Finally, we have two strong public figures advocating for patients dental rights. It is time for the U.S. to move away from using mercury in dental fillings. There are many people in America, primarily low income individuals and families and members of the military, who do not have a choice in their dental filling materials. This article address this injustice and how we can try to influence our leaders the make Dentistry less toxic. Thank you Dr. Mercola and Charlie Brown. We have called and sent a letter.
That American dentistry became mired in mercury is a story of profits first, people last. Amalgam is a primitive, pre-Civil War, pollution product that is half mercury. The 50 percent of North American dentists still using amalgam likely do so for the quick and easy profits – while handing us the bill for the health effects and environmental disaster.
Now is the time for those dentists still using amalgam to switch, and join their brother and sister dentists who practice mercury-free dentistry. Now is the time for you to decide that henceforth you will not allow mercury in your mouth or your child’s mouth – no matter what a pro-mercury dentist might say. Now is the time for you to tell your neighbor, cousin, or best friend: Don’t get a mercury filling.
And what is a mercury filling?
It is what the mainstream press calls “silver fillings.”
Mercury Amalgams More Commonly Used in Minorities and the Poor…
Just like the one-size-fits-all strategy of medicating community water supplies with fluoride, the use of mercury amalgams disproportionally affects minorities and the poor, as they frequently are left without options—even when they know better and want a safer alternative.
As explained by Charlie Brown in the featured interview:
“People on these very limited dental insurance plans or on Medicaid often have no bargaining power with their dentists. They are being told by the dentists, “This is what I’m going to do.” The dentist may not even tell them what they’re going to do. They just put in fillings. Some dentists treat their patients and those teeth like dollar signs.
There’s a disproportionate impact on working [class] American families—whether in Appalachia, where I’m from, or in inner-cities. Working [class] families: white, African-American, Latino, and Native Americans are much more likely to get a mercury filling.
… It’s unscrupulous dentistry and it’s terribly unfair to these families… One group that is particularly badly treated are children with disabilities… [T]here was just an all-out battle in Philadelphia, because we succeeded in getting a fact sheet law, so the parents were reading the fact sheets, saying, “I don’t want amalgam.” The dentists serving children with disabilities were telling the parents, “You will get the filling I decide on”… Parents were forced to leave the office or accept a mercury filling! These dentists were backed up by the Pennsylvania Dental Association. That was condemnable.
… The ADA in fact issued an apology recently for its history of racism. That appears to continue with their attitude that those who are disabled have no rights to mercury-free dentistry. That’s one of the battles that we’re [facing]… to protect those who are less able to fend for themselves in this economic society.”
Consumers for Dental Choice Paves the Way for Mercury-Free Dentistry Worldwide
Leading the charge against mercury fillings is Consumers for Dental Choice, a nonprofit group founded by Charlie Brown that merits your support. With its worldwide Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry, we get closer – year-by-year, and day-by-day – to ending this abominable 150-year historical mistake. But to win, we need action in communities across the United States and around the world.
Here’s what you can do right in your community or your workplace:
If your dentist has not switched to mercury-free dentistry, this is the time for him or her to do so. Call your dentist and ask. If they use mercury and insist on sticking with it, re-consider your choice of dentists.
If you work for a company that covers dental fillings, ask if they will cover composites, ART, or other alternatives to amalgam. Consider the stellar example of the Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin company, which fully covers composite but does not pay for amalgam! Parker-Hannifin employees and their families are getting non-toxic dental fillings.
If you have dental insurance, ask about ending primacy for amalgam. That’s what United Concordia has done with its policies.
If you know your Mayor or a member of your City or Town Council, consider asking if they will do what is happening in some California cities: pass a resolution calling for an end to amalgam and a request that dentists in your town stop using amalgam.
What You Can Do to Help Abolish Mercury Amalgams
Charlie Brown, who runs Consumers for Dental Choice, is headed to Nairobi in October to lead a worldwide delegation participating in the world mercury treaty negotiations. With him will be a team of dentists, consumers, attorneys, and scientists fighting to get amalgam into that treaty. With the world deciding whether we continue allowing mercury in children’s mouths, much is at stake.
During this Mercury-Free Dentistry Awareness Week, I urge you to take action.
Here’s what you can do:
Americans: Our number one problem is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has partnered with the American Dental Association (ADA) to cover up the mercury; to make you think you are getting silver instead of toxic mercury in your mouth. The FDA intentionally conceals the warnings about amalgam deep in its regulation — so parents will never see them. On its website, the FDA gives dentists the green light to continue to deceive consumers with the term “silver fillings”
“Americans are ready for the end of amalgam.” This was the theme of the testimony to the U.S. Department of State on August 18 by former West Virginia state Senator Charlotte Pritt. Yes, Americans are ready. But FDA is not. So let’s send them a message.Nine months ago, FDA scientists advised the agency to disclose the mercury to all patients and parents, and to stop amalgam for children and pregnant women. Yet FDA sits – sits actually in the pocket of the American Dental Association – ignoring its own scientists.
Please write the Director of FDA’s Center for Devices, Jeff Shuren, firstname.lastname@example.org Ask Dr Shuren why the FDA continues to ignore scientists and covers up the mercury from American parents and consumers. Ask when the FDA is going to get in step with the world on mercury.
Dr. Jeff Shuren, Director Center for Devices, U.S. Food & Drug Admin. 10903 New Hampshire Ave. WO66-5431, Room 5442 Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002 Telephone: 301-796-5900 Fax: 301-847-8149 Fax: 301-847-8109