Health and Education Committee
My name is Linda Cifelli and I live in Williamsburg.
Last winter I circulated around to your offices in this building to give a packet of information about dental mercury to all of you. Mr. Potts also got copies of many signatures. I show you the stack of signatures now with 1,000 or more people expressing concern or in outright support to ban the use of mercury in teeth.
I got my own mercury fillings at a time when there was lot less negative scientific information about mercury dental fillings. I was a patient at the MCV School of Dentistry from 1979 to 1984 when many of these fillings were drilled out- splattering particles over my mouth and swallowing some of it, I'm sure.
I did not know they were mercury. They were then "reloaded" with more amalgam/mercury. I was advised to have this done for my health- to help my gum tissues.
In 1993-1995 more fillings were drilled out by a dentist in private practice having the same rationale. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VA paid the full price of all this "unloading and reloading" of mercury at that time.
I hear some dentists are still doing this "unloading and reloading." Patients don't know what substances the dentist is using.
In January of 1999 after doing my own research & initiating testing from an out-of-state practitioner, I approached the School of Dentistry again for possible heath care. By this time I had been having unexplained symptoms for years. I brought test results showing a high level of mercury in my body. Three faculty members said the results of my hair analysis were "worthless" and part of a "scam". They would not remove any mercury fillings, nor would the Newport News dentist who had changed a bunch of them. Blue Cross/Blue Shield did not help to pay expenses for the mercury-poisoned individual.
It took me about six months from the time I got my test results back to begin removal. I had to locate someone to take it out safely, that is minimizing mercury exposure during removal, mindful that the new replacement materials needed to be compatible with my immune system. You see mercury weakens and destroys the immune system. After some of the dental appointments removing the fillings symptoms disappeared which have not since reappeared.
Those dentists who have invested time to learn safe mercury removal and invested in equipment for maximum patient safety should be allowed to advertise their qualifications and equipment without paying a penalty. These practitioners are essential to the mercury-poisoned person with amalgam in her teeth.
This legislation is needed. Mercury poisoning can be prevented if one is mindful of the sources and avoids them.
It's time for public education and information at the time of treatment. It's time for Virginians to be able to locate appropriate treatment by the practitioners who are here. These dentists should not be penalized in any way for advertising they are able to help mercury-poisoned people. This bill SB187 for Informed Consent for dental mercury is needed.
Linda is a DAMS Coordinator and is a RN. She gave this speech before the Health and Education Committee on January 29, 2004 in Richmond's General Assembly Building. The committee was chaired by Senator H. Russel Potts.
Anne Ferreira also spoke and showed the six minute DVD the Smoking Tooth produced by David Kennedy, DDS to the committee. Click here to read the voice over for the DVD showing a tooth "smoking," that is giving off mercury vapor. Go to the IAOMT website to see an internet presentation of the Smoking Tooth.
My senator from the 23rd district, Senator Steve Newman, didn't even bother to look at the DVD, but turned his back, talking to others and looking at his paperwork. When it came time for a vote, it was Senator Steve Newman who said to hold the bill over to the next session and refer it to the subcommittee of Health Professionals. He said for the Health Professionals to contact the FDA and see what they had to say about dental amalgam. I had already told Mr. Newman that the FDA was doing NOTHING to protect the public from dental mercury and the branch of the FDA that was in charge of dentistry was composed of pro-amalgam dentists.
I was the last to speak and had no time to present my 5 minute presentation. I just spoke extemporaneously with Mr. Pott's expression and tone of his voice showing that he wanted this to be over, and just move on to something else. We had no time to get expert speakers because we could not count on a definite date for SB187 to be heard. Dr. Boyd Haley agreed to come, but he was already booked.
The VDA spokesman testified before the Senate Health and Education Committee there was no need for this bill because dentists were already discussing this with their patients. If this was true, why are dentists shaking in their boots and afraid of the Board of Dentistry if they speak out against mercury dental fillings?
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