NW Natural Dentistry


Mercury free dentistry ... why do we even need such a term? After all, mercury is the most toxic, non-radioactive substance on the planet. Why would we need a special kind of dentist that refuses to install such a horrible toxin in people's mouths?

The History of Mercury Free Dentistry

Mercury has been used as a component in the filling material known as amalgam or more commonly as "silver fillings" since the civil war. Mercury amalgam filling material was originally developed in France in the early 19th century. A standardized formula consisting of 50% liquid mercury and 50% powdered metals (silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury) was established in 1895. From the beginning of its use in the United States, a battle existed between the pro-amalgam crowd and the mercury free dentistry crowd. Eventually, the pro-amalgam group won and later they organized into what today is known as the American Dental Association.

Modern Day Need for Mercury Free Dentistry

The history is interesting, but the need for mercury free dentistry is no longer an issue, right? Common sense might suggest this statement to be true, but in practice it is very, very false. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association (J Am Dent Assoc. 2011;142;622-632), 61% of all fillings placed by contemporary dentists were mercury amalgam. In group practices with at least four dentists, 79% of the fillings placed were amalgam.

Choose Mercury Free Dentistry and Mercury Safe Dentistry

As you can see, the need for mercury free dentistry is alive and well. While seeing a dentist who is mercury free is a good start, you also want a dentist who is mercury safe ... one who takes special precautions to protect you from the mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings when they are removed. Even though you receive daily and significant amounts of mercury from your amalgam fillings, your biggest exposure occurs when you have them removed or replaced in a unsafe manner.

During unsafe amalgam removal, your exposure to toxic mercury vapor can be 10 times the ceiling limit established by OSHA.

So, if your mouth was a factory or a gold mine, it would be immediately shut down by OSHA, for exceeding the maximum allowable exposure to mercury during unsafe amalgam removal! You can read more about mercury free dentistry and mercury safe dentistry by clicking on the blue navigation buttons above.

Replacing Mercury Fillings

So Many Questions . . . So Few Answers

So, you’ve done some research and are considering having your mercury fillings replaced with a healthier, more aesthetic alternative. If you’re like most people, your research has generated more questions than answers. Click on any of the following topics to be taken directly to that place on the page.

Mercury Cleanse Program

I Got the Mercury out of my Mouth . . . Now how do I get it out of my Body?

Mercury is a very nasty and tricky little substance. Our personal exposure risk depends upon our lifestyle and, unfortunately, our dental history. Mercury is so toxic that just a little bit of it will kill you. Due to genetic and acquired conditions, some people are more susceptible to mercury exposure than others, however there is no safe or harmless level of exposure . . . even one atom of mercury will cause some kind of damage to your body.

Because of its extreme toxicity, the body has two only choices when dealing with mercury—get rid of it or store it. Most of us are not very good at eliminating mercury so most of it ends up being stored in the organs, tissues and cells of our body. Because it's very high affinity for fat, a lot of the mercury stored in our body ends up in our brain and nervous system . . . did you know that your brain is up to 80% fat?

Many children are being born with large amounts of mercury already in their system. Because mercury is so fat soluble, it easily passes through the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier. This means that pregnant women with who have mercury filled teeth or who eat mercury laden fish pass mercury to their babies in large amounts.

Over time, we accumulate enough mercury in our brain and other organs for symptoms of mercury toxicity to develop. Mercury contributes to over 100 known health issues, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune diseases and Immune System Disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Nervous System Disorders: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS (Lou Gehrig's)
  • Neurological Problems: Depression, Memory Loss, Anxiety, Fine Tremors, Fatigue, Insomnia, Autism, Seizure Disorders and Hyperactivity Syndromes
  • GI problems such as Candida, Food allergy, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Parasites and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

If you have so called "silver fillings" in your teeth, mercury vapor is leaking from the fillings and escaping into your bloodstream 24/7.  Anything you do to warm up the fillings increases the amount of mercury released - drinking coffee or tea, chewing food . . . even brushing your teeth!


The biggest exposure to mercury vapor from any source occurs when amalgam fillings are removed without following mercury-safe protocols . . . grinding on dental  fillings can increase your mercury exposure risk by a factor of 10,000.

Few dentists follow mercury-safe dental protocols . . . these protocols are not taught in dental school and they don't carry the American Dental Association's seal of approval, so it's just not on their radar screen.

Sadly, mercury has become a pervasive part of our environment . . . it's in our food, our water, our soil and our teeth.  Your total body burden of mercury is related to the following factors:

  • Have you have ever had any mercury amalgam fillings.   If so, how many?
  • Has your mother ever had amalgam fillings?  If so, how many?
  • If you or your mother ever had amalgam fillings replaced, were mercury-safe protocols used?
  • How much fish do you eat?  What kinds of fish do you eat?
  • How many mercury containing vaccines you've had over your lifetime.
  • How well did you choose your parents . . . certain genetic factors limit your ability to eliminate mercury through natural detoxification methods.

Removing the mercury stored in your body can be a complex process and is the topic of much debate.  Many detox protocols have serious problems:

  • Some are very expensive
  • Most are very complex
  • Some produce serious side-effects
  • Some are quite invasive . . . requiring prescription medications, injections or intravenous therapy
  • Some don't actually eliminate the mercury from your body--they simply shift the mercury from one tissue compartment to another . . . the mercury just changes addresses

I believe a mercury elimination program is foundational to good health for anyone who has ever had mercury fillings, and especially for anyone who has had mercury fillings replaced without mercury-safe protocols.

Prevent and Heal

First Do No Harm . . . prevent and heal before you treat

One of the greatest gifts I received from my naturopathic medical education was a thorough understanding of the Vis medicatrix naturae . . . the healing power of nature. Under appropriate conditions, our bodies have incredible abilities to heal themselves of virtually any ailment. The body always does the healing—doctors and medicine can only assist or suppress the process.

For the most part, modern medicine and dentistry has ignored this fundamental rule of health and healing. However, the healing power of nature can be used to prevent and heal tooth decay.