This article is from the Amalgam and Mercury-free Dentistry FAQ.
The following article originally appeared in the November 1995 issue
of the Bio-Probe Newsletter.
As a point of fact, the practice of mercury-free dentistry is legal!
There is no doubt that a dentist has a right to not place amalgam
fillings in patients. Why then are mercury-free dentists being
disciplined by State Dental Boards? The issue is the removal of
''clinically serviceable'' amalgam fillings, or rather the rationale
for doing so. Clearly, clinically serviceable amalgam fillings can be
removed. Legions of dentists have done so, and continue to do so to
replace the amalgams with gold fillings. This is professionally
acceptable. It is also professionally acceptable to replace clinically
serviceable amalgam fillings for ''cosmetic'' reasons. Amalgam
fillings can also be removed for health reasons, providing it is done
only upon patient request or the recommendation of a physician. In
effect, anybody except a dentist can recommend the removal of mercury
fillings for health reasons!
The issue, therefore, is only what a dentist can or cannot say to a
patient about amalgam fillings. A dentist can tell a patient that
mercury exposure from dental amalgam is harmless. The dentist can even
say that ''hundreds'' or even ''thousands'' of published studies have
proven the safety of dental amalgam or that mercury is ''locked'' into
dental amalgam, even though these statements are patently false. A
dentist cannot say that published peer reviewed scientific studies
have questioned the safety of dental amalgam, even though this is
The discipline of dentists, for whatever reason, rests with State
Dental Boards. The real question is ''who determines the criteria for
the discipline of dentists?'' Each individual member of a State Dental
Board decides that for him/herself. In the case of the controversy
over the safety of dental amalgam, it is clear that the position of
Dental Boards has been determined by organized dentistry. Amazingly,
the foundation for the position of organized dentistry on the safety
of dental amalgam is the fact that the material has been used for over
150 years, a position that is hardly scientific.
One of the most tragic aspects of the controversy over the use and
safety of mercury/silver amalgam dental fillings has been the impact
of disciplinary actions by State Dental Boards against mercury-free
dentists. Several mercury-free dentists have had their licenses
revoked or indefinitely suspended. This is an unreasonable price to
pay; loss of income and future potential for income after years of
education and expense in obtaining the professional degree and
establishing a practice, in addition to the considerable expense for
legal defense. Other dentists have been less severely punished,
although the legal expense is still there, accompanied by the
overwhelming emotional price.
Of even greater tragedy, is the fact that these attacks and
punishments have been financed by the taxpayers of the state! Members
of Dental Boards, as well as those of the State Attorney offices, are
public employees. As such, all expenses incurred in investigating and
disciplining mercury-free dentists, including salaries, are paid by
taxpayer dollars. On the other hand, the dentist must finance his own
defense, and pay the price for whatever discipline is applied. Indeed,
as a taxpayer, the dentist is helping to finance the attacks against
him/her. One must question, therefore, if opposition to mercury dental
fillings is the will of the taxpaying public, or are the Dental Boards
serving the interests of organized dentistry, contrary to the will of
the taxpayers financing their efforts. Recent evidence indicates that
the latter is true.