Doctor OZ Mercury Vapor From Amalgam Fillings (P1)

Daniel Vinograd

Dr. Oz:                                   Our show today concerns everyone of you watching who’s ever had a cavity filled. If your filling is made with silver, it probably also contains the highly toxic element, mercury.

How toxic? This thermometer contains mercury. If I were to drop it, we would have to evacuate this entire studio immediately. So why are dentists still putting fillings containing mercury in your mouth? And if they’re already there, could your fillings be poisoning you and making you sick?

[voice-over]:                         They are called amalgam fillings. And more than a hundred million Americans today have had them in their mouths. They’re made of silver and other metals. But it’s mercury that binds these fillings together and keeps them sturdy.

Dentists had been using mercury in dental fillings for more than 150 years. But are they safe?

It’s a question that first sparked a firestorm 30 years ago when major news reports brought to light the potential toxicity of mercury fillings.

The concern? That these fillings may cause serious health problems, from memory loss to mood swings, anxiety, even autoimmune disorders.

The American Dental Association insists your fillings are safe. But now, there’s mounting new evidence showing mercury is released when you eat and drink and even when you brush your teeth.

According to one report, half of dentists surveyed no longer use them. And if they’re inside your mouth, what should you do?

Dr. Oz:                                   I want everyone to take a look in the mirror right now. And if you see these silver gray or black-colored fillings in your teeth, that means you have mercury amalgams. And I need you to pay attention to this show.

Joining me is integrated dentist, Dr. Gerry Curatola. He is not used silver fillings containing mercury in over 20 years. Also, Dr. Jonathan Levine is an aesthetic dentist is a member of the show’s advisory board. He has not used fillings with mercury in over 16 years.

The American Dental Association says fillings containing mercury as safe and post no health threat. Dr. Curatola, you argued they have got it all wrong. Why is that?

Dr. Gerry Curatola:             And this is one of the hotly contested conversations going on in dentistry today. And everyone really deserves to know the facts. There is an ongoing, growing body of research that has shown that mercury from silver fillings can be hazardous. So it’s a conversation that really needs to move forward and not to stay in the past.

Dr. Oz:                                   So, how much dental amalgam is too much? I showed the audience images of what these looks like. Is there dangers to having one filling that’s with this amalgam, silver amalgam, or ten?

Dr. Curatola:                         We really don’t know how much is dangerous. This is where there’s not enough controlled studies, but more need to be done. And the reality is that the more fillings you have, mercury vapor comes out.

When I was in dental school, they used to believe in 1982, the ADA was saying that the mercury was locked in, magically locked in the filling. But we now know that there is mercury vapor. It’s acknowledged. We just don’t know how much really makes you sick.

Dr. Oz:                                   So, walk we through the types of symptoms that folks who believe they have poisoning from mercury in their amalgams might be experiencing. I know there’s some research on people who actually had them removed showing improvement in these areas.

Dr. Curatola:                         That’s correct. Mercury is one of the most neurotoxic, that is damaging to our nervous systems on the planet. It also suppresses the immune system. So you have autoimmune disorders, fatigue, memory loss, migraines, even skin problems, like psoriasis and eczema that had been linked in different studies to toxic exposure to mercury.

Dr. Oz:                                   I know in medical school, we’re taught about classic mercury poisoning. Those are mostly neurologic. Can you walk me through the things that no one can argue could be related to mercury poisoning?

Dr. Curatola:                         Tremors, memory loss, focus, inability to concentrate, these are the most damaging. It’s really extremely toxic to the central nervous system.

Dr. Oz:                                   So, there are lots of alternatives now to fillings. There are many things that dentists could be doing to avoid exposure even to themselves. Why is it that so many traditional dentists are still putting in these silver amalgam fillings?

Dr. Curatola:                         I’m amazed that 47% of the dentists in the United States are still placing amalgam restoration. They’re very inexpensive to do. They’re easy. They’re cheap. And we know that they’ve lasted in the mouth for a very long time. There are probably viewers right now who had silver mercury fillings for 20 years or more.

Dr. Oz:                                   I’m one of them. I got my share.

We bring in Dr. Jonathan Levine. So Jonathan, you argue there actually is not enough evidence, compelling evidence, correlating mercury as a major threat to our health, and yet I reported earlier that even you have stopped using them in your practice. Why is that?

Dr. Jonathan Levine:           That’s right. We stopped about 17 or 18 years ago. There are just so many better restorative options. You’re really looking at these white restorative materials that are tooth-colored that actually help to hold the tooth together.

But the evidence is conflicting. And there are questions about the science behind it.

Dr. Oz:                                   Let me challenge you. There are some countries in Europe for example that have banned the use of amalgams. They wouldn’t do that arbitrarily. It is a very commonly used, well-proven technique.

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Dr. Daniel Vinograd, DDS |
10450 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120 |
Phone: 619-630-7174    •    Dr. Vinograd, DDS, is a Dentist in San Diego, CA, offering services as a periodontist, and providing teeth whitening, dental crowns, invisalign, implants, lumineers, dentures, root canals, holistic, family and cosmetic dentistry.

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