“It takes one gram of mercury to poison a 20-acre lake,” Warwick explained, but only if it was atmospheric. “The amount dentists bring in would pollute almost half the lakes in Canada and make the fish inedible in one year, and we do this every year.”About half the dentists in North America still use mercury fillings, according to Dr. David Warwick, a dentist at the Hanna Dental Clinic. “They look like silver, but they are actually made of half mercury and half silver, tin and other metals,” Warwick explained. “The new fillings can be made of quartz, they’re white, and there is an acrylic resin that binds them.”
Warwick is the team leader for the audio/visual and the environmental committees in International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). In 1992, the Hanna Dental Clinic become mercury-free. Warwick said he started thinking about mercury and its effects when he attended school in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
“We were taught all these precautions on how to store mercury, but we’re still placing it in to people’s mouths,” Warwick said. “I didn’t get that. I thought if it’s so safe, why would we have to worry about the precautions? Why couldn’t we just throw it in the garbage?”
When Warwick started his own practice, he was exposed to the effects mercury could have.
“I started getting some symptoms quite possibly from not being as careful as I should have been,” Warwick said. “You want to be as safe as you can, and mercury isn’t just bad for the patients it’s bad for the dentists and staff, too.”
The dental industry in dat Canada alone brings in 5,000 kilograms of mercury each year.
“It takes one gram of mercury to poison a 20-acre lake,” Warwick explained, but only if it was atmospheric. “The amount dentists bring in would pollute almost half the lakes in Canada and make the fish inedible in one year, and we do this every year.”
Environment Canada is trying to have all countries sign a document that globally binds against the use of mercury.
“In general, they want to eliminate or reduce dramatically the globalization of mercury in all products,” Warwick explained. “It has a negative impact on the environment so why are we using it in the mouth when we have perfectly good alternative?”
Mercury has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and autism, but is still being used as fillings.
“A study took a bunch of kids with autism, and they counted the number of mercury fillings the mothers had in their mouths. It was something like a four-times increase in the chance of them having a severely autistic child, if the mother had six or more fillings in her mouth,” Warwick acknowledged.
Another study showed there was enough evidence to connect autism to mercury, then there is to connect smoking and lung cancer.
“The World Health Organization came out, several years ago, and said if you have any mercury fillings in your mouth, then the amount of mercury that leaches off your mercury filling, is more than all the other sources of mercury combined. This study still stands true today,” Warwick explained. When a mercury filling is put in, it increases the mercury exposure of the individual.
“This is the problem. Various government agencies still maintain that mercury fillings are safe and do not cause problems,” Warwick said. “They choose not to consider studies that show there is damage.”
Patients are asking for the new fillings constantly. They match the colour of the teeth, but dentists are still using mercury fillings. A recommendation from Health Canada in 1996 stated that if you can, you should not use a mercury filling in a child. The dentist curriculum, however, still allows them to teach mercury fillings.
“As a result, all the dentists who complete school, come through thinking it’s fine to use mercury fillings,” Warwick said. “Health Canada recommendations are not being upheld.”
Mercury fillings are easier to put in, Warwick said.
“They are a lot less technic sensitive, and as a result the white fillings cost around 20 per cent more to put in than the mercury ones.”
Health Canada and Environment Canada don’t see eye-to-eye on the subject. “Environment Canada seems to be more interested in is the mercury coming out of the coal-fired plants from India and China coming across the Arctic and polluting the land,” Warwick said. “That is sad because we’re still putting mercury inside people’s mouths.”Check it out for dental admission test preparation
With all the research being done on mercury the best research in coming out of the University of Calgary.
“They showed that mercury was the only element they could find which changed nerve cells and made them look like a cell from someone with Alzheimer’s,” Warwick said.
When a person is exposed to mercury, they either have the defense to fight it off or they don’t. “Some people have a very poor protective mechanism to keep mercury out of the brain. That’s where we get into trouble,” Warwick said. “The same kind of damage could be said about autism as well.”
Article Source: http://www.hannaherald.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2910528&archive=true
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