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A great deal of progress has been made in terms of materials, techniques and design of dental implants since the beginnings of modern implantology over 50 years ago. While titanium and titanium alloys have always been in use, the search for metal-free implantable materials began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and during the last decade, zirconia has emerged as the most reliable implantable bioceramic. The International Academy of Ceramic Implantology (IAOCI) is an organization entirely dedicated to ceramic and metal-free alternatives to metal implants. It was founded in 2011 by Dr. Sammy Noumbissi, with whom Dental Tribune Online had the opportunity to speak about the mission and vision of the IAOCI, as well as the state of ceramic implantology today.
Dental Tribune Online: Dr. Noumbissi, could you please provide some background information on the development of ceramic implants?
Dr. Sammy Noumbissi: The use of dental implants to replace teeth has increased very rapidly in the last 15 or more years. With this increase in dental implant procedures, the number of manufacturers has increased too. Also, we have witnessed the introduction of various alloys of titanium over time.
Now, just like with any pharmaceutical or medical product, the increase in demand and changes in production methods come with problems and challenges. Although initially anecdotal, reports of titanium and titanium alloy intolerance have increased and are increasingly being investigated and demonstrated in the scientific dental literature. Based on the body of research available today, this intolerance of implant alloys can in great part be attributed to the release of metal ions in the host bone and surrounding tissue as a result of the breakdown and corrosion of metal alloys in the presence of body fluids and the oral environment in particular. Such facts have been established and widely recognized in orthopedics.
In the late 1960s, pioneers in ceramic implantology and notably Professor Sami Sandhaus began the search for modern non-metal implantable ceramic materials. However, many of the early ceramic implants were monocrystalline in their structure and could not survive the demands of the oral environment. Then came the use of polycrystals and in the early 2000s Yttria-stabilized zirconia bioceramic emerged as the material of choice for metal-free intrabony implantation in dental implantology.
How did you become involved in research on ceramic dental implants?
My interest in ceramic implants came about in two ways. First, on a personal level, when I discovered that the metal fillings and implant I had in my own mouth were determined to be the source of some of the health problems I had experienced. Second, on a professional level, where a few of the patients to whom I had provided metal implants returned for check-ups or more implants, and upon reviewing their medical and dental history, it was also determined that the implants were at least in part responsible for the health problems they were experiencing. I then began to actively look for alternatives and at the scientific literature, including case reports in both medical orthopedics and dental implantology. It was clear that bioceramics in the last two decades had established themselves in both medicine and implant dentistry as the most bio-inert implantable material available. In 2011, two colleagues and I decided to create the IAOCI.
What is the primary aim of the IAOCI?
Associations and academies exist around various types of trades and industries. The common purpose of such groups is to organize and create a supportive environment for those involved in the respective area. The IAOCI was created with the same spirit, not only to organize metal-free implantology but also to provide the profession as a whole with quality and high-level continuing implant education on bioceramics as implantable materials. The IAOCI is also a resource for the public seeking practitioners who have experience with ceramic implants.
In your opinion, what are the dangers of metal implants?
Metal and most particularly titanium implants have been very successful. Their use has grown exponentially and with that manufacturers have multiplied, as well as manufacturing protocols. As a result, we have observed a steady increase in the alloy elements mixed with titanium during the manufacturing process. The problems begin when the metal implant highly alloyed or not, once placed is subjected to functional stresses, galvanism, body fluids and the harsh oral environment. The combination of mechanical, chemical and electrical events induces cracks and pitting of the metal, as well as breach in the oxide layer, and the implant undergoes corrosion attack. The corrosion attack, which is essentially an oxidation process, leads to the release of metal ions that studies have shown to be found in the surrounding bone, lymphatics, spleen, liver and in some cases crossing the blood–brain barrier.
What alternatives to metal dental implants are currently available on the market?
Today, the well-researched and proven alternative material to metal for dental implants is zirconium dioxide, also known as zirconia. This is also a well-proven fact in medical orthopedics. Zirconia is the crystal phase of zirconium and as such it is not a metal. There are different manufacturing protocols for zirconia for dental implantation and they all lead to a variety of polycrystal bioceramics, such as zirconia-toughened alumina, hot isostatic-pressed zirconia and Yttria-stabilized zirconia. The common and most important properties of these bioceramics are inertness in the bone and oral environment, structural stability, absence of electrical activity, extremely low plaque retention and superior aesthetics.
