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Author Topic: BAD TEETH BAD ETHICS BAD TOXINS and EXPENSIVE DENTISTS  (Read 20171 times)

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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A Question of Ethics


Had a chat with my new dentist today while having 2 teeth filled with white fillings. [:0]

The discussion followed a suggestion that I might want amalgam in my teeth. I replied of course, definitely not! Adding I paid a fortune to have all amalgam removed from my teeth previously.

He said, I have to mention this to patients as I am unable to offer white fillings on the NHS? He then added I don’t blame you for not wanting mercury put in your mouth and I certainly would not have it put in my mouth.  [V]

Which got me thinking about the ethics behind putting highly toxic mercury into the mouths of the people who are unable to pay for their own dentistry. More to the point, why is it more expensive to have white fillings than highly toxic mercury fillings? [V]

My bill came to £123 for the two fillings paying privately, which to me is a lot of money for a couple of fillings.

My wife just suggested something that made a lot of sense. She said, many people go on holidays abroad, some of who are registered disabled, some who are in between jobs and many who pay privately for dental work anyway.

She said, from now on when we go oversees on holiday, we should get our teeth done in Spain, France, or for example Thailand. This makes a hell of a lot of sense to me and for anyone who is being lined up to part with a few thousand pounds for dental work it should make even more sense to them. Thailand for example has some of the best dentists and plastic surgeons in the world, operating at a fraction of the cost over in the U.K. And no other country in the EU to my knowledge forces the poor to have poisonous metals inserted into their teeth because they are too poor to afford white fillings.  [:(!]

I hope someone with some influence reads this if only to prevent this totally unethical practice from continuing.

http://www.harmonikireland.com/index.php?topic=amalgams  A Mercury overview


 

Offline kdlynn

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« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2007 12:57:17 »
mine was two hundred and fifty dollars for one tooth...
 

another_someone

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« Reply #2 on: 16/10/2007 14:03:41 »
There are a number of issues here.

Do we know how toxic the white fillings are - I know they taste very bitter?

I have heard arguments that mercury amalgam is more robust than the white fillings.

Even if there is an argument for not having mercury amalgam fillings, is it not possibly the same issue as with asbestos, that often if it is already there, it is safer to leave in place than to disturb by removing it?

Certainly, mercury is toxic, but it is also a part of our natural environment (as indicated by the scares concerning mercury levels in some fishes), so it is clear that we have evolved with some tolerance to mercury (in some forms, and in limited quantities).

Has any epidemiological study been undertaken regarding the actual (as distinct from the hypothesised) risk of mercury amalgam filling?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #3 on: 16/10/2007 20:25:57 »
"Has any epidemiological study been undertaken regarding the actual (as distinct from the hypothesised) risk of mercury amalgam filling?"
Yes, lots, they didn't find any.

http://www.clinicalanswers.nhs.uk/index.cfm?question=1777

This isn't suprising. Mercury is a runny liquid; dental amalgam is a hard solid. The mercury can't get out of it easilly to cause any problems. There is an exception to this general rule. If you drill amalgam fillings they get hot and some of the mrercury is vapourised. so this "Even if there is an argument for not having mercury amalgam fillings, is it not possibly the same issue as with asbestos, that often if it is already there, it is safer to leave in place than to disturb by removing it?" is a very good point.

What's the ethics of charging a lot of money to use what is a worse (ie weaker) product, on the basis of a theoretical risk known not to be significant?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #4 on: 18/10/2007 19:23:04 »
What about drinking hot tea and coffee?

Amalgam fillings normally contain 50 per cent mercury as well as a varying mix of silver, tin, copper and zinc. No reliable multi- centre research data exist to support fears that mercury in fillings has a toxic effect on the brain or central nervous system (CW says "Not true" - see: http://movies.commons.ucalgary.ca/mercury/ How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Degeneration) but small studies have suggested that dentists and dental assistants who experience mercury exposure through handling amalgam do have a higher than average risk of neurological disturbance. ("Dentists have the highest rate of suicide among the health professions " - CW)
http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/Dentists/Dentists7.html

http://www.yourhealthbase.com/cgi-bin/htsearch?config=piwhbase&method=and&words=amalgam  3 pages


 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #5 on: 18/10/2007 20:48:23 »
"What about drinking hot tea and coffee?"
What indeed?

