The Dangers of Mercury

March 6, 2014

We all know the importance of a healthy diet. Certain foods contain substances that aren’t good for our overall wellness. For example, candy contains high amounts of sugar, lunch meats are high in sodium, and many processed snack foods have a high percentage of saturated fat. However, to truly protect your health, not only should you watch what foods go into your mouth, you should be careful about what dental materials enter your body as well. Many common dental restorations such as crowns and fillings contain large amounts of mercury, which can be extremely detrimental to your health. To protect you and help you maintain optimal wellness, Dr. Brad Greenfield proudly practices metal free dentistry at his Lake Orion, MI practice.

Mercury and Your Health

Dentistry has progressed rapidly, especially in the last 30 years or so. New dental treatments are available that would have been unimaginable to previous generations. Despite these advances, dentists continue to use dental amalgam, a material that has been in use since before the Civil War. Silver amalgam is made of a combination of metals, but it contains approximately 50% mercury. At first amalgam fillings are fairly safe; the element is contained within the filling and does not actually come in contact with the rest of the body. Over time, however, the fillings may begin to leak. When this happens, mercury will enter into the blood stream and travel to all parts of the body. More and more doctors warn against the dangers of mercury. It has been linked to elevated cholesterol, chronic illness, Alzheimer’s disease, and various neurological conditions. Doctors are especially vigilant in warning pregnant women to avoid certain types of fish that are known to be high in mercury. Despite these warnings, however, dental amalgam continues to be the most commonly used material for fillings. Dr. Brad Greenfield proudly offers safe, tooth-colored resin fillings, and there is no mercury in any of his restorative or cosmetic materials. 

Mercury:  A Workplace Hazard?

Dr. Stuart Scheckner, a Florida dentist, knows the toxic effects of mercury firsthand. In 1978, while he was out of the office, his secretary spilled nearly three-quarters of a pound of mercury on the floor. Because it was the 70’s, the material sank into the shag carpet that surrounded the dental chair, and Scheckner was unaware of the spill. Day in and day out, he breathed in the toxic fumes of mercury. The substance entered his blood and travelled to his brain. A few years after the spill, he was suffering from severe mercury poisoning. His symptoms included nausea, panic attacks, tremors, and digestive disorders. By 1984, he was no longer able to work, and he had to close his practice. It was not until he read an article about mercury poisoning that he finally realized what was going on. By that time, full recovery was impossible. However, through nutritional supplements, intravenous treatments, and a vigorous exercise program, he has been able to improve his quality of life. He now works as a crusader against the use of dental amalgam. In 2012, he published his book Time Bomb from Within: Mercury Poisoning in Dentistry.

About Dr. Brad Greenfield: Dr. Greenfield works to protect his patients from the dangers of mercury, and he is proud to offer holistic, 100% metal free dentistry. To learn more or to schedule your appointment, call 248-693-6213. Dr. Greenfield proudly treats patients in Lake Orion, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Oxford, the surrounding areas.

Our Services

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General Dentistry

General dental care provides preventive services along with feedback about your oral health. We provide important oral health reviews for patients of all ages.

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Advanced Dentistry

The right solution for an active oral health issue can give you more confidence in your smile along with the support to bite and chew comfortably.

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Children’s Dentistry

We strive to make every visit comfortable for the kids who depend on us, and we provide reviews and protection that helps you keep them safe from oral health threats.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

We offer conservative, lasting solutions to the flaws that rob people of confidence in the way they look when they speak and smile.