The State of Dentistry in Virginia
This is a quick note to Virginia legislators who may be looking
at this website. DAMS (Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome) in Virginia
has been trying to interest Virginia legislators in passing a Dental
Informed Consent Bill. We are very blessed to have Senator
Yvonne B. Miller, D-Norfolk to step up to the plate and introduce
SB187 "Board of Dentistry regulations on dental amalgams
We now ask the state legislators to take a look at a
serious health problem in Virginia concerning dental mercury used
in dental fillings and pass legislation that would allow
Virginians to have a choice.
As I have talked to people at the polls, malls, churches, banks, and
grocery stores, I have met Moms who have taken their
children to pediatric dentists thinking they are getting the best
dental care for their children. When I ask them what kind of
fillings the dentist put in their child's mouth, they reply,
"I don't know." When the Mom and I look into the child's mouth,
we see the bright shiny "silver" fillings in there.
A strange look comes over the mother's face and she goes into
shock when I tell her that those fillings contain mercury. I go
on to tell the Mom that I have mercury in my brain because I have
been poisoned by my dental fillings, and I encourage her to find
another dentist that will be mercury free and not put any more
mercury fillings in her child's teeth.
This is not an isolated event. It is happening all over the state
because dentists are not required to inform patients as to the
content of the dental fillings.
Who is helping people of Virginia who are trusting their
dentists to know what they are doing? Who is out there to protect
the unsuspecting parent who takes their child to their local
dentist expecting to receive safe dental care?
No one. The American Dental Association is not protecting the
public and neither is the FDA. The FDA should protect us but
they don't. Amalgam fillings have never been tested by the FDA
as safe. They have been "grandfathered into use."
In a 1995 civil lawsuit claiming
injuries from dental amalgams, filed in Santa Clara, CA., one of
the defendants named was the ADA. In a legal brief filed with
the court, attorneys for the ADA made the following argument:
The ADA owes no legal duty of care to protect the
public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists.
The ADA did not manufacture, supply or install the mercury-
containing amalgams. The ADA does not control those who do.
The ADA's only alleged involvement in the product was to provide
information regarding its use. Dissemination of information relating
to the practice of dentistry does not create a duty of care to
protect the public from potential injury.1
The court agreed with the ADA and dismissed it from the case.
The Virginia Dental Association is not protecting the public from
dental mercury because they adopt the standards of the ADA. The
ADA states that it is unethical for a dentist to say that amalgam
fillings are toxic. The Board of Dentistry is not protecting the
public from dental mercury, though they are doing a good job of
suspending the licenses of those who sexually abuse their
patients or abuse or dispense illegal drugs. One can read the
disciplinary hearings of dentists on the Board of Health
In fact the Board of Dentistry is helping to cover up the fact
that dentists are still placing mercury in people's teeth. In
2003 they disciplined three dentists that I know of. One husband
and wife team from Crozet, Virginia was fined $500 each after they
had paid out $12,000 in legal fees to try to beat the charges
against them. They were fined because these dentists advertised in
the Charlottesville newspaper that amalgam fillings would crack
the teeth and they would cause more expensive dental work to
have to be done later on, and they leaked toxic amounts of
mercury into the bloodstream causing illnesses.
Another dentist from Williamsburg was recently fined $1000
because he advertised in a Williamsburg newspaper that he
practiced "Natural Dental Care." This is a synonym for practicing
mercury free dentistry with a focus on using materials that are
biocompatible with the body. This dentist knows what he is doing
and he safely knows how to remove mercury fillings without
poisoning patients, but if a dentist advertises anything that
would draw attention to the fact that he is different from most
dentists, he is fined for making "claims of superiority."
Code of Virginia Section 54.1-2706(A)(7).
The children in Roanoke, Virginia are definitely not being
protected from toxic dentistry. I did a telephone survey of all
the dentists listed in the Roanoke yellow pages in October 2003.
I talked to receptionists and office managers for the dentist's
offices. I asked them if their dentist was mercury-free. I found
that EVERY pediatric dentist that advertised in the Roanoke phone
yellow pages used mercury in children's teeth! This was not a
scientific survey, as I only depended upon what the dentist's
office workers told me. If at any time a mercury free pediatric
dentist does start practicing in Roanoke, if someone will contact
me, I will refer patients to him.