I understand that doctors have a high rate of suicide comared to the general population too. Their job is in some ways similar to that of the dentists but they don't have a raised mercury exposure. Correlation is not the same as causation.
Your dentist might personally worry about his exposure to mercury- if he is concerned he can call the health and safety people they can put him in contact with someone who can measure his mercury exposure.
All the available evidence is that you are not at risk from it.
Why the white fillings are more expensive I don't know but why, as a taxpayer, should I subsidise a worse (weaker) product that costs more on the basis of a spurious health scare?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #6 on: 18/10/2007 21:04:16 »
Amalgam fillings normally contain 50 per cent mercury

From what I can ascertain, this is not true.  What seems to be true is that about 50% of the amalgam when wet is mercury, but that as it is compacted, most of that mercury is sucked away, and the residue that remains is very much smaller.  Ofcourse, what the risks are as the mercury is sucked off is another matter, but they are very different from the often suggested risks suggested concerning the filling left in the mouth.

small studies have suggested that dentists and dental assistants who experience mercury exposure through handling amalgam do have a higher than average risk of neurological disturbance. ("Dentists have the highest rate of suicide among the health professions " - CW)

Not sure that suicide statistics are really a good measure of neurological damage - they are often a better measure of stress.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the regular handling of wet amalgam is a very different risk issue than that which the patient faces (there are similar risk issues with workers in crematoria who have the potential to inhale mercury from dental fillings).

All of these may give legitimate rise for debate about the risks of amalgam to the wider society (i.e. dentists and crematoria workers) but does not imply that they posses any incremental risk to the patient (bearing in mind that we are regularly exposed to mercury, in minute doses, all the time, and it is believed that the incremental exposure from amalgam fillings is only a small percentage of the wider exposure).

http://www.chemsoc.org/chembytes/ezine/2002/newton_oct02.htm
Quote
The mouth is not a nice environment for materials. It's warm, wet and full of an effective electrolyte (chloride ions in saliva) that encourages galvanic corrosion. The jaw musculature is immensely strong, giving rise to huge pressures and displacement forces. For dentists challenged with working here, access to the mouth is sometimes near impossible. To cap it all, the sensitivity of the tongue, teeth and oral mucosa is such that their patient can feel (and complain about) minute changes or differences too tiny for diagnostic techniques to detect.

Developing materials that can survive this environment is no easy task, but one success story is dental amalgam. These ubiquitous 'silver' fillings have remained more or less unchanged since the late 19th century.
Dental amalgam

Dental amalgam comprises a powder, mainly a silver-tin alloy often with copper and zinc, and liquid mercury. In use, the powder and liquid are thoroughly mixed, or triturated, to ensure that all the solid alloy particles are completely wetted by the mercury.

The amalgamation process is usually described in terms of the reaction of the silver-tin g-phase with mercury:

Ag3Sn (g) + Hg ® Ag2Hg3 (g-1) + Sn7Hg (g-2) + Ag3Sn (g remnant)

This mixture, initially the texture of wet sand, is placed into the tooth cavity. The compaction of amalgam into the cavity is not simply a matter of filling the hole. Dentists use repeated pressure to bring the metallurgically weak and mercury-rich g-2 phase material to the surface of the amalgam. This can then be skimmed from the surface and removed with a suction tube. What is left behind is not only very strong, but also contains very little free mercury. Increasing the copper content of the amalgam reduces the amount of weak g-2 phase, so improving the load bearing properties of amalgam, whilst adding zinc improves the working time.

Over a period of minutes, the amalgam passes through a phase during which the dentist can carve it into its final form before it sets hard. Once set, amalgam fillings are immensely strong and durable but attention has recently focused on the possible long term side-effects of mercury on the patient.

There is no question that low-grade exposure to inorganic mercury over a long period of time can lead to chronic poisoning (Chem. Br., August 1994, p646). The expression 'as mad as a hatter' dates from the days in which hat-makers dipped material into solutions of mercuric nitrate to render the felt easier to shape - and suffered varying degrees of neurological damage as a result.

But with workers in over 60 industries having occupational exposure to mercury, and high levels of mercury found in food, the real question must be whether the mercury used in dental fillings poses any additional threat. Small amounts of mercury are released from amalgam fillings during their insertion and removal from a tooth. However, modern water-cooled drills and high volume suction ensure that a negligible amount of this free mercury is swallowed.

Research from the late 1970s onwards has shown that very small amounts of mercury are released during the lifetime of the filling, particularly when chewing. Estimates of this amount vary between 2 and 10µg per day. Whilst this may sound worrying, bear in mind that the daily dose of mercury from this source is only 10 per cent of the normal daily intake from food, air and water. It's also worth pointing out that such apparently innocent products as antiseptic ointments and face creams may also contain mercury products that can be absorbed through the skin.

