January 2014

I am honored to have this month’s edition of the Healthy Times Newsletter written by my personal dentist. Dr. David Edwards is a holistic dentist who practices with his father and a wonderful staff in Sanford, Florida.  Mercury is a very dangerous and toxic heavy metal used in dental amalgams by thousands of dentist around the globe.  I think that you will agree after reading Dr. Edward’s newsletter that by no means are these mercury amalgams safe. 

Like many millions of Americans my dental work over the years has included mercury amalgams.  Dr. Edwards and his very talented staff are currently working with me to remove the last of my amalgam fillings.  THANK YOU Dr. Edwards!

I hope you enjoy the information Dr. Edwards has so been so kind to share with us.  Knowledge empowers us to make good health decisions.

Dental Mercury

The safety of “silver,” or mercury amalgam fillings, has been a hotly debated topic during their 150-year history.  Over 100 million Americans have them, and many have come to ask, “Are they safe?” 

Dr. Oz recently aired a program where he held up a small mercury thermometer, and said that if that thermometer were to fall and break open, the entire studio would have to be “evacuated immediately!”  Most Americans do not know that “silver amalgam fillings” contain mercury, but in fact, every single amalgam filling is roughly 50% liquid mercury.  Mercury is well known to be highly toxic.  The term “amalgam” is derived from the material being an “amalgamation” or combination of several metals like silver, tin, copper, and mercury.  These fillings are so prevalent, that the World Health Organization states that the main source of human exposure to mercury is from mercury amalgam fillings. 

Beyond human exposure to mercury, there is the issue of mercury being dumped into our environment. According to the World Health Organization 53% of total mercury emissions into the environment come from amalgam and laboratory devices.  That is staggering!  A small number of offices like ours have adopted mercury separators to remove mercury from our suction lines, so it does not go into the wastewater, water supply, or elsewhere into the environment.  Hopefully, these separators will eventually become mandatory, but for now they are not and are an added cost to the dentist.  Therefore, few are in use.

Several nations have banned the use of amalgam.  It has been banned in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.  In France the government has recommended that alternatives to mercury amalgam restorations be placed in pregnant women.  Germany, Finland, Austria, and Canada have also worked to reduce the use of mercury amalgam fillings in pregnant women, children, and patients with kidney diseases due to their toxicity.

The problem with having mercury in the mouth is that these fillings constantly leak mercury, and that leakage increases with stimulation.  Normal life functions like chewing food, and brushing your teeth increase leakage.  Hot drinks like coffee, as well as 98.6 degree F saliva, all increase leakage.  Habits such as chewing gum, or grinding your teeth at night, increase leakage.  Even acidic foods and drinks such as: tomatoes, citrus, soda, and coffee all increase leakage.  As amalgams age, they corrode, and leakage increases.  This leakage can be seen as an experiment in video format on www.IAOMT.org, and also onwww.doctoroz.com.

When a dentist cuts out a mercury filling, that cutting produces both gaseous and particulate (chunks) forms of mercury.  The gaseous form can be inhaled and absorbed into tissue.  It can cross the blood-brain barrier. The fine particulate form is heavy therefore it gets washed to the back of the throat, and much of it is easily swallowed.  The precautions we use during removal prevent, or significantly reduce this exposure.

smoking tooth.jpg
Figure 1:  Mercury vapor from a 25 year old mercury amalgam filled, extracted tooth

Mercury is neurotoxic, and can contribute to autoimmune disorders.  According to the IAOMT, the following are a few of the disorders related to mercury exposure:

  • Tremors
  • Memory loss
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Kidney ailments
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Allergies
  • Reproductive issues
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Absorption of heavy metals into the brain
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Hearing loss

There is also a more focused concern of the impact of mercury on pregnant women and children.  Note that the countries that have banned or limited amalgam fillings have put more emphasis on pregnant women and children, than on adults.  Children are developing, and are more sensitive, therefore the affects may be greater.

Removing mercury fillings produces the highest exposure to dental mercury, which is why it is critical to have it removed by a dentist who is trained to remove it safely and completely. A tragedy I see all too often is when a patient has gone to a dentist to have their amalgam fillings removed, and they are not removed completely, or removed using precautions.  I see this often during new patient exams. Fragments of mercury amalgam, which are visible on x-ray, are left behind under a mouthful of new restorations.  It is also worth noting that mercury amalgam cannot be seen under gold or porcelain fused to metal crowns on x-ray, and mercury amalgam is very often used underneath these restorations. 

Figure 2:  Example of the typical precautions used for mercury amalgam removal

Composite resin fillings and porcelain crowns are the most common replacement for mercury amalgam fillings.  Composites are more difficult to place than amalgams, but they are very durable and are tooth colored.  They also have several advantages beyond the toxicity of mercury.  Unlike mercury amalgam fillings, composites bond to the tooth.  Amalgams have to be prepared in a way that allow the filling to be mechanically locked in place, so more tooth has to be removed in the process.  With composites you generally only have to remove the tooth structure that is bad.  Also, in my practice the most common mode of amalgam filling failure I see is where part of the tooth around the filling breaks off.  With exposure to hot and cold, the mercury amalgam fillings expand and contract, causing the tooth around the filling to fracture.  Finally, porcelain crowns are generally used for teeth with large fillings, or significant tooth damage.

We are passionate about effectively removing mercury amalgam fillings.  Most importantly, we use the latest protocols for safe mercury removal, providing the least possible mercury exposure to the patient.  We have invested enormous amounts of time and money to learn these techniques.  As a result, our average patient travels 2.5 hours to visit our office, because they have high interest in mercury being removed safely and effectively.  My hope is that this article sheds light on the health concerns of mercury amalgam fillings, and also the fact that there are safe, durable, and modern alternatives to this 150 year old material.

Dr. David Edwards, DMD


Dr. David is a Florida native who has returned to his home town to follow in his father’s footsteps of practicing holistic dentistry.  After graduating from Seminole High School, he attended Florida State University for his undergraduate degree, and then the University of Florida to earn his dental degree.  He has since studied extensively with the IAOMT, and has completed the IAOMT accreditation program.  He has also studied under Dr. Hal Huggins, Dr. Doug Cook, and Dr. Gary McCown.  He is an avid learner who attends numerous hours of continuing education every year, learning the latest techniques in dentistry.  Heavy metal toxicity is a very personal topic, as he was mercury toxic himself.

Dr. David is married, and he and his wife are expecting twins this spring.  His wife is a school teacher, who works with autistic children.  In his spare time he enjoys racing sports cars at the club level, and is an avid waterskier and snowboarder.

I would be honored to help you find high-quality whole food supplements that will improve your health if you contact me. 

If you have found this Newsletter helpful in your quest for good health please visit my website at www.drstephenhayman.com where I have all of my previous Newsletters archived.  You may find a topic there that may be of help to you, a family member, or a friend.

You may have received this newsletter from a friend.  If you are not currently receiving my monthly health newsletter and you would like to receive it the first of each month just e-mail me your address (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and request to be added to the list of recipients. 

Healthy Transformations                                 
820 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL. 32720

Have a Healthy Day!
Dr. Stephen W. Hayman