Dental Amalam and Office Toxicity – an Internvew with David Kennedy, DDS

The following are my questions to Dr. Kennedy and his responses.  Editing has only been for grammatical reasons and no content has been removed or changed.  Below is a short history of some of Dr. Kennedy’s experience as a dentist and researcher:

Dr. David C. Kennedy has practiced dentistry for more than 30 years. He is the Past President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, which was formed to review, support, and disseminate research on the suitability of materials and methodologies used in the dental practice. Dr. Kennedy is currently the Information Officer on fluoride for the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

He has lectured to dentists, physicians and other health professionals all over the world on the subjects of preventive dental health, mercury toxicity, and fluoride. He is the author of the book How To Save Your Teeth with toxic free preventive dentistry that provides instruction and insight for both professionals and the layman on how to provide and receive toxic-free dentistry.

Q&A follows, my questions/comments in blue:

There’s been plenty of coverage on the dangers of in-office use, so I’ll skim over the OSHA requirements and so forth and focus on