I found great ignorance in the Roanoke dentists' offices. When I
told the office workers I was looking for a mercury free dentist,
I would often hear "What?" like they didn't know what I was
talking about. Sometimes the receptionist would say,"I don't know.
Let me go ask." Then she would return and say something stupid
like, "We still use amalgam, but our amalgam doesn't have
mercury in it anymore." Another receptionist told me that the
amalgam they used had a "safe" level of mercury in it.
That is the ignorant comments coming from dentists' offices when
patients inquire. So if an uninformed consumer would ask "Is your
dentist mercury free?" and the patient does not know that
amalgam is actually 50% mercury, then they could be fooled into
believing that a substance called amalgam is being placed in
their mouths and it does not contain mercury. Isn't misinforming
the public illegal? I told this receptionist she had better look
up the word amalgam in the dictionary because she would find that
it does contain mercury.
So the least that Virginia legislators could do is to allow the
public the right to CHOOSE the dental materials used in their
mouths. The informed consent bill needs to include the symptoms
that mercury can cause to the body. An informed consent bill
without the dangers of the mercury is useless, because many people
sign the Informed consent for flu vaccines that states it contains
mercury, and just go ahead and let doctors shoot 25 micrograms of
mercury into their bodies. The Informed Consent that I read at
the Lewis Gale Clinic several years ago stated that the vaccine
contained mercury, but did not adequately inform persons about the
symptoms mercury could cause in the body.
People are being deceived by the state of dentistry in Virginia.
The dentists call the fillings "silver" though they only contain
around 25% silver and 50% mercury. And when the dentists call
them amalgam, people don't know what amalgam is. As Senator
Michaud of Maine said in his speech before the Government Reform
Committee on May 8, 2003, "The need for action in Maine was
apparent. Mercury fillings were promoted as "silver," even
though they have almost twice as much mercury as silver. I
wanted to stop this market place deception, and, if you will,
call a spade a spade. Thus, my bill calls the fillings
"mercury dental amalgam," and we insisted that both the
poster and the cover of the brochure say exactly that."2
People are also not being protected by the legal system if they
are poisoned. I filed a lawsuit pro se against my local dentist,
but was unable to continue with the case because I could not find
a lawyer to take my case. In order to sue my dentist for
malpractice, he 1) must have injured me, and
2) he must have violated the Standards of Care in dentistry. Even
though he did injure me by exposing me to mercury vapor, he
didn't violate the Standards of Care in dentistry, because the
Standards are so low, he didn't violate them. Dentists are not
required to protect patients from mercury vapor by using a) proper
ventilation in the office, b) respiratory protection over the
nose of the patient to keep him from breathing vapor, c) a dental
dam to keep patients from swallowing drilled out fillings, d) a
high suction device in the mouth to suck up amalgam vapors, or
e) referrals to doctors who know how to detox patients from
mercury exposure and offer supplements to prepare the body for
So the dental patients in Virginia are getting the royal medical
and legal shaft. They don't know because they are not told. They
are not told because the news media is reluctant to report any
thing against professionals. Mercury free dentists are disciplined
by the dental board if they tell, So patients receive dental work without
their FULL INFORMED CONSENT, and if they get poisoned, they have to
search for years sometimes to find out what is wrong with them as
mainstream doctors do not understand mercury toxicity from dental
fillings. And if they are poisoned, the Code of Virginia prevents
them from suing because the dentists do not violate the standards
of care when they poison citizens.
Unless the Virginia General Assembly passes an adequate bill(s) to protect
dental consumers, people will continue to have mercury placed
in their mouths WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT, and people will continue
to be mercury poisoned from the practices of a substandard
Dentists who do understand the biocompatibility of dental
materials and how to safely remove mercury fillings, receive
their education from alternative dental organizations other than
the ADA AFTER they get out of dental school. One such
organization that is helping to raise the standards in dentistry
is the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology at
www.iaomt.org. Isn't it a shame a dentists can go through years
at the dental school in Virginia and not know how to practice
1 (W.H. Tolhurst vs. Johnson and Johnson Consumer Products, Inc.
: Engelhard Corp.: ABE Dental Inc.: The American Dental
Association, et al. In the Superior Court of the State of
California, In and For the County of Santa Clara, Case No.
2 Maine passed a dental informed consent law in 2001 that
includes posters in the dentist's offices and a patient
brochure on dental materials.
Senator Michaud Testimony
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