Beginnings of nonprofit foundation to help prevent crippling oral disease on large numbers of poverty stricken children in Guatemala

I was asked by a friend, who was joining a medical mission to Guatemala as a doctor, if I wanted to join. I went and my life was suddenly changed. I performed hundreds of extractions during this trip, and many hundreds more in subsequent missions. I was painfully, a witness and a protagonist of the crippling of a whole generation. Children would come to the clinic with 9, 10 totally destroyed  teeth, a mouth in shambles, full of abscesses. They would leave without infection and relieved of their pain, but also, without their teeth.

In a conversation with my daughter, who has assisted me in some of these journeys, we found that our intervention was not without merit, but it certainly fell short of truly resolving the long term health problems of this community. A new generation of dental cripples is in the making.

It was then that the idea of mass scale prevention, an intervention that was inexpensive, simple and did not require patient compliance was born. We spoke about how the greatest expense in the US for placing sealants is the labor. By training local people to deliver this simple procedure, we could eliminate 80% of the cost. It is simple, it is effective and it works!

I now need help to take this functional model to the next level. To put together small, inexpensive,  portable units that could be used to access children in schools, communities and remote areas. Perhaps to start a training center for the specialized dental delivery personnel.

– Dr Vinograd, DDS.

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My First Guatemala Mission

I recently visited a Guatemalan remote rural area as part of a Medical-Dental Mission team. I suddenly found myself submerged in three very different worlds.

Helps International was the umbrella organization for our group. It is a missionary medical group dedicated to alleviating health issues in remote under-served regions. Workers from this organization were at the airport to pick us up.  I had never been involved with a missionary group since I am not a Christian. I found my team members wonderful, giving, human beings who are truly willing to give of themselves. This altruistic group was very open and respectful to my being Jewish. Throughout the trip, they met every morning for prayers and Christian songs and also prayed before meals. Even though I couldn’t identify with their specific religious practices, I was able to deeply connect with them at a very basic human level; we were all there with the same intentions and a common goals. I soon found myself identifying strongly with most individuals, as well as the group as a whole and found our basic differences and beliefs were easily bridged, as we were hard at work.

Outside the airport, we were greeted by Guatemalan soldiers who were to be our hosts while we worked at a Guatemalan army base in the town of Huehuetenango, about a six hour bus ride from Guatemala city. My previous impressions of Latin American soldiers were not good. I saw them as uneducated, intransigent, macho, and spending too much time smoking marijuana. My experience with them during our ten-day interaction did not match my expectations: I found them helpful, respectful, disciplined, and committed to their country. At the base, we were received by the military marching band and by a group of soldiers who were eager to help us set up our “mash”-like hospital. At night, after a long day of work, we were invited to their gym to play volleyball against them. As it turned out, we integrated into mixed teams of health professionals and soldiers and came away from our matches having forged some warm friendships. I personally had the opportunity to befriend the regional commander who I found warm, appreciative, and highly educated. I also had the opportunity in my dental unit to take care of a number of soldiers who are humble, and appreciative. Upon our departure, they put together a short program with music and warm words.

The third group I had an opportunity to interact with was composed of the members of the local indigenous population. Dressed in their colorful garb, their Sunday’s best, many of them traveled long distances to seek medical/dental care we were providing. In most cases, their oral health was not very good. Most oral cavities I examined were disastrous; requiring in most cases multiple extractions of tooth remnants. Most of them spoke a local dialect but we managed to communicate with the help of sign language, smiles, broken down Spanish, and an occasional interpreter. Most of them were in pain but extremely grateful.  Many of them would hug me at the completion of their treatment and they always exhibited an extremely respectful demeanor. The lucky ones that could be attended to at the clinic had manipulated the system in one way or another so they could get a place in the front of the line. However, many locals did not receive treatment, for our time and resources were limited. Those that could not be treated just looked resigned and hopeful that next year their turn will come. A few of them pleaded with us and tugged at our hearts as we felt frustrated not to be able to pull a magic wand out of our pockets and heal them all.

