Countries around the
world have been trying to
get amalgam fillings
banned for years...and the
fight to achieve this goes
on. Here you will find
what is going on in some
countries around the
January 1997 Sweden prohibited the use of Amalgam after
it was found that 250,000 Swedes have immune and other disorders caused
directly by the Mercury in their Amalgam dental fillings.
Since the health insurance
stopped paying for amalgam
restorations in Sweden in
1999, the use has
decreased markedly and is
now estimated to be 2-5%
of all fillings.
As from 1st April 2008, amalgam fillings have been banned
in Denmark following the way of Norway. Teeth will have to be mended with
plastic or ceramics. Exceptions to use amalgam may be granted for a certain
period after the ban, if dentists apply for it.
Danish officials indicate that the reason for banning
amalgam is also because composites have become better, and may now be used in
many more situations than a few years ago.
The Danish Minister of Health, Jakob Axel Nielen has said
"Composite fillings have now become to strong that the Danish National Board
of Health says that we can expand the ban to also include amalgam fillings".
In 1991 the German Dental Association were instructed by
the German Health Ministry NOT to place Amalgam into the mouths of children,
pregnant women or people suffering with kidney disease. In 1993 this was
extended to include ALL women of childbearing age, pregnant or not.
At present Germany is well ahead of other countries in
it's stance on Amalgam. One company producing Amalgam, Degussa, recently had a law
suit filed against it but decided to settle out of court. It agreed to pay
1,200,000DM to the University of Munich for research into the pathological
effects of amalgam. There have been around 1,500 "civil complaints" against
Amalgam manufacturers for injuring the lives of dental patients and the
Prosecutor in Frankfurt believes that there is sufficient evidence to go ahead
with the case against the manufacturers of Amalgam.
In Dental students are no longer required to produce
amalgam fillings specifically.
On 31st May 2002 it was announced on British radio
that the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Social Welfare would be sending
new guidelines for use of dental materials within a few weeks
and expected them to take effect from 1st January 2003. The Director of the
Norwegian Directorate of Health and Social Welfare was interviewed and he said
that the health authorities in Norway now recommended that dentists no longer
use Amalgam on their patients. He said that the new guidelines would be based on
newer research that reveals how Mercury leaks from the Amalgam fillings into
the mouths of patients. The announcement was called a "turn-about" by
Norwegian radio. The current President of the Norwegian Dental Association was
also interviewed and he said that the N.D.A. was satisfied that the new
guidelines stop short of a full ban on Amalgam fillings and that freedom of
choice is still possible. The current president of the N.D.A. works in an
Amalgam-free dental practice and has not used Amalgam for many years.
Following on from this, on January 1st 2008 Norway
BANNED the use of mercury
in EVERYTHING including dental fillings. Michael Bender, director of the
Mercury Policy Project said "These bans clearly indicate that amalgam is no
longer needed. There are viable non-mercury filling substitutes that are used
every day in the US. By eliminating amalgam use, which is 50% mercury, we can
reduce mercury pollution much more efficiently than end-of-the-pipeline
Health Canada considers that dental amalgam is safe for
most Canadians. Medical materials are governed under the Health Protection
Branch and as yet, it has not issued any warnings concerning mercury fillings.
The department advises that people with "impaired kidney
function" or who have neurological conditions should consider alternative
composite fillings. Also, pregnant women and those with allergies to metals
may want to delay any dental work using mercury. People who have braces fitted
should try to avoid having mercury-silver amalgams in their teeth because of
fears the different metals in the mouth could interact with one another
causing galvanisation (the battery affect).
Health Canada's position is based on a 1995 report,
"Assessment of Mercury Exposure and Risks from Dental Amalgam," at which point
the department concluded "the key toxicological studies available did not
provide a reliable quantification of mercury vapour exposure.
The Canadian Dental Association is urging more federal
government research on the issue. The association stands behind the amalgam,
saying "significant evidence of patient risk associated with its use has not
The association urges patients to discuss the matter
with their dentist. But Dr. Brian Kucey of the alberta Dental Association
says: "It's the Every Man filling. Currently there is still no material that
can do the same job with the same degree of safety as the silver amalgam."
Consumer groups want dentists to:
tell their patients what options they have for
give the patients all the information they need to
make an informed choice
provide patients with a consent form to sign
The alternatives to mercury-silver amalgam include a
gold alloy (much more expensive), composite fillings or ceramic inlays. These
are harder to work with and may be less durable...but are SAFE!
Dr. Dorothy McComb, head of restorative dentistry at the
University of Toronto, says her school teaches students to offer their
patients a choice. Patients are given information on composite resins and
"A lot of patients distrust the establishment view and
we now have better composites than we did 20 years ago. So we're now at a
point where we can offer the choice."
Canadians for Mercury Relief was started in 1996 when a
group of anti-mercury patients decided to band together.
CFMR launched legal action in 1998 to "seek compensation
on behalf of Canadians who had mercury amalgams installed without knowing the
risk associated with these fillings and also to seek compensation for the many
thousands of Canadians who are suffering ill effects from mercury poisoning."
The suit represented more than 8,000 patients from across Canada.
On March 31, 1998, legal action was filed against dental
manufacturing company Dentsply International and its Canadian division,
Johnson & Johnson, and Health Canada.
