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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: DeEtta Hayes MSN,RN
Date: March 3, 2001 4:04 PM

My dentist is displaying all s/s of Alzheimer's Disease. He has not received the kind of concern from his MD ( other MDs) that I believe he should. This information comes from his daughter who is a Dental Hygientist in his practice. Of course, he has not been able to work for over a year when his affect became flat, and he began to exhibit s/s of dementia. However, someone (not clear on who or when) discovered a toxic mercury blood level, and he has had a chelation treatment. Since I have been acquainted with the family and once was his patient, they are reluctant to discuss his illness in any detail. My questions are many i.e. is such a condition reversible, how prevalent is this in the dental community, could this be a contributing factor to his hx of hypertension, etc. I am most concerned since I was convinced he had Alzheimer's Disease which is so sad to see in a bright intelligent, talented and young (65) person who was at the height of his career for the past several years. Any comments or resources I can recommend to the family. Thanking you in advance, DeEtta Hayes, MSN, RN

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 5, 2001 4:20 AM

Mercury toxicity can mimic many neurological disorders. One cannot know if this is the problem until the mercury is removed. Once removed, to the extent this was the problem, symptoms should reverse. Personally, I believe it is no accident that dentists lead all professions in such areas as incidences of depression, suicide, divorce, and bad financial decisions. As dentists are dropping like flies, the ADA is trying to weasel its way out of responsibity for telling the public that mercury amalgams are no problem for over 100 years.

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: mark
Date: March 5, 2001 1:08 PM

It is interesting what Dr. Kennedy said regarding the A.D.A's position. Several years ago i brought up this topic with an oral surgeon, and of course he rolled his eyes at me and gave me that little laugh and said----
"do you realize the number of lawsuits there would be if mercury(amalgam) fillings were a threat to human health? He went on to say that numerous studies have concluded that there is no harm and that amalgams are still the best form of fillings for the mouth.
How sad, how very sad. I as a health consumer fully believe they have no business in the mouth and should be removed by a natural practicing dentist very carefully as they know how.

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: DeEtta Hayes MSN,RN
Date: March 5, 2001 1:49 PM

Thank you for your response which incidentally I am in complete agreement. Now what about those of us who have just a few (3-4) amalgam fillings and 3 root canals. Would you have them removed? Or is it useless, since the mercury has already invaded the liver and is here to stay. Is oral chelation the only way? I do intend to dicuss this with my family doctor who is the best I have ever worked with and continue to use for my family. I know he'll have answers ( his speciality is hematology), but I'd appeciate the input from another physician. Thanking you in advance, DeEtta Hayes

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: DeEtta Hayes MSN,RN
Date: March 5, 2001 1:59 PM

Thank you for your prompt response. I am in total agreement with both you and Dr. Kennedy. The reason the ADA has swept this under the rug I believe, is because the lawsuits would be incredible, and the dental profession would really suffer a black eye and the consumer begone! Or something like that. As a health care professional with 40 years of clinical experience, I can fully appreciate the magnitude of this public health issue & unlike smoking where there is a consious choice--what can the consumer do when his mouth is invaded by a "specialist"!? What a dilemma. I intend to do what I can to inform others primarily as a consumer and not a health professional or maybe both. In any event I intend to pursue the issue if only to gain knowledge and educate. DeEtta Hayes

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 5, 2001 2:17 PM

That comes back to the question: how much poison is too much poison? And: how does one define too much? Enough to kill you? Enough to make you ill? Enough to depress your immune system? I had three amalgams and had them all removed. Once the source of mercury is removed, testing for mercury (24 hour urine collection after an IV dose of DMPS) should be followed by oral chelation with DMSA to remove the residua. You can do it with IV DMPS< but it is unnecessarily expensive. As to root canals, the biological dentists say they are a silent problem and every one of them should come out inasmuch as they always contribute to a cecline in health.

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: Michelle
Date: March 21, 2001 7:38 AM

Dr. Kennedy,
Ten years ago I sought out a dentist who would remove my amalgam fillings and replace them with composit. I had heard about the possible dangers of mercury poisening and wanted to protect my health as well as that of my future children. Two years ago, the corner of one of my teeth broke off. I didn't have it checked as there was no pain and going to the dentist seems to easily escape my attention. A few months after the tooth broke, however, my health fell apart resulting in a diagnosis of chronic fatigue, low thyroid and slightly impaired kidney function. Over the past two years I have functioned, and tried so many remedies and suppliments and alternative treatments, but I ache and feel old much of the time (I'm only 36). I didn't connect these two coincidences until a couple of weeks ago when the broken tooth started hurting so I went to the dentist (a different dentist) and discovered that ALL of the amalgam fillings were still in my mouth. They had merely been covered over with composit. The break in my tooth cracked through the filling leaving metal fully exposed. I couldn't see this because it was a back tooth with the break on the back side, but of course the dentist could see it. I'm outraged that the mercury fillings are still in my mouth and at the extreme likelyhood that the broken filling has caused so many health problems and so much suffering. I also now have a 5 year old little girl and am concerned that she was exposed to mercury inutero and through 2 years of breast feeding. She's healthy and happy, but I deliberately attempted to protect her and me from this exposure. At this point can you recommend a course of action I could take to restore my health and safely remove the mercury from my mouth. Procedures for removal seem much stricter than when I thought I was having it removed ten years ago. Also I would like to take some legal action against the dentist who carelessly and fraudulently worked on my teeth. Who knows how many other people has mislead and intentionally kept in harms way. Thank you for your assistance.

RE: mercury toxicity in dentists
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 21, 2001 2:25 PM

This story points out the extreme arrogance of the dental community in general toward the mercury amalgam problem. My patients often go to their regular dentist because he our she is "a good guy"or some such dribble, and ignore my advice to choose a biological dentist. This arrogance on the part of dentists will end when they realized (1) the ADA is not coming to their defense on the mecury issue and (2) some person in your position wins a big settlement.



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