My trip to Hueuetenango was designed in order to provide help and care for those Guatemalans that could otherwise not have the opportunity to be medically treated. However, as it turned out, the healing was also bestowed upon me; in a period of ten days I was immersed in a complex world as three very different cultures merged and the blessing was the profound connection I experienced as a human being, while celebrating our differences.

– Dr Daniel Vinograd, DDS.

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Gerson Institute Day 3 Lecture: Dr. Vinograd, Holistic Dental Health

Audio Title: Day_3_Dr._Vinograd_Holistic_Dental_Health

Duration Transcribed: 0:00:01 – 1:16:26

Speakers: Facilitator, Daniel Vinograd, Participants




Facilitator: So you heard reference several times this weekend about the importance – excuse me. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re starting. If you could come inside please, that would be great.


You heard reference several times this weekend about the synergistic effects of oral and dental health and health in the rest of your body and unfortunately in modern, medical practice, we act as though one part is completely unrelated to another.


We have a very special guest lecture, Dr. Daniel Vinograd. He’s a holistic dentist and he has been a holistic dentist for 30 years before anybody even had an inkling of what that meant and he is going to tell you far better than anyone else here could about the interplay between those very things. So please welcome Dr. Daniel Vinograd.




Daniel Vinograd: Thank you. Thank you very much. Well first of all, I’m really pleased to be here and I always really relish speaking to groups like yours. I relish the patients that I treat because we are talking about people that are becoming aware. We’ve been sold a bill of goods for so long and this is part of Western culture. We live in a culture where advertising, movies, you know. Constantly we are being told how to think, what to think, what to buy, what to be greedy about, what to be scared of and so it’s very – it’s a great pleasure to be in the company of people that are breaking out of that mold.


I have been practicing biological dentistry for a very, very long time and more than I care to admit. One of the reasons that I did not start practicing holistic dentistry in my first three or four years, I became quite ill around in my late 20s and I could not understand what was happening. There were mental lagoons a bit tired all the time. I felt just really not good and I figured at 28, this is what getting old is about, right?


So I figured, hey, I have to accept it. I’m getting older, right? This is what it feels like. Just by coincidence, I read some articles and I realized that perhaps – and I like many other people were using amalgams back there. I confess. But that was over 30 years ago.


At that point, we were not concerned about a lot of things. We were really basically doing dentistry without masks, without gloves. We’re actually taking amalgams and squeezing them into the trash can, the mercury out and then using it on the patients. So when I actually did some testing, I found that my mercury levels were off the charts.


So slowly I started detoxing. I started doing what was appropriate for the situation. It took me about three or four years but I began to regain my health and as it is for most of us, we’re going to intellectualize a lot of things but truly when we experience something ourselves, then we really become committed. There’s really nothing like life to teach us and nothing like having your own experiences to really get us passionate about something.


So the rest of my life, I’ve been very passionate about holistic living and I’ve been very passionate about holistic dentistry. Back then 30 years ago, not many people were actually working with us and over the years I’ve actually lived what I preach. I pretty much grow a lot of my own food. Actually I have a lot of vegetables. I have a lot of fruits in my area, right on my backdoor and I basically don’t use a lot of chemicals both in my practice and in my own home.


I found that that has really helped me. I mean I’m 85 years old and – no, I’m just kidding.




Daniel Vinograd: So anyway, when I started 30 years ago, this is the way a lot of my colleagues were looking at me and I felt really isolated. I would say, “Well, why don’t you listen to me? I mean doesn’t this make sense?”


So I was being a little bit outside of the conventional mode of practicing dentistry or even thinking of dentistry and so I was called a quack. I lost a lot of friends over this but I begin to refuse to use a lot of the dental materials that were being used.


So this is basically what I got from my colleagues and a lot of people that I was talking to. There’s another one where you have the monkeys, right? And that would be pretty appropriate for this as well.


When we get outside of our comfort zone, resistance comes up, right? Who has experienced that? I mean it happens. It’s part of human nature, right? Something new comes up. A different way of thinking. Trying to back off from traditional conventional wisdom, if you can call it wisdom.


