From Dr. Mercola:
By Dr. Mercola
Mercury: it’s a toxin, a poison, yet it’s commonly used in dentistry. Charlie Brown, president of the Consumers for Dental Choice and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has been leading the charge to eliminate this pernicious toxin from dentistry around the world for the last two decades.
For the fifth year in a row, we’re co-sponsoring the annual Mercury-Free Dentistry Week to raise awareness about the dangers of so-called “silver” amalgam fillings.
The good news is that over the past few years, the tide has decidedly shifted in our favor, and is picking up speed.
“First of all is the point that consumer demand is really turning up the heat on dentists,’ Charlie says. ‘Dentists are increasingly [becoming] mercury-free.’”
But it’s not over yet; there are still hurdles to overcome before total victory can be claimed.
The ‘Iron Triangle’ That Held Mercury in Dentistry in Place
If this issue is new to you, you may be asking, “If amalgam is so dangerous, why are dentists still using it?”
The main reason mercury remained in use for so long is because of the “iron triangle” — the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state Dental Boards, and the American Dental Association (ADA) — put a system in place that forced dentists to hide the truth, and kept the public clueless to the fact that “silver fillings” contain mercury.
There’s less silver in amalgam than mercury. The name refers to the color only, while hiding the fact that 50 percent of amalgam is mercury — a known neurotoxin. As explained by Charlie:
“The Dental Boards stopped dentists from telling patients about the mercury. The Food and Drug Administration sanctioned the entire system.
The American Dental Association, with its patents on amalgam, promoted amalgam as a silver filling. They still do that. [When we began] that was what we faced — only three percent of the dentists in America were mercury-free in the mid-1990s.”
Since then, we’ve seen enormous progress in efforts to eliminate this poison from the field of dentistry, where it serves absolutely no purpose in the 21st century. There are far safer and overall better filling materials available today, so there’s really no justification to keep using a toxic substance.
Dental Boards Have Now Been Defeated
Today, the FDA still presents a major barrier, but the other two parts of that iron triangle have been defeated. Dental boards no longer silence dentists, and dentists may freely speak out against mercury and may advertise and advocate mercury-free dentistry.
In the past, they risked losing their license or going to jail for speaking out against the status quo of amalgam. As an attorney, Charlie actually helped end the gag rule against dentists, and helped some dentists get their licenses reinstated.
Despite such progress, about half of all Americans still do not know that amalgam contains mercury. In fact, a quarter of the public thinks the main component is silver.