METAL FREE DENTISTRY: CROWNS, ROOT CANALS AND EXTRACTIONS
HISTORY OF MERCURY FILLINGS Although many dentists have argued against its usage, mercury has been used in dental fillings in North America since 1830, and it continues to be used mainly for economic reasons. There weren’t many alternatives besides gold in the old days, but we do have better alternatives now. Mercury’s toxicity has been buried and we have been told that it does not come out of fillings, but even in 1890 it was known that mercury came out of fillings and create an electrical current in the mouth. In the 1930s, German research proved conclusively that mercury does come out of fillings. In 1980, the American Dental Association finally had to admit this, but they claimed it was just a small amount. When I heard this, I decided to stop using mercury, and I thought more and more dentists would also stop using mercury, but today only 6% of dentists are mercury free. The dental profession has become entrenched, and the more entrenched they become, the more they attack dentists who don’t use mercury.
MERCURY FILLINGS Mercury is toxic – they admit it. If mercury caused cancer it would be all over, but mercury is too toxic to cause cancer. It poisons the cells and causes the cells to die, and they die before they can mutate. And mercury is only the tip of the iceberg. There are five metals in amalgam fillings: mercury, zinc, tin, silver and copper. They are toxins. Our bodies do require minerals, but we are organic beings and these are inorganic minerals. These minerals are in our teeth, implanted right inside our bodies covered with saliva at 37 degrees centigrade. So it’s hot, it’s wet, and food and acid are coming in there, and the metals are released slowly as we chew. We inhale the fumes. Ten percent of it goes through the olfactory area right back up the cranial nerve into the brain. Mercury is a very active neurotoxin, and it loves nerve tissue. It also goes into our lungs and right into our blood stream, but mercury is so active it doesn’t stay in the blood stream or come out in the urine, and the body can’t get rid of it, so it tries to isolate it and store it in different places. You can’t detoxify if you’re putting more toxins in all the time. You can take all the supplements you want, drink wheat grass juice, run for miles, but you won’t heal until you pull out the amalgam fillings and get rid of it.
COMPOSITE FILLINGS There are not very many good dental materials, but something better than amalgams has been created which is the composites, the white plastic fillings which have been around for 25 years. They are mostly used in the front teeth, but they are pretty strong, so we started using them in the back teeth, and now they have manufactured harder composites which are made specifically for the back teeth. Plastic is the perfect material. It can be shaped any way we want, so that we don’t have to destroy as much of the tooth as we do with amalgam, but for some reason the Dental Association decided not to switch to composites. If you want to have composites, you must find a dentist who has some experience in doing this, or who specializes in composite fillings.
OTHER METALS IN DENTAL WORK You are lucky if the four metals in amalgam are the only metals you have, because you may have elaborate dental work like crowns, partials, bridges, root canals or an implant. Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element. The next in toxicity is nickel, and nickel does cause cancer. The one after that is chromium, and then cobalt. So what do they make partials out of? Nickel, chromium and cobalt. Mechanically it’s just fantastic as long as you don’t put it in a human being. Mercury and nickel can also cause depression.
CROWNS AND INLAYS Crowns and inlays are made of porcelain, and porcelain contains aluminum oxide. Not much aluminum comes out of it; it might be all right, but it is still a metal. Also porcelain crowns for the molars usually have a metal like gold underneath which may contain 10 to 40% other metals depending on the brand of crown, and some crowns are made of stainless steel. Recently 24 carat gold under porcelain crowns have become available. Also note that many dentists leave the mercury under the crowns – that’s very common. According to statistics, one in five teeth die after they are crowned. Some dentists don’t have any teeth die, which is a rarity, and some dentists kill every tooth they touch. There is a competency factor. When dentists make crowns for the back teeth, they cut the molar down so that half the volume of the tooth is lost, and about 75% of the front teeth will be cut away. I don’t think that cutting all the enamel off a tooth to save part of it from chipping is a good idea. You can make bonded inlays which are strong and aid in holding the tooth together. They are stronger than fillings without cutting every piece of that enamel away as they do with crowns. So if they recommend a crown make sure that they save every bit of enamel they can. The tooth breathes – there is microleakage through the tooth so that it can remineralize itself and feed the inside of the tooth. That is how it cleanses itself. If you put a crown on top of that tooth, it can’t breathe. You stifle it.
BRIDGES When bridges are made, teeth on each side of the bridge are cut down and fitted with crowns, so that you have one chance in five of killing either tooth, and then you may end up with root canals or missing teeth. I prefer to keep the removable partials as long as I can. I’m never going to have anything permanent put in. I won’t take the risk. I want to guard everything that I have got.