In fact, the main route of mercury absorption for most people is via the food chain. This is the result of global industrial dumping of large quantities of mercury and its derivatives into the sea, where bacteria and algae convert it into a more toxic substance called methylmercury. This can find its way into the higher reaches of the food chain and the human population. Not surprisingly, seafish contain a lot of this methylmercury, and people who eat a lot of seafish may have up to 10 times more mercury in their blood than control groups.

Research on this subject makes a very clear distinction between the effects of elemental mercury (as released from a dental filling) and those of its organic derivatives such as methylmercury. Of the two, these organic forms of mercury are by far the most biologically active and potentially toxic compounds.

The mercury released from fillings is inorganic, and in ionic or elemental form. This means that the metal is in its least toxic state, and research suggests that transformation from this state to the organic form probably does not occur to any significant degree in the body. Whilst mercury may be swallowed, its extremely poor absorption by the gut means that it is rapidly and easily excreted.

Inhalation of mercury vapour is a slightly different matter, because this can rapidly cross alveolar membranes in the lung and directly enter the bloodstream. Even so, this mercury vapour has a limited lifetime in the body because it is quickly oxidised to a harmless form.

If an amalgam filling is releasing mercury during chewing, then this will inevitably show up as an increase in the level of mercury in saliva. One study carried out in Tokyo in 1985 measured saliva mercury levels in people both with and without amalgam fillings. From the results, the researchers estimated that the amount of mercury swallowed corresponded to 1/30 of the total mercury intake from food for those with no amalgam fillings and 1/13 of the intake for a person with amalgam fillings.
Health and well-being

So what does this mean for well-being of the patient? There seems to be a consensus from various studies that the presence of amalgam fillings will lead to an increase in blood and urine mercury levels. But compared with our normal intake of mercury from other everyday sources these increases are relatively small.

The problem facing the patient is that mercury is sometimes now being blamed for a whole host of conditions from insomnia and anxiety to multiple sclerosis and autism, without any real scientific evidence upon which to base such conclusions. Such problems, if they exist at all, are of much less import to patients than to dental staff who spend much of their working lives in the presence of mercury.

Amongst the hyperbole of the amalgam debate, some very real and scientifically valid results have come to light regarding the relationship of amalgam to a condition known as lichen planus, which manifests itself as white plaques on oral tissues.

Whether such lesions are due directly to mercury sensitivity, or whether mercury sensitivity subsequently develops due to mercury penetration into the deeper tissues once the integrity of the oral mucosa is breached is unclear. However, there is very positive evidence that many oral lichen planus sufferers test as hypersensitive to mercury. Going one step further, there is also a research study that demonstrates convincingly the remission or disappearance of the plaques once amalgam fillings were removed and replaced with other materials.

In the light of evidence such as this, and despite a healthy amount of cynicism, one must at least consider the possibility that time and research will demonstrate other problems arising from mercury.

A new generation of amalgams is now being researched in which a gallium-indium-tin liquid replaces mercury completely. Until then, amalgam, and in particular the modern high copper varieties which are less prone to corrosion, is likely to continue as the most widely used and most forgiving filling material.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #7 on: 19/10/2007 20:00:23 »
Now this I am 100% sure of.

Several of my teeth split. well actually the teeth cracked open and the sides that surrounded an amalgam filling capped with a white filling broke away, resulting in a gold tooth  "Theres gold in them there Fills :P

I believe that when I had my amalgam fillings removed, the dentist left a fair bit of amalgam inside and put the white filling over the top, effectively sealing in the amalagam. All well and good one might think, but I would call it a botch job.

The kettle never goes cold in our house, wife was a teabag in a previous life I think. I suspected that something caused my teeth to crack open, it happend when biting soft food, so not pressure damage. I am pretty sure the amalgam expanded from the heat of hot drinks, mine hotter than most as I dont take milk or sugar. Just like a thermometer expands / rises under slight changes in temperature, this stuff should also expand under far hotter temperatures and the white filling plugged any chance of expansion in the amalgam without it cracking open the tooth or causing the white filling to be pushed out of the drilled cavity. This happened a number of times.

Any thoughts on this?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #8 on: 19/10/2007 20:02:39 »
By the way, do either of you have mercury fillings in your mouths?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #9 on: 19/10/2007 20:26:49 »
Yes, I have both amalgam and white fillings (had to have one of the white fillings replaced not long ago, and that is when the dentist suggested than the white fillings have a shorter survival time).

The expansion theory may be true, but in general there is much comment that white fillings can erode easily and let bacteria to creep beneath - so either may be a possibility.  But I do agree that having two dissimilar filling materials, one beneath they other, does sound like something one should be careful of unless one actually knows how that will mechanically or chemically interact.
 