So this is a lot of what I got. Now I have a very good friend who was born in Mexico City. He’s a very prominent dentist. He takes care of a lot of the artists, a lot of the politicians down there, those excellent dentistry.


When I was going to USC, he was actually working at UCLA. We still remain friends after that. I don’t know if you guys are local or not but there’s a lot of competition between two schools and I kept – he used to work for the Dental Materials Department and he would tell me, “You know, we’re looking at this material and we’re looking at the resistance to abrasion and we’re looking at the resistance to compression and we’re looking at the elasticity.”


And I started thinking, “Well, is this the kind of lingo that we should be using in something that’s going to be going in our mouths?” I mean all we care about is how resistant it is. All we care is about how long it’s going to be in the mouth and I mentioned that to him one time and he said, “What are you talking about?”

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Since John Moore almost died from mercury poisoning in 1974, that highly toxic element has haunted the man.

He now assists those who want to learn and perhaps rescue themselves from the planet’s ubiquitous contaminant. He taught classes to dental and health professionals for three years’ often with up to 100 persons per session.

His expertise was acknowledged by author Tom Warren in the book Reversing Chronic Diseases’ along with fellow researcher Gary Tunsky. The illustration of mercury vapor escaping a mercury seat is taken from Warren’s book. Our interview starts with a half question about that near- death experience…


Read on..—organized-crime-and-public-health.php

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Mercury Amalgams:

“80 Times Above Safety Limits
The amount of mercury vapor in the average mouth
is 80 times above the established safety limits
for mercury vapor exposure, according to our U.S.
Government standards. Yes, you read that last sentence
right — 80 times above safety limits. This
means that the average person with silver fillings is
typically at high risk for mercury vapor exposure —
and its potential pathway of destruction…”


Read on…

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Some thoughts on: Mercury and Vaccines:

“A Dartmouth professor studying the chemical characteristics of an organic form of mercury – dimethyl mercury – spilled two drops of it on her gloved hand. The first sign of mercury poisoning occurred four months later when her speech began to be slurred. This was followed by difficulty walking and loss of vision. She then fell into a coma and died. Another person, attempting to smelt the silver in dental amalgams he obtained (they are 35 percent silver, 50 percent mercury, and 15 percent tin, zinc, and other metals), heated them in a frying pan. The mercury vapor thus generated killed him quickly. The two other family members in the house at the time also died…”

Read on..

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How mercury affects health and what to do about it

mercury fillingOf all the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, mercury is considered one of the most dangerous. “Mercury is the most toxic and poisonous non-radioactive, heavy metal substance on the planet,” says Tom McGuire, DDS, author of Tooth Fitness, Your Guide to Healthy Teeth (St. Michael’s Press). Mercury is now number three on the Top 20 list of toxic substances compiled by the US Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. Only arsenic and lead rank higher.

On average a person’s body contains between 10 to 15 milligrams of mercury. We absorb mercury when we breathe contaminated air, eat contaminated fish, receive vaccines preserved with mercury-based Thimerosal, or are exposed to a variety of pesticides, fungicides and petroleum products.

By Chrystle Fiedler


But your greatest vulnerability to mercury may come from the fillings in your teeth. “People with amalgam fillings are particularly vulnerable to a toxic overload of mercury,” says Myron Wentz, PhD, author of A Mouth Full of Poison. The Truth About Mercury Amalgam Fillings (Medicis).”The metal can poison every enzyme, damage every cellular structure, and kill virtually every cell in the body.”

Stress on the System

H ow much mercury is too much for the human body? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no known safe level. Mercury affects the brain and central nervous system, the endocrine system and can cause kidney malfunction. It increases the risk of heart disease, boosts your susceptibility to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, damages the immune system and can destroy stomach and intestinal epithelial cells. Fetal mercury poisoning problems can be compounded ten-fold when a pregnant woman has mercury amalgam fillings put in or removed during the first trimester of pregnancy.

“The metal can poison every enzyme, damage every cellular structure, and kill virtually every cell in the body.”


