the Caucus were active in the pushing for amalgam language in the Minamata Convention.)

By the middle of the past decade, a sea-change had occurred. Dentists were advertising mercury-free dentistry. They went to public hearings and spoke out. They began to put to shame the dentists who kept using mercury and who used absurd arguments about mercury being inert and vapor-less.

Without Consumers for Dental Choice and the work of its leader Charlie Brown, these changes almost certainly would not have happened — at least not in this century. Please recognize their leadership, and help them move forward. I will match your gift dollar for dollar.

Donate today

Yet half of America’s dentists have still not changed. This is particularly true in institutional dentistry — the military, the prisons, the Veterans Administration, the Indian Reservations, and the corporate dentistry settings where dentists focus on “drill, fill, and bill.” These dentists find succor under the protective wing of the pro-mercury American Dental Association (ADA), whose instructions invariably are to talk about amalgam without ever uttering the “M” word.


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Mercury undercover

Despite the progress, we have plenty of work do to. We finish up this, our fourth, Mercury-free Dentistry Week with a documentary by Elizabeth Hong and Daniel Montoya. Mercury Undercover exposes the very real dangers of mercury toxicity, and its connection to amalgam fillings.

Amalgam, also called “silver fillings,” is in fact a massive consumer fraud. By referring to the color of the compound rather than its content, consumers everywhere have been tricked into placing a known neurotoxin in their mouths.

Think about it, if your dentist said, “Okay, I’m going to put a large mercury filling into this molar,” you’d probably sit up and say, “Hey doc, maybe we should talk about this?!”

Most people are aware that mercury is hazardous to health, but if they don’t know that amalgam contains mercury, then they cannot object to it in the first place. And that’s exactly how the dental industry and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants it.

Most Americans are deceived by inaccurate terms

Consumers for Dental Choice recently issued a new report titled, Measurably Misleading,1 which reveals just how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the dental industry have deceived you about amalgam.

A recent Zogby poll, commissioned by Consumers for Dental Choice, reveals that Americans are indeed fooled by the terms “silver fillings” and “amalgam.” Fifty-seven percent of Americans are unaware that amalgam is a mercury filling, and 23 percent believe amalgam is made of silver. Also, a mere 11 percent of people say their dentist ever told them that amalgam contains mercury.

The FDA is responsible for addressing consumer fraud that occurs in medicine and health. But when it comes to mercury fillings, the agency has refused to take corrective action. Not only that, but it actually condones, not condemns, the marketing of amalgam as “silver fillings.” Hence the deception continues.

Dental mercury fuels chronic inflammation in your body

Compelling evidence clearly shows that dental amalgams readily release mercury in the form of vapor every time you eat, drink, brush your teeth or otherwise stimulate your teeth. For a powerful demonstration of the reality of these vapors, please see the following video.

To see the rest of the article, go to

– Ted –