Dentsply and Health Canada filed to have the case
dismissed in the Autumn of 1998. Dentsply withdrew its motion and Health
Canada's motion was dismissed.
The case is in limbo right now. In late 1999, Health
Canada, Johnson & Johnson, and Dentsply applied for a summary judgement
motion. If the motion is granted, both sides submit their arguments to a
judge, who renders a decision. So far, there has been no decision on the
Although the Canadian Dental Association advocates the
use of mercury fillings, a separate group of dentists created its own
organization in 1985: the International Academy of Oral Medicine and
The IAOMT is a non-profit organization that funds
peer-reviewed scientific research in toxic substances used in dentistry. It
DOES NOT support the use of mercury in dental fillings.
IAOMT has spawned branches in Canada, the United
Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, the U.S., Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico and
In March 2001 the University of Calgary did a study
which once again raised concerns about mercury vapours.
Scientists added low concentrations of mercury to the
brain neurons of snails. They found that parts of the neuron broke down and
split off, preventing the neurons from functioning properly. Neurons are
required to transmit information in the brain. Mercury appeared to interfere
with the skeletal-like structure of neurons.
The study concluded small amounts of mercury exposure
can be a factor in causing the brain to degenerate, much like
Although the American Dental Association insists that
Amalgam is completely safe, the various states in the USA have different views
on the matter of using Amalgam in dental fillings.
In Augusta, Maine a lot is happening...in August 2001 a
milestone was reached:
Augusta, Maine - August 23, 2001
Maine Governor Angus King today signed the most advanced
bill in the United states requiring dentists to inform their patients that
amalgam dental fillings contain a large percentage of the toxic element
mercury, which can be harmful to the wearer's health.
In his preliminary remarks before signing the bill, Gov.
King noted that Maine has probably taken more action to get mercury out of the
air and water than any other state in the union. "And yet we all carry it
around in our mouths," he remarked.
Senate President Michael Michaud spearheaded the bill
and Representatives Joanne Twoomey and Steven Stanley, all of whom were
present, spoke at the signing. Consumer advocates Pam Anderson and Dr. Tom
Anderson, a mercury-free dentist from Houlton, ME, who led grassroots support
for the bill, participated in the ceremony as well.
Senate President Michaud cited the courage of the many
individuals who testified on behalf of the bill, especially the dentists who
came forward to endorse it despite the opposition of the American Dental
Association. "We hope that the U.S. will take Maine's lead and move forward
with legislation at the national level," he said.
The bill mandates that every dentist's office will
feature a poster and a brochure informing patients about the presence of
mercury in amalgam fillings and about its negative health effects.
Scientific research has shown that dental amalgam is the
chief source of mercury in the human body. For that reason Rep. Twoomey
described the bill as a major step forward for women of childbearing age and
for children, who receive their first exposure to mercury in the womb and from
their mother's breast milk. Mercury has been implicated in neurological
disorders of children such as autism and ADD/ADHD, and in fertility problems
"We are delighted that this bill has been signed," said
Rep. Stanley. It is a major step forward to protect the health of Maine
Pam Anderson added that the group hopes Maine's next
step would be to ban the use of dental amalgam in all women of childbearing
age and in children.
Other participants in the press conference were Kathleen
McGee, Director of the Maine Toxic Action Coalition; Maine DAMS (Dental
Amalgam Mercury Syndrome) Co-ordinator Marjorie Monteleone, and New Hampshire
DAMS Co-ordinator Rosie Cronen; representatives from the Maine People's
Alliance, the Maine Citizens for Affordable Health Care, and the Maine
Department of Environmental Protection; Dr. Gerald Vermette, mercury-free
dentist; Rosemary Fecteau, Ph.D., whose husband died of mercury toxicity from
his dental fillings; Charles Brown, attorney for the national organisation
Consumers for Dental Choice; and New York City DAMS Co-ordinator Dr. Lydia
Bronte, author of a widely respected book, THE MERCURY IN YOUR MOUTH: The
Truth About "Silver" Dental Fillings.
"The public is being deceived by the terminology used
for these fillings," said Charles Brown in his remarks. "The ADA calls them
"silver" fillings, but they are really MERCURY fillings. If people knew the
principal ingredient is mercury they would not want these fillings in their
Gov. King compared the current use of mercury in dental
fillings with the 1950's use in shoe stores of powerful x-ray machines called
fluoroscopes, which exposed hundreds of thousands of adults and children to
high doses of toxic x-rays. "Every child who went into the shoe store to buy
new shoes would put his feet into the fluoroscope so the bones could be seen,"
King recalled. "People who worked in the store were exposed to the radiation
all day; children played games around the machine. Now we realise it was a
terrible thing to do, but then it seemed perfectly normal. Some day we will
wonder how we could ever have put such a toxic substance into the human
On the 9 October 2002 the Food and Drug Administration,
the organisation that regulates both prescription drugs and other devices
including dental Amalgam classified dental Amalgam as a Class III device,
which means it must be proven SAFE before it is allowed to be used. The ADA
(American Dental Association) still insist that Amalgam is safe. The ADA have
NEVER gained the approval of the FDA!!! The FDA do not have any authority over
Here in the UK, although the government will not admit
the hazard of Mercury Amalgam fillings, the NHS have advised their dentists as
from 29th April 1998 not to place or remove amalgam fillings in the mouths of
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