Is the success rate of metal-free implants comparable with that of titanium implants?
In the early days, there were challenges. The materials were monocrystalline with very highly polished and glassy surfaces, which made the early implants prone to fracture, poor attachment of bone-forming cells and low bone–implant contact. The manufacturing protocols, design, surface modification techniques and technologies of zirconia implants have evolved to a point where bone integration is ensured and comparable results are obtained.
Are ceramic alternatives the future of dental implantology?
Every industry projection one sees about implants signals good news for the future. Implants are now and will continue to be widely accepted by patients and the profession. Both groups agree that this is state-of-the-art treatment. However, owing to technology, the public is much more informed about health issues and therapies. We are in a similar situation today to that of Invisalign braces a few years back, in that consumers are pushing dentists toward metal-free implantology for the most part. In five years’ time, I believe that the number of ceramic implants being placed will double.
Bio-inert materials are the future of any type of implantable device. I believe bioceramics have taken hold and will be around for a long time because there has been a strong shift toward providing health care with the minimum risk and invasiveness over the last few years, as well as in a way that is more integrated, natural and biological. Furthermore, manufacturers have rapidly evolved and adapted the material and implant designs to clinical needs and demands. We now have a wide variety of implant designs, surface microstructures, components and prosthetic connections, making ceramic implants applicable to an extensive range of tooth replacement situations.
Dentists may have concerns about the reliability of ceramic implants. How does your organization address this?
Even within specialties, there is a need for organized groups because in today’s world research and application of discoveries are moving at lightning speed compared with 20 years ago. Therefore, once one has an environment in which much of the time and energy is spent tracking, learning and sharing innovative techniques and materials, members have a forum where they can obtain the information, training and skills to deliver the best of care to their patients in an evidence-based and organized manner.
As a matter of fact, our membership has doubled in the last two years and when prospective or new members are asked why they want to join or joined the academy, the most common response is that they are seeking a forum where they can obtain structured information and training.
Another frequent reason is that dentists have had patients challenge or inform them on the use and occasionally the existence of ceramic implants. Through technology and the ease of access to information, the public obtains information faster than we busy clinicians.
The IAOCI will be hosting its Fifth Annual Winter Congress in Montego Bay, Jamaica. What can people expect from the event?
The theme in 2016 will be the last decade in ceramic implantology. We will have 14 speakers from seven different countries who will share their experiences with a variety of ceramic implant systems over the last ten years. One of our guest speakers has over 15 years of documented experience with zirconia implants. We will also have workshops on different implant systems, ceramic regenerative products and revolutionary soft-tissue- and hard-tissue-enhancing protocols proven to optimize implant integration and long-term stability.
Holistic dentistry talks a lot about the dangers of silver amalgam fillings which can contain alarming amounts of mercury. Although we may be making some progress in regards to raising awareness on this important issue, all too many Americans still have silver mercury amalgam fillings. Some estimates say that up to 85 percent of Americans today have at least one silver filling and each of those fillings contain approximately 50 percent mercury. Americans and Europeans actually have more mercury in their mouths than exists in all manmade products combined – estimated at more than 1,000 tons.
In the United States, outside of dental use, mercury exposure generally originates from pollution from coal plants which in turn pollute ground soil and waterways and infect fish populations. For an expanded perspective on mercury use on the global scale we invite you to view a YouTube video created by the Blacksmith Institute. The video series called Mercury: the Burning Issue shows how Indonesian miners use raw mercury to discharge small amounts of gold from rock. This practice of drawing gold out using mercury is quite literally hundreds of years old. Ancient Romans were known to force slaves and criminals to mine in exactly this same manner using mercury. The mercury method is fast and cheap, creating a cleaner gold product than panning. Today, with gold values at over $1,000 an ounce, the poor and the greedy find it difficult to gold mining in any other way.
WHY MERCURY USE IS A PROBLEM FOR YOU
Mercury mining is a concern for everyone, no matter where on the planet we live. Although today mercury is mined mostly in China where it is supplied strictly to local users, most of the mercury in use in third world countries is filtering onto the black market from Europe and the United States. Ironically, mercury recyclers are collecting the substance from discarded light bulbs and other mercury laden devices with the intent of proper usage — however, illegal brokers are largely unregulated by any government entity, and this mercury is easily conveyed to market. Many of the countries involved in this type of mining ban the import of industrial mercury, but they can import all the so called “dental mercury” they can get their hands on.