Offline Ruth

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« Reply #10 on: 20/10/2007 08:36:04 »
Hi everyone,
I would love you all to look at the film called "smoking teeth" this can be viewed on their site - www.iaomt.org [nofollow]. This is The International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology. I think you will find it very enlightening. I am in contact with these people and they sent me the full version of this film on dvd. It is now being looked at by reseachers after showing it to my MP. If parents saw this film they would not be allowing their children to have these fillings that the D of H say are harmless! Prevention is the way forward
Enjoy!!
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #11 on: 20/10/2007 09:22:09 »
Ruth, thank you so much for this video link. I need to get this to my own M.P. asap, have wrote for permission to share it, hopefully they will allow me to alert more people to it. I feel sending my M.P. a hard copy so he can view it on his tv will prove a little more effective than a link to a busy M.P.

Kind regards Ruth

Andrew

Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
Dentists all over the world remove millions of amalgam fillings every day, with no regard for the possible mercury exposure that can result from grinding them out. Much of the time, a new amalgam filling goes back in place of the old one. The dental establishment claims that amalgam is a stable material, that emits little or no mercury, but then turns around and blames the mercury–free dentists for “unnecessarily exposing patients to excess mercury”

http://www.iaomt.org/articles/files/files271/Safe%20Removal%20of%20Amalgam%20Fillings1.pdf
« Last Edit: 20/10/2007 09:27:46 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Ruth

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« Reply #12 on: 20/10/2007 18:18:40 »
Oops Ive already done that! The iaomt know what I am doing & seemed really pleased. They sent me the dvd themselves. Makes very disturbing viewing.
I have not got back any feedback yet though.
Anyone heard of Dr Sarah Myhill? She got me onto this. Very good doctor who specialises in cfs.
Interesting letter on her web site after recent allegations droppped by GMC which puts them in very bad light!
 

Offline Ruth

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« Reply #13 on: 21/10/2007 08:14:27 »
I have also written to many VIPs & organisations such as BDA & D of H. I am continually being told there is no evidence of harm despite me providing them with the iaomt evidence. I have been ill with cfs symptoms since 1990. At this time I had a course of hep B vacs. Glaxo have recently admitted to my practice nurse that the mercury in these would have been enough to sensitise me. Prior to this I worked in dental unit for 4 yrs which used amalgam and I had 7 fillings of my own which I had changed 7 yrs ago. It is very likely I was already sensitised and 3 vacs was total overload. After 18 yrs my health is starting to improve. The pain & stiffness in both arms finally gone. I was 28 when it began with a sudden onset of acute sinusitis. Never had it before & had it ever since.
I am now discovering that there are many others just like me.
One children's charity has just told me that the NHS do not put mercury in childrens teeth in UK now. Two weeks ago when i did my own survey I found that that only they did on over 7' for back teeths?
There seems to be a lot of contradiction.
Regards.
Ruth
 

Offline deepthinker

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« Reply #14 on: 21/10/2007 12:00:47 »
Hi Ruth

I have to say that I find the IAOMT 'smoking teeth' video fairly disturbing. However, I'm also interested in the safety of white fillings, according the newbielink:http://iaomt.org/articles/category_view.asp?intReleaseID=276&month=9&year=2006&catid=31 [nonactive] they also seem potentially dangerous. It concerns me that the reaction to replace amalgam fillings with white fillings may prove to be a 'knee-jerk' reaction leaving me with more potential health problems.

Unfortunately I have a mouth full of both types :( As a kid I would have a filling almost each time I visited the dentist. That was back in the day when it was rumoured dentists made work to get paid more by the NHS. In my case this is properly true as fillings one dentist told me I needed, never did get filled, never hurt and were never spotted by any other dentists!

Thank you for making me aware of the potential link between amalgam fillings and your CFS. I have been interested in this condition since an ex-student of mine was mysteriously struck down with it. There does seem to be a growing number of anecdotal reports linking CFS with intolerances to the level of chemical contamination we are now exposed to. I wonder what time and future research will reveal on such issues?
 

Offline Ruth

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« Reply #15 on: 21/10/2007 13:46:23 »
Thanks. That's given me a bit more to think about!!!
Prevention is best but a bit late for most of us! Fortunately my own children are cavity free. Lucky things though I was not thanked at the time they are thanking me now!
A toxic world we are living in.
Ruth.
 

Offline LindaC52

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« Reply #16 on: 01/07/2009 07:40:45 »
A Question of Ethics


Had a chat with my new dentist today while having 2 teeth filled with white fillings. [:0]

The discussion followed a suggestion that I might want amalgam in my teeth. I replied of course, definitely not! Adding I paid a fortune to have all amalgam removed from my teeth previously.