Initial signs of mercury poisoning include short term memory loss, mood swings, anxiety, depression, fits ofanger, irritability, indecision, excitability, fatigue and headaches. “There are more than 200 symptoms listed in the medical literature for mercury poisoning,” says David Engelsberg, DDS, who practices mercury free dentistry in Sarasota, Florida. “Mercury poisoning can happen with one large dose of mercury or constant small doses, as in the case of dental amalgams.”

Over the past twenty years, The Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome group (DAMS), a US based patient support group, has evaluated over a thousand peer-reviewed and government studies that show that mercury is either the principal cause or a major contributing factor in over 4° chronic health conditions including Alzheimer’s and low thyroid function. “Chronic mercury toxicity masquerades as familiar symptoms and illnesses,” says Leo Cashman, Executive Director of DAMS. “The most common early symptoms are fatigue and short term memory problems since the brain is one of the first organs affected. Mercury is a factor in cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, Lupus and Alzheimer’s.” “Mercury amalgam either causes, contributes or exacerbates any health problems you may have,” says Dr. McGuire.

The good news? Having your mercury fillings removed by a dentist experienced at extracting these types of amalgams may alleviate the health effects of mercury originating in your teeth.


Filled with Mercury

Dentists insert approximately J2 tons of mei’cury in the mouths of North Americans every year. “Mercury is dangerous, more poisonous than lead or arsenic,” warns Dr. Engelsberg. “Mercury vapors leaking from the fillingand their subsequent detrimental effects are a slow, insidious process. Health problems caused by dental mercury poisoning are often perceived many years after the amalgams are placed.” That’s why, in July, 2003, the California Dental Board began requiring that all dentists in the state supply patients with a dental materials fact sheet outlining the potential dangers of mercury fillings.

Conventional dental amalgam fillings consists of about 5°% mercury, 35% silver, 9% tin, 6% copper, and trace amounts of zinc. “Once the amalgam is hard, the mercury is bound within it but very small amounts are slowly released due to corrosion or chewing or grinding motions throughout the life of the filling,” says Dr. Engelsberg. The total amount of mercury released in your mouth depends upon how many fillings you have, the size of the surface areas, and your chewing and eating habits. “Teeth vapor levels are ten fold higher, during and after a meal, after drinking hot beverages or brushing,” says Cashman. Mercury vapor is the main route that mercury takes out of amalgam and it is absorbed at a rate of 80% via the lungs into the blood.

Mercury-free dentists use high-tech mercury vapor analyzers to measure the exact amount of vapor in your mouth. “Today, we can better detect mercury vapors in someone’s mouth than ever before,” says Cashman. “(Often we find) levels that would be of a concern (to workers) if you found them in (the air of) a factory.”


Filling Removal

Mercury fillings must be removed carefully. “As soon as a dentist touches a filling with a drill, mercury vapor comes pouring off,” notes Dr. Engelsberg. “When you take a breath it goes right into your lungs.” To prevent this, precautions should be taken by dentists during filling replacement. Mercury free dentists, (find them at, 1-800-311-6265 and use a holistic approach, asking about your medical history and testing for compatibility of materials before taking out mercury fillings and placing new fillings in your teeth. During the procedure, a rubber dam, a dental air vacuum, and a mercury filtration system are employed to eliminate mercury-containing spray and materials. Oxygen keeps you from inhaling mercury vapors. Then the dentist replaces your fillings with biologically friendly composites. If you are unable to find a mercury-free dentist you can insist that your regular dentist follow the IAOMT protocol. (Visit for information.)

In addition, “You’ll also need nutri­tional support to strengthen your immune system and detoxification pathways to overcome the mercury exposure,” says Dr. Engelsberg. “Without this, some patients may experience severe fatigue, nausea and weakness. ” Women of child bearing age should have fillings removed a month or longer before trying to conceive; otherwise mercury from amalgams can be transferred from a pregnant mother to the developing fetus. Women should never have amalgam fillings removed during pregnancy or while nursing.

In other cases, those concerned about mercury fillings argue that fillings should be replaced with non-mercury amalgams as soon as possible. “The future costs of treating mercury-related symptoms and diseases far outweigh the immediate costs of having your fillings replaced,” says Dr. Wentz.


Mercury Detoxing

A procedure called chelation, that leaches heavy metals from the body, can assist the body’s detoxification mechanism in eliminating mercury and other chemical toxins from deep within your tissues. There are two kinds of chelation, intravenous and oral. Intravenous chelation is conducted under a doctor’s supervision. Oral chelation, typically is conducted at home using nutritional supplements that include natural chelation agents.



Herbs Etc.

Every medicine chest needs a few basic herbs that can be used to deal with a variety of situations. Herbs have a long history of traditional therapeutic use and also provide vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients needed for continued good health. Mullein and red clover are two versatile herbs whose healing properties have been known and employed for centuries. These herbs, along with other vital nutrients like fiber, can aid in restoring balance and help the body cleanse itself.

Mullein has been traditionally taken for lung and bronchial congestion, coughs, sore throats, aching ears and lymphatic congestion, it is considered an excellent herb for relieving lymphatic pain and can help calm inflamed nerves. Mullein is an expectorant and thins mucous primarily in the lungs and bronchial tubes.

Red clover has traditionally been used as a blood cleaner, supporting the organs that clean the blood. Traditional practitioners use it to break up lumps and tumors especially in the lungs, digestive system, and glandular system including the reproductive system. Red clover is anti-spasmodic and anti-tumor, it is mildly estrogenic and possesses mild blood-thinning properties.

Fiber or roughage is, technically, indigestible carbohydrate, ft helps keep the digestive system working efficiently by adding bulk and moving waste through the digestive tract faster. As it moves through the intestines, fiber can help reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, it lowers toxin absorption by speeding its elimination from the digestive tract. Research also suggests that fiber may play a role in lowering the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

Within the body, the most powerful antioxidant free radical scavenger that helps eliminate mercury is glutathione (GSH), a small protein made up of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. “It’s the chemical nature of the sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine, that accounts for the antioxidant punch of GSH,” says Dr. Wentz. GSH binds with toxins like mercury to prevent them from damaging structural proteins and inactivating enzymes. In that way, it is rendered water-soluble and prepared for excretion via the kidneys and bile. “Its power in the elimination of toxins is prodigious. ”

Unfortunately, if your body is suffering from an overload of toxins like mercury, your available supply of GSH is probably already stretched to the limit. This can reduce immune function and increase vulnerability to infection. Supplementing with N- Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) a precursor to cysteine can boost levels of GSH. In addition, the antioxidant supplement

A high protein diet with sulfur bearing amino acids can facilitate detoxification.

alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) may also enhance your GSH. Plus, vitamins C, E, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and beta-carotene and selenium can help reduce mercury toxicity and, in some cases, help replenish GSH.

Herbs like cilantro (Chinese parsley) and supplements like chlorella that contain high levels of sulfur can boost detoxification because they bind with mercury and aid in pulling it out of the body, says Dr. Engelsberg. “I use chlorella tablets and fresh cilantro. The sulfur in each combines readily with mercury and enables the body to excrete it.”

Dark green vegetables are also high in sulfur. A high protein diet with sulfur bearing amino acids can facilitate detoxification. Adequate dietary fiber from substances like sodium alginate also feed the beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract (these include acidophilus and bifidus), which, in turn, may increase mercury excretion.

Mercury Free

Getting rid of the mercury in your body is a big step toward optimizing your health. “With a natural approach we start low and go slow,” says Dr. McGuire. “Begin with one filling. If you don’t experience any problems, next time schedule two. Do it at your own pace. You don’t have to get sick to get well.” “It can only help and never hinder when toxic metals are removed,” says Dr. Engelsburg. “You’ll know if you’ve done the right thing for your health if you notice a difference in your energy level or a reduction in the kinds of symptoms associated with mercury toxicity.”


 – Chrystle Fiedler

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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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