Dr. John F. Ruhland
John F. Ruhland, ND — Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Dr. Ruhland’s goal at the Natural Health Medical Clinic is
to help you restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit.

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Dental Fillings
by John Ruhland, ND

Amalgam fillings contain more mercury than silver. In fact, they contain at least 50 percent mercury, which is the most toxic of the heavy metals. It interferes with many biochemical pathways within the body, and is even more dangerous when present in combination with other toxins. The brain is the most susceptible organ to mercury toxicity. Other tissues can increase their levels of glutathione, which helps bind mercury, but the brain cannot increase its levels of glutathione. This means that mercury builds up in the brain. People with a tendency to neurological disease should be made especially aware of this. Despite having better protection, other organs such the kidneys and liver are also very susceptible to its toxicity.

Oral mercury levels dramatically increase when chewing gum or food, and when the fillings heat up while eating or drinking hot food. Some dentists use a meter to measure the electrical charge of each filling to try to determine how harmful they are to a patient’s health. They recommend that fillings with high readings be promptly removed. Other dentists have a mercury “sniffer” that measures the level of mercury vapor in the mouth.

An effective way to treat mercury toxicity is to have the fillings replaced with mercury-free materials. It is important to begin a chelation program before filling removal, and then to continue the program after removal. This is important to bind heavy metals in the body to allow their excretion. Without starting a chelation program, one can have very high levels of mercury in the body as it is released during mercury removal. Pregnant women should avoid dental work for this reason.

The dentist chosen to remove the mercury should be one specializing in mercury-free dentistry, rather than a dentist who uses the toxic mercury fillings. Dentists should use four safety procedures. First, they should use a dental dam to decrease your exposure.

Second, oxygen should be administered through a nasal canula during removal to decrease the amount of mercury vapor that is inhaled. Third, there should be a positive air flow in the office for both your and the dentist’s protection. This could be a simple fan blowing the mercury vapor laden air away from you. Fourth, they should use an ionizing t-bar during the procedure to decrease the mercury vapor in the air. It is important that you be tested for biocompatability with the materials they use to replace the mercury. Most dentists do not test for biocompatibility themselves, but may refer their patients to someone such as myself to do this.

The best choice for replacement of fillings appears to be porcelain. The porcelain should not contain nickel or aluminum. Although composite fillings are less expensive than porcelain, studies done in Germany indicate that composite fillings may have significant risks. Gold is fairly inert, but metal in the mouth affects the flow of energy through the energy meridians of the mouth. If you have further questions, feel free to set up a consultation to discuss your specific case.

Join the international movement to ban mercury fillings. We cannot look for leadership from the American Dental Association (ADA) on this issue. The ADA was founded at the turn of the century as a lobbying group to promote mercury fillings. They have blocked progress toward eliminating the use of mercury in dentistry up to the present day. It would be worthwhile to provide information to your dentist if your dentist uses mercury, and to recommend that she/he helps the ADA re-evaluate their position.

Many holistic practitioners argue that it is unconscionable for dentists to use mercury with the availability of information on its risks. It is already illegal to place mercury in teeth in Sweden and in Germany, and other European countries are quickly catching up. I have seen too many people with cancer in whom mercury fillings were probably a contributing cause. I recommend that most people have their mercury removed, especially if you are mercury-sensitive.

Note: We are a Naturopathic office in Washington State; treating cancer is outside of our scope of practice.
We can offer complementary care for patients under an oncologist’s care. Simply bring in a note from the
oncologist stating that they are providing ongoing care for cancer. Please also bring a note that you give
Dr. Ruhland permission to communicate with the oncologist by phone and email.


A version of this article was first published in the Washington Free Press.

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