By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
NT: Isn't it true that the ADA had a gag rule about discussing the dangers of mercury fillings?
Brown: Yes. They were telling dentists, "Don't criticize mercury's health effects to your patients." That's the power the ADA had, and an example of their absolute irresponsibility. It's outrageous that they would try to enforce a gag rule while they had a patent.
NT: So how'd they get away with this?
Brown: Because the ADA controls dental boards.
NT: But now that Libertarian groups have become interested in the issue . . .
Brown: The gag rule is gone as an enforcement policy of the dental licensing boards. But the ADA still has it. So dentists still fear the loss of their licenses, or that the ADA will call them unethical or won't give them referrals. And it's that kind of power with which the ADA keeps the lid on the dangers of mercury fillings.
NT: Do people think you're a wacko?
Brown: The ADA does. Their argument is, "Mercury fillings have been used for 50 years, and so they're safe." Or they'll tell you that since the dental industry puts in 100 million mercury fillings each year, and no one's dropping over dead, it must be safe. But there are no studies.
NT: There must have been one study done.
Brown: Not one. Zero. Call them up and ask for their latest study about the safety of dental amalgam fillings. The FDA has a dental section run by dentists who say mercury is safe but who don't do any studies.
NT: How do I know if I'm toxic?
Brown: You can have a homeopathic urinalysis, or there's a device that measures mercury content called the Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer. You put it in your mouth and it determines the amount of mercury you're giving off.
Brown: What's really scary is that the mercury is always coming off of you in vapors if you have amalgam fillings. You can chew gum for 10 minutes and there's mercury coming off your fillings and sticking to the gum.
NT: Radioactive Wrigley's! But if that's the case, wouldn't my fillings have worn away by now, if I'm always walking around dripping mercury?
Brown: No, because it's a vapor. The same amount comes off the day you put it in as the day you take it out. It's an endless source that's coming off constantly, for like 100 years.
NT: So, what? My dentist is supposed to say to me, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to put this toxic waste into your mouth now"?
Brown: Under an Arizona law passed in 2000, yes. Dentists are now required to tell patients what's in the filling and why the dentist is choosing that material. That statute has been ignored by the dental board.
NT: But it's too late for me. I've had four mercury fillings since 1968. I'm doomed.
Brown: No! Not at all. You can detox. Get your mercury fillings taken out by a dentist who respects their toxicity. The two biggest exposure days are when the filling goes in and when it comes out. The mercury is released into the air you're breathing on those days.
NT: What type of filling should we be getting, then?
Brown: Composite, porcelain, or gold. Composite is the most common.
NT: But what's the point? I mean, the second leading cause of mercury in our systems is fish. So I can't eat salmon and I'm scared of my teeth, and, hey, what about the rinse and spit factor? Dentists are dumping mercury from fillings into our water, I'm guessing.
Brown: You're right. The number one source of mercury in our wastewater is dentists. So it's in the fish, and it's in the water, and it comes down to this: We've got to stop our sources of mercury. I mean, with nuclear power plants, at least we can drive to the mountains to get away from their toxicity. We can't get away from our mouths.