He said, I have to mention this to patients as I am unable to offer white fillings on the NHS? He then added I don’t blame you for not wanting mercury put in your mouth and I certainly would not have it put in my mouth.  [V]

Which got me thinking about the ethics behind putting highly toxic mercury into the mouths of the people who are unable to pay for their own dentistry. More to the point, why is it more expensive to have white fillings than highly toxic mercury fillings? [V]

My bill came to £123 for the two fillings paying privately, which to me is a lot of money for a couple of fillings.

My wife just suggested something that made a lot of sense. She said, many people go on holidays abroad, some of who are registered disabled, some who are in between jobs and many who pay privately for dental work anyway.

She said, from now on when we go oversees on holiday, we should get our teeth done in Spain, France, or for example Thailand. This makes a hell of a lot of sense to me and for anyone who is being lined up to part with a few thousand pounds for dental work it should make even more sense to them. Thailand for example has some of the best dentists and plastic surgeons in the world, operating at a fraction of the cost over in the U.K. And no other country in the EU to my knowledge forces the poor to have poisonous metals inserted into their teeth because they are too poor to afford white fillings.  [:(!]

I hope someone with some influence reads this if only to prevent this totally unethical practice from continuing.

newbielink:http://www.harmonikireland.com/index.php?topic=amalgams [nonactive]  A Mercury overview


Well, as an Arizona Dentist, I can say that mercury is toxic, but it is also a part of our natural environment. So it is clear that we have evolved with some tolerance to mercury ever since.(in some forms, and in limited quantities).

[size=07pt](link removed..no advertizing please..one more and I will ban you!)[/size]
« Last Edit: 01/07/2009 08:10:39 by Karen W. »
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #17 on: 01/07/2009 08:14:51 »
We have also evolved with arsenic, but I wouldn't stick that in my mouth!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #18 on: 01/07/2009 19:16:01 »
We have also evolved with arsenic, but I wouldn't stick that in my mouth!
Yes you do.

It might be difficult, but I bet that I could analyse the food you eat and measure the arsenic concentration in it.
If you happen to like fish it would be easy since it often contains quite a lot, though it's usually in a form that's not very toxic.
Incidentally, I could do the same with mercury, uranium, lead and all the other "nasty" things that are, and always have been, part of our environment.
 

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« Reply #19 on: 02/07/2009 07:32:48 »
Well yes, I admit I also eat sodium, calcium and phosphorous too, amongst other things.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #20 on: 02/07/2009 09:19:36 »
Fair comment. But we are concerned with these toxins stacking up in the body and as you say we already have our fair share from toxic waste dumped for many years in the oceans and entering the food chain. So why risk adding a top up 24/7 from amalgum fillings when uing white fillings should at least prevent mercury overload.

We have also evolved with arsenic, but I wouldn't stick that in my mouth!
Yes you do.

It might be difficult, but I bet that I could analyse the food you eat and measure the arsenic concentration in it.
If you happen to like fish it would be easy since it often contains quite a lot, though it's usually in a form that's not very toxic.
Incidentally, I could do the same with mercury, uranium, lead and all the other "nasty" things that are, and always have been, part of our environment.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #21 on: 02/07/2009 09:26:23 »
Doctor Hal Huggins spoke in new zealand about heavy metal poisoning and the health benefits of having your amalgam fillings removed.

Qute from dentist: "I don't think that the burdon of proof is on someone to prove that it is safe, I think the burdon is on someone to prove that it is unsafe".


WHO state 80% of mercury in body is from amalgum fillings!
Dr Godfrey
Part 2.

Law suits will follow but when? How many more people must suffer from unethical dentists?

"Mercury fillings much bigger issue than the tobacco law suits"

How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Damage - Uni. of Calgary
« Last Edit: 02/07/2009 09:39:10 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #22 on: 02/07/2009 09:41:43 »

Eating fish and toxins.
 

Offline pakman

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« Reply #23 on: 04/07/2009 08:50:10 »
not in my country lol.

1 filling costs around 20-30 euros. or 50 dollars.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #24 on: 04/07/2009 16:44:02 »
" So why risk adding a top up 24/7 from amalgum fillings when using white fillings should at least prevent mercury overload."

False dichotomy.
There is no reason to suggest that amalgam fillings are causing "mercury overload" so there's no way to justify the assertion that something else can prevent it.

As I have said before there has been a whole lot of research in this field and it all points one way. The only threat from mercury in fillings is to careless dentsists making the amalgam.

There isn't a problem so there's no point wasting effort trying to solve it.
 

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« Reply #24 on: 04/07/2009 16:44:02 »

 

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