ROOT CANALS Root canals are the most toxic most damaging procedure dentists can do. You have two options: a root canal or an extraction. Dentists usually fill root canals with gutta percha. Some use the Sargenti method, a popular treatment used by 25% of dentists, but denounced by the American Dental Association because it contains formaldehyde compounds. There have been a lot of problems with those. They used to contain lead. The current formulas are said to have removed the lead, but millions of root canal treatments using the old formulas are still in people’s mouths. Gutta percha is 15% barium so that it will show up in the X-ray. Gutta percha shrinks and leaves gaps and the tooth can never be sterile. There is no such thing as a sterile root canal. During a root canal, the main canal is filled and possibly some of the small side canals, but the other smaller canal-like structures in teeth called dentinal tubules are too tiny to be filled during treatment and these tubules become home to bacteria instead. Since there are millions of these tubules there is room for enough bacteria to challenge the immune system. The waste products from these nasty germs include some very toxic substances called thio-ethers, and your body has to deal with these toxins 24 hours a day. They contaminate the bone around the tooth and they are picked up by the immune system and carried to the liver for detoxification. Unfortunately, the liver can be seriously damaged by them. Weston Price conducted research on root canals and wrote two books about how toxic they can be. So you have to make up your mind what is more important to you. I believe no tooth is worth destroying my immune system.
DENTAL IMPLANTS contain titanium, which is supposed to be the most biocompatible metal, but the most biocompatible metal is still harmful.
DENTURES Dentures contain cadmium to make them pink. It’s not food colouring. They do use mercury to make them pink also, but most of the time it’s cadmium. A denture contacts the skin at least four to six square inches and if you can absorb it you will absorb it. Everything put into the mouth leaches. Cadmium causes high blood pressure.
EXTRACTIONS Extractions have to be done well. Normally they pull a tooth out, stick a piece of gauze in there and say bite on it. After the tooth is removed, the socket has to be completely cleaned so that complete healing can occur. If tissue such as torn pieces of ligaments or periosteum is left in the socket and covers the bone, the bone will tend to heal over the top, leaving a hole in the bone, and new bone cannot form. This hole can persist for the rest of the patient’s life. It is a chronic infection that is called an alveolar cavitational osteopathosis or cavitation. This means that there is an infected cavity in the bone. These bone infections are only now being seriously researched. If they are fairly easy to prevent by proper socket cleaning, why is this not being done? But many if not most dentists have never heard of cavitations.
DETOXIFICATION Detoxing refers to the elimination from the body of the toxic dental materials that are being held by the body on or within its cells. For every year the toxins have been implanted, it may take your body a month to detox itself. If the metals have been in 20 or 30 years, expect it to take 20 or 30 months to get the majority of the mercury out of the body’s tissues, although it may be impossible to get it completely out of every cell in the body. The mercury in a filling would not be toxic if it would stay within the filling, but no metal is stable in the mouth. Getting mercury out of the brain may take longer. Fortunately, once toxins are no longer added, the problems they cause should begin to reverse as healing begins. The body has ways to detox itself, but they are slow. The patient can help the detoxing process by eating nutritiously and maintaining good bowel and urinary elimination, which are major exit routes for toxins. Nutritional supplements may help detox the body. Vitamin C is very effective in detoxing the body. It is an antioxidant or a free radical scavenger because it neutralizes free radicals. Vitamin C is so effective that it will also neutralize the anesthetics used to numb the teeth and gums because they are free radicals. For example if a patient is taking 1000 mg or more per day as is commonly recommended, it may neutralize the anesthetic, making it difficult or impossible for the person’s mouth to get numb enough to do his fillings. It is recommended that you taper down to less than 1000 mg on the days prior to the treatment and the day before and the morning before treatment do not take any vitamin C. Right after treatment it is a good practice to take 1000 mg to protect you from the mercury released during the treatment. The use of saunas or moderate exercise may help sweat out toxins, but don’t push too hard. Some mercury-free dentists recommend special IV solutions (chelation therapy) to aid in detoxing.
X-RAYS If you take vitamin C, X-rays probably won’t bother you at all. Modern X-ray machines have much reduced power. I take very few X-rays. If you don’t get cavities, I can go three years without X-rays. Some dentists take X-rays every six months. I take a panoramic X-ray which is the big one which shows everything down to the bone and shows the cavitations and sinuses very well. That is not very much radiation. If you want damaging X-rays, go to the hospital and have those full body plates taken, and you will get more X-rays in two minutes than you get in a dental office in ten lifetimes. Use a lead apron and take vitamin C and you will be protected.
DENTAL TATTOOS occur when mercury is ground into the tissue or a hunk of mercury is left in the gum when they do a root canal and go in through the gum and put mercury at the end of the root and sew it back up and it bleeds into the gums and into the bone and it can be just awful. If you have this problem, you would have to have a surgeon look at it and make the choice whether to leave the tattoo or have it removed if it is possible without damaging too much tissue.
I wrote Tooth Truth so that patients could protect themselves. People used to take the information that I wrote in Hulda Clarke’s books, go to a dentist and ask him to remove their mercury, and the dentist would give them $20,000 worth of crowns. So these people often ended up worse off. So you can’t just rely on the goodness of the dentist to protect you, even if they are mercury free dentists. You must take responsibility for yourself.
Dr. Jerome is a graduate of Ohio State University School of Dentistry, and is a practicing dentist in southern Indiana. He has been a mercury-free dentist since 1980 and he contributed the dental sections of Hulda Clarke’s three books including The Cure for All Disease. He is the author of Tooth Truth, a very enlightening book about the dangers of toxic metal dentistry.