Update: On April 25, 2017 the European Union Council adopted the following legislation, but European NGOs are asking the dentists of Europe to be proactive and implement the ban immediately – not wait until 2018.
“The children of Europe have won. The next generation in Europe will be safe from mercury dental fillings.”
– Charlie Brown, President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry
This week the EU announced its historical decision to ban the use of amalgam (aka silver mercury) fillings for use in children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women to protect them against the toxic effects of mercury.
The use of mercury “for dental treatment of milk teeth, children under 15 years and pregnant or breastfeeding women will be banned from 1 July 2018 unless there are specific medical needs.” The full text from the landmark announcement on Mercury Pollution released December 16, 2016 is available here.
Once the European Council formally endorses the legislation, it will be sent to the European Parliament for a vote and then back to the Council for final adoption.
The proposed law also intends to phase-out dental amalgams in general by asking EU member states to submit a plan by July 1, 2019 describing how they will reduce amalgam use. Some states are already at record low levels: amalgam use is 0% in Sweden, 3% in Finland, 5% in Denmark and less than 10% in the Netherlands. Several other countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom have restricted or warned against amalgam use in children or pregnant women.
“Amalgam is a primitive polluting device. It is technically inferior to today’s modern alternatives. Dentistry’s amalgam era is over, a fact embraced enthusiastically by thousands of European dentists and accepted by the others …” notes U.K. dentist Graeme Munro-Hall, chair of the Transition and Training task force of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.
In the United States, the American Dental Association continues to endorse the use of mercury by maintaining its position that dental amalgams are a safe, affordable and durable material. And the Food and Drug Administration considers “dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.” However, what is not mentioned in these position statements is that dental amalgam consists of up to 50% mercury. Mercury and its compounds are known to be highly toxic to humans.
Dr. Tammy DeGregorio, the President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) notes: “Mercury is toxic, and its use in all silver-colored dental fillings has been linked to environmental harm, as well as increased risks of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many other adverse health conditions. Viable alternatives to these fillings have existed for decades. It’s crucial for all of the world to follow Europe’s lead and take action to restrict dental mercury, and even more efficiently, to end its use entirely.” The IAOMT is a non-profit whose members are leaders in science-based biological dentistry that have been advocating for safer dentistry since 1984.
“It is very heartening to see part of the world community finally respond to the clarion calls to ban the biologically toxic and environmentally destructive use of mercury in dental mercury fillings known as amalgams” states biological dentist Dr. Raymond Silkman. “Let’s phase this toxic material and other heavy metals out of the healthcare system entirely.”
Avoid Mercury and Choose Modern, Healthier Approaches to Dental Health Care
- Choose a biological dentist for your and your child’s dental care. See below for resources.
- If you cannot find one in your area, choose a dentist that practices mercury-free dentistry. Call before making the appointment.
- Mercury vapors are being released in any dental office that is using silver mercury fillings or removing them. Before you visit any dentist, call to find out if they are measuring the amount of mercury vapors in their office and that they are staying within safe levels. OSHA has a ceiling limit of 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m³).
- If you have amalgam (aka silver mercury) fillings, have them removed and replaced before getting pregnant. There are studies linking the number of silver mercury fillings in a mother’s mouth to the severity of autism in her child. There are also studies linking the severity of a child’s autism to the their level of mercury.
- Do not remove amalgam fillings unless under the guidance of a dentist who is trained in the proper protocol to ensure your body is not exposed to mercury during the removal procedure. Do your research first; do not rely only on the dentist to tell you what the procedure should be. Get a second opinion.
How To Find Holistic/Biological Dentists
To find such practitioners you can consult with the following organizations:
D.A.M.S. Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions is the oldest nonprofit group educating the public on this issue. They offer a vast library of books and scientific papers documenting the hazards of mercury and amalgam fillings.
IAOMT has taken the lead in educating dentists and allied professionals in the methods of safely dealing with amalgam fillings, and safely disposing the waste. It has also led the way in developing more biocompatible approaches in other areas of dentistry, including endodontics, periodontics and disease prevention.
Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth by Dr. Raymond Silkman, Biological Dentist