Mercury is so toxic to the human body that when it comes in contact with skin, miners are exposed to high levels of the substance and as a result are rapidly dying from the primitive working conditions. Some 15 million gold miners, including 4.5 million women and no less than 600,000 children, are poisoned by direct contact with toxic mercury. In addition, mercury pollution flows out from the gold mines directly into rivers, oceans and seas, contaminating seafood far and wide. In this way, mercury is accumulating in the food chain, so that families and bystanders are being poisoned as they eat meals and generally go about their lives.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
Mercury dealers argue against regulating the use of mercury, insisting that by restricting mercury trade black marketers will be forced to go into the mercury mining business. However, these video showcase a solution that has recently been introduced to the miners – a simple system called a retort that can recapture mercury used in the gold mining process. This retort has been relatively successful in reducing the amount of toxic mercury emissions. ‘Mercury: the Burning Issue’ documents Blacksmith Institute’s project in Indonesia aimed at reducing mercury poisoning from the gold mining process, thereby saving the lives of innumerable miners, locals and anyone who might be contaminated by mercury infected fish from virtually anywhere the world.
To learn more about how Blacksmith is working with UNIDO’s Global Mercury Project in Senegal, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Cambodia visit their website or log onto YouTube to view the videos. To learn more about the use and hazards of mercury in silver dental amalgams visit “The Scientific Case Against Mercury Amalgam.”
ARE METAL FREE IMPLANTS BETTER THAN TITANIUM IMPLANTS?
Owing to its biocompatibility, low density and ability to withstand abuse ceramics are a far superior product when compared to metal for implantation in the human body, and an excellent choice for dental implant surgery.
All-ceramic dental crown placed over an all-ceramic dental implant look and function very much like the natural tooth and they provide metal-free restoration, eliminating concerns of allergies and biocompatibility issues thereby lessening potential for damage to the immune system. The term ‘ceramics’ applies to a wide range of materials that, when compared to traditionally used metal implants, are harder and have higher temperature resistance, strength, lower density and excellent resistance to corrosion. These properties make ceramics invaluable for use in the oral environment where high temperature, corrosion and constant abrasion is ever present.
While dental implants are usually made of titanium, materials such as aluminum and vanadium are often alloyed or blended with the titanium which can create issues of allergy, galvanism and potentially impair the immune system in a number of ways. When differing metals are placed in the mouth or directly into the jaw bone as with a dental implant, those metals will eventually begin to secrete by-products from the oxidization process and are then circulated throughout the body.
Zirconia dental implants are now being introduced into the United States as an alternative to metal implants and they have been used quite successfully in Europe for some time. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, and thus there is no concern of corrosion. Zirconia is not to be confused with Zirconium which is a metal placed just below titanium on the periodic table. Zirconium oxide is the product now being used for the production of dental implants and this is the ceramic called Zirconia.
Biocompatibility: Zirconium is an inert material with very low allergic potential
Strength: The strength of the dental implant is exceptional compared to other metal implants
Metal-free: No corrosion, no galvanism effect, no metallic taste, no electronic disturbances
When patients exhibit overall healthfulness and are generally of a robust constitution, they tend to tolerate implants very well, but before considering something as serious as an implant procedure, a full health assessment is in order. In conjunction with assessing the patient’s physical state and ability to heal from surgery, most holistic dental practices are also concerned about the acupuncture meridian upon which the implant is placed. Every tooth in the mouth is located on an acupuncture meridian, and therefore can potentially affect specific organs, muscles, vertebrae and tissues. Although Zirconia implants are preferable over metal implants for their biocompatibility factors there may still be some concern over how these implants affect the meridians, and so for example; placing an implant on the breast meridian of a woman who has a family history of breast cancer may not be prudent.
Another consideration in whether or not to place implants for a particular patient has to do with whether or not they grind their teeth which might cause damage to the zirconia over time. Habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco may also negatively affect the long-term success of implants. And ultimately, patients with implants must be conscientious in about maintaining good oral hygiene.
A reproduction of a tooth’s root is inserted in the jaw and over time, the implanted “root” bonds with the bone of the jaw. In other words, ceramic dental implants readily allow the bone to grow right up to the implant surface and is held securely in place by the bone. This process typically takes four to six months to completely heal before the restoration can be finished.
OCTOBER HEALTH TIP
GOOD FAT VS BAD FAT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Unsaturated fats or so-called good fats provide a variety of health benefits, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and can help us maintain a healthy weight. The most common unsaturated fats found in our foods are Omega-3s and Omega-6s. These are essential fatty acids, which our bodies cannot make them so we need to ingest them through our diet. Critical to normal growth, they may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
Unsaturated fats are of two varieties-polyunsaturated and monounsaturated-and are in products derived from plant sources. Because polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are less stable than saturated fats, they can become rancid quite easily when exposed to heat and light. When this happens, the chemical structure of unsaturated oils looks more like a saturated fat, thus turning a good fat into a bad fat. For this reason, the types of unsaturated oils you use, as well as how you use them can be very important.
The best oils to cook with are virgin coconut oil, olive, peanut, and sesame, as they have the highest percentages of oleic fatty acid. Extra virgin olive oil contains an antioxidant that protects against cancer and heart disease. Coconut oil is particularly beneficial, as it is the least fattening of all the oils and stimulates the metabolism, thus preventing weight gain. Try to avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower, corn, soybean, and canola, as these are more susceptible to developing into trans fatty acids during processing.
If you have a dental bridge and want to upgrade or prefer to have a metal-free implant, give us a call. For all of October 2013 we will BUYBACK your dental bridge! That’s right, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Noumbissi and if you have your dental bridge replaced with a ceramic dental implant at Miles of Smiles Implant Dentistry, we will buyback your bridge for $750! ($750 buyback will be credited toward your implant purchase)
This offer is valid until October 31, 2013.
STORIES & LINKS OF INTEREST
Decade-Long Feeding Study Reveals Significant Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods
By Dr. Mercola
Scientists in Norway have released results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period, and the verdict is in: If you want to avoid obesity, then avoid eating genetically engineered (GE) corn, corn-based products, and animals that are fed a diet of GE grain.
As reported by Cornucopia.org1, the project also looked at the effects on organ changes, and researchers found significant changes that affected weight gain, eating behaviors, and immune function.
Study questions benefits of 2 annual dental visits
By DrBicuspid Staff
August 6, 2012 — Having two annual dental cleanings does not reduce tooth loss in low-risk patients, but high-risk patients benefit from additional care, according to a study conducted on behalf of Interleukin Genetics.
The Periodontal Disease Prevention Study was conducted by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, the company noted in a press release.
Researchers examined approximately 5,400 adults from a large dental claims database with more than 16 consecutive years of documented oral health history. Participants provided a DNA sample and information on other risk factors to classify them as low or high risk…
If there’s anything we can do for you, your patients, or your friends and family (answer questions, schedule an appointment, etc.), please feel free to give us a call. Our office number is 301-880-1410 or 301-588-0768
PS: We gladly accept referrals from other doctors. If you or your doctor would like to speak with me personally before sending a referral, please don’t hesitate. Our main focus is placing ceramic implants, especially difficult cases, and we are always here to help. Thanks!
This article was written by Dr. Noumbissi and published in the January 2013 edition (International Section) for the Orofacial Chronicle Journal from Bhopal, India.
Since Dr. Brånemark first introduced titanium dental implants, a variety of materials have been used successfully for about 40 years. Today implants are made either of commercially pure titanium (cpTi) or titanium alloys. In addition to its biocompatibility, titanium was also initially believed to be inert, nontoxic and nonallergenic1,2. However, several drawbacks have been documented in the literature with the use of titanium and titanium alloys as implant materials in medicine and dentistry. High concentrations of titanium have been detected in tissue surrounding dental implants mostly as a result of wear or corrosion of the titanium implant surface. In an animal study Weingart et al.3 showed that nine months after titanium implantation, titanium particles had spread and were found in adjacent lymph nodes. This indicates the possibility that phagocytes could transport titanium particles to the lymph nodes without any initial or immediate inflammatory response and potentially cause later immunologic reactions.
An increasing number of people who suffer some form tooth loss are choosing to replace their teeth with dental implants. For the last thirty plus years the only and highly successful option for freestanding tooth replacement available in the United States and other countries has been titanium and titanium alloy dental implants. There are increasing reports both in dentistry and medicine of individuals developing sensitivity and allergies to titanium and/or titanium alloys. Even of more concern some of these implants are corroding once exposed to body fluids such as saliva and developing electrical activity when they are coupled with prosthetic components made of other metal alloys. Titanium implants as they corrode are known to release metal ions which create low level electrical currents through the body but also weakens the structural integrity of the implants. With recent advances in implantable biomaterials research and technology, bioceramics such as zirconia (zirconium dioxide) are now available and a new generation of modern implants is made of zirconia. Zirconium Silicate (ZrSO4) is mined and is treated and transformed into zirconium dioxide which is also called zirconia. Zirconia is the crystal form of the material zirconium which is a transitional metal. After mining and processing of zirconium silicate, zirconium is isolated and further processed under high temperature and pressure. Zirconium then undergoes an oxidation and crystallization process which allows it to transition into a structurally stable and inert crystal. This bioceramic crystal is called Yttrium Stabilized Tetragonal Zirconium Polycrystal (Y-TZP) also called zirconium dioxide. Therefore zirconium dioxide is not a metal and presents exceptional physical and biological properties. Zirconia can sustain an extreme load capacity, features a very long service life, and presents no conductivity or interference in the body’s meridian systems; it is the most hygienic, non-electricity conducting and stable material for dental implantology and orthopedics. Zirconia implants also present no danger of corrosion, something that is often a serious problem with metal based dental implants. Corrosion of a titanium dental implant occurs when it is coupled with the metal framework or abutment of the crown which more often than not is a less noble metal or alloy than that of the titanium implant. The implant and crown assembly bathes in saliva which is an electrolyte and a good conductor of electricity; this leads to all sorts of chemical and electrical imbalances in the body and to a phenomenon called “battery mouth”. Another advantage of zirconia is its low affinity for plaque. Clinical observations and studies show that zirconia implants compared to or next to titanium implants accumulate much less plaque and allow for superior gingival health.
RADIOACTIVITY AND ZIRCONIA IMPLANTS
There is a controversial and highly misunderstood aspect of zirconium dioxide in terms of its radiological output. Zirconium Silicate (ZrSO4) depending where it is mined can be contaminated with natural radioactive isotopes including radium (226Ra) and thorium (228Th). This was a major concern in the early 1990’s because the ores selected were contaminated. Today zirconium dioxide processing plants have the technology to remove these contaminants and are able to yield and use very pure powders. For example, the radiation emitted by a 3 mol% Y2O3-ZrO2powder was the same order of magnitude as alumina powder, both of which were several orders of magnitude less than that typically measured for water, vegetables and livestock. Zirconia hip ball replacements weigh approximately 100mg and have a natural radiological output of 1mSv per year. The average weight of a zirconia dental implant is 1g, translating into a natural radiological output of roughly 0.01mSv/year. Therefore the radiation risk of zirconia bioceramics is negligible and given that the World Nuclear Association states that the typical background radiation experienced by most people in North America is 3.4mSv, there is little concern for adverse biological effects on the implant recipient.
Zirconia dental implants are a sensible and clearly a healthier alternative to conventional and titanium implant bridges, partials or Overdentures. Furthermore zirconia by virtue of its translucency and all-white color makes it the most aesthetically pleasing option available today for tooth replacement. This is a new era in implant dentistry and the science of oral implantology.
1- Rabin, Steven I., MD; Calhoun, Jason H., MD, FACS, editor: Immune Response to Implants
3- Weingart D, Steinmann S, Schili W, Strub JR, Hellerich U, Assenmacher J, Simpson J. Titanium deposition in regional lymph nodes after insertion of titanium screw implants in the maxillofacial region. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg.1994 Dec:23 (6Pt2): 450-2
Over the past century, the levels of fluoride in foods purchased at the grocery store have steadily increased due to several factors including; the mass fluoridation of water supplies, the introduction of fluoride-based pesticides and the use of mechanical deboning processes in the meat industry.
One of the biggest problems is produce – both organic and non-organically grown — which is sprayed with pesticides. The newer pesticides contain alarmingly high levels fluoride making the typical North American’s daily consumption about 1.8 milligrams of fluoride — almost twice the amount of fluoride delivered from drinking one liter of fluoridated water. The consumption of non-organic foods is now thought to account for as much as one-third of the average person’s fluoride exposure.
WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?
Early in 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommended that water fluoridation programs should lower the levels added to water from 1 ppm fluoride 0.7 ppm. Although helpful, even this measure clearly does not go far enough to solve the problem, as many children continue to ingest levels of fluoride much higher than is recommended, or considered ‘safe’. When you consider all of the sources of fluoride contamination it isn’t surprising that we are seeing a dramatic increase in dental fluorosis (a tooth defect caused by excess fluoride intake) and a marked rise in cases reported over the past 60 years.
WHERE IS ALL THIS FLUORIDE COMING FROM?
The fluoride-based pesticide called cryolite (a white or colorless mineral made up of fluoride, sodium and aluminum in crystal form) is essentially sodium aluminum fluoride, which is used for its ability to kill produce-loving insects. Cryolite also adheres to produce in a thick layer that effectively ‘seals’ the produce in pesticide and is extremely difficult to remove before consumption. Fresh produce that is temporarily stored in a warehouse environment is also treated with a gas fumigant, used to kill insects and rodents. This fumigant is recognized to leave extremely high levels of fluoride residue “in or on” stored foods.
The naturally occurring levels of fluoride in fruits, vegetables, meat, grain, eggs, milk and fresh water supplies are generally very low (less than 0.1 ppm) with the exception of seafood, tea and deep-well water which all have elevated fluoride levels without human interference. As a general rule, the fluoride level in food increases as a byproduct of the industrial food-making process. This is particularly true in the U.S. where mass water fluoridation programs are in use, since food processors use the public water supply to make their products. The basic rule is more processing equals the more fluoride. Juice that is not made from concentrate will thus have less fluoride than reconstituted juice.
Organic food is less contaminated than non-organic food and a person’s exposure will thus be reduced if they eat more organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Cereals, mechanically deboned meats, and black or green tea are sources to avoid if possible. Mechanically deboned meat is problematic because “most meats that are pulverized into a pulp form (e.g., chicken fingers, chicken nuggets) are made using a mechanical deboning processes. This mechanical deboning process increases the quantity of fluoride-laden bone particles in the meat. As a result, research has found that mechanically deboned meat contains higher levels of fluoride” (The Fluoride Action Network, http://www.fluoridealert.org/content/chicken/), which is then transferred to the consumer’s dinner table. Black and green teas are naturally high in fluoride regardless of whether they are grown organically without pesticides due to how the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system.
WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT FLUORIDE?
Recent studies have shown that hydrofluorosilicic acid levels in the body increases lead accumulation in bone, teeth and other calcium dependent tissues. This happens when the free fluoride ion acts as a transport of heavy metals, allowing them to enter into the soft tissues where they normally would not be able to go, including sensitive organs such as the brain.
In terms of acute toxicity (the amount that can cause immediate toxic consequences), fluoride is more toxic than lead but slightly less toxic than arsenic – which explains why fluoride has long been used in rodenticides and pesticides. It is also the reason accidents involving over-ingestion of fluoridated dental products including fluoridated gels, supplements and water can cause serious poisoning even leading up to death. There are reports of people who have in fact developed crippling skeletal fluorosis – a bone disease caused by excessive consumption of fluoride — from drinking high amounts of iced tea alone.
According to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) excessive fluoride exposure is well known to cause a painful bone disease (skeletal fluorosis), as well as a discoloration of the teeth known as dental fluorosis. It has also been linked to a range of other chronic ailments including;
certain types of cancer
People who are at highest risk to fluoride include infants, individuals with kidney disease, individuals with nutrient deficiencies (particularly calcium and iodine), and individuals with medical conditions that cause excessive thirst.
Fluoride also has the ability to stimulate the harmful effects of other chemicals and heavy metals in the environment, potentially making them even more harmful than they would be otherwise. For example, when you combine chloramines with the hydrofluorosilicic acid, the combination becomes very effective at extracting lead from old plumbing systems, promoting the accumulation of lead in the water supply – water which is then consumed by animals and humans alike.
About half of all of dentists in the United States have made the choice to stop using amalgam, and its way past time for the other half to follow suit. The fact is that most dentists who continue to use amalgam really don’t believe that amalgam can be harmful to them, their patients or staff. They stick to what they’ve been taught in dental school, choosing not to question the standards for fear of reprisal.
As the number of mercury-free dentists continues to grow, there are more and more dentists who offer a more holistic or “biological” approach to dental care. Therefore it is important that we continue to point out the pitfalls to mercury amalgams, and to urge the other 50 percent to overcome the ignorance that perpetuates its use. Aspiring dentists continue to be taught that the mercury in amalgams is “bound” with the other metals and therefore doesn’t leak, which is why they continue to believe mercury amalgam use is safe. However, by the fact that mercury vapor can be measured as it seeps away from the tip of the root is absolute proof that amalgam fillings can and do leach mercury poisons into the body.
A combination of greed and power has brought about a situation that continues to perpetuate public ignorance on the subject, and as a consequence the Food & Drug Association in partnership with the American Dental Association has for years knowingly concealed the dangers of ‘silver’ amalgam use from the public.
THE MERCURY AND ALZHEIMER’S CONNECTION
Recent studies of the effects of various toxic heavy metals on the brain, specifically; aluminum, lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, reveal that the most toxic metal is without a doubt, mercury. Scientific research points to the fact that mercury is the most likely culprit underlying much chronic disease, and something the majority of physicians, including dentists, simply are not educated about. Mercury poisoning can result in a variety of complex and health threatening neurological, immunological, and endocrinological problems. It not only exacerbates inflammation, it also impairs the body’s ability to detoxify itself, causing greater susceptibility to diseases in general. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases have all been linked to exposure to mercury, and even trace amounts of mercury can cause the type of damage observed in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Scientists and researchers now believe Alzheimer’s impairs communication and coordination between cells. The brain has up to a 100 billion nerve cells called neurons and these neurons make up an intricate network or ‘neural super highway’ that requires a great deal of energy and constant and effective waste removal. These processes require a large amount of fuel and oxygen. Heavy metals such as mercury can seriously impair these necessary neurological processes.
It is thought that mercury becomes an aggravating factor for Alzheimer’s, particularly when present in combination with other heavy metals such as zinc, cadmium and lead; a toxic combination that is always present when Alzheimer’s becomes a factor. In other words, even the smallest amounts of mercury work in partnership with other heavy metals to create damaging effects on the brain. In addition, the reaction of dental amalgam mercury combined with toxic substances produced by periodontal disease bacteria very likely enhances the toxicity of the mercury being released. Ultimately, mercury is much more toxic to individuals who are exposed to other heavy metals.
CHOOSING TO GET AN ORAL UP-GRADE
Though the efforts of organizations such as Consumers for Dental Choice which works to get mercury banned from dentistry worldwide, a growing number of consumers are becoming aware of the dangers of mercury amalgams, and are beginning to realize what a toxic mess they may have in their own mouths. As a result, many people today are looking for ways to reduce the mercury impact on their immune systems by replacing mercury amalgams with a healthier composite. However, it is important to realize that nothing has the potential to release more mercury vapor directly into the body’s sensitive system, than the removal of an amalgam filling. For this reason it is highly important to make sure that your silver fillings are removed by a dentist who has been expertly trained in this procedure. The removal of mercury laced fillings requires careful isolation of the filled tooth from the rest of the oral cavity through the use of a rubber dam. This combined with vacuums providing suction in and around the mouth aimed at capturing mercury while the extraction is taking place, helps to reduce over-exposure during the delicate removal process. But not all dentists are yet aware of how important such safety precautions are when dealing with amalgams.
Because of mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, studies now clearly demonstrate that dental workers have elevated systemic mercury levels. Up to this point, few of these dental workers – mostly women of childbearing age – have been given protective gear or filtering masks to minimize exposure to mercury. Due to the persistent misinformation about the dangers of mercury poisoning caused by dental amalgams, many of these people are not even aware of the risks of occupational mercury exposure. As a result, an alarming number of cases having to do with neurological problems, reproductive failures, and birth defects caused by amalgam exposure in the workplace are being reported by dental workers all across the globe.
AMALGAM REMOVAL REQUIRES SPECIFIC PROCEDURES
Biological dentists are well aware of the dangers presented by a wide range of toxic materials including mercury amalgams. Following a very specific procedure during the removal process will help to keep you (and your dentist) safe by:
Supplying the patient with an alternative air source along with instructions on how to not to breathe through the mouth during the procedure
The use of a cold water spray to help minimize toxic mercury vapors
Installing a rubber dam in the mouth to help the patient avoid swallowing or inhaling any toxins
Employing a high volume evacuator in the mouth at all times to safely remove the mercury vapor
Providing instruction on rising the mouth immediately after the fillings have been removed
Immediately cleaning both the patient’s and the dental workers protective wear once the fillings are removed
Proficient use of room air purifiers
For a complete description of how to safely remove mercury amalgam, the website by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
More information:“The Scientific Case Against Mercury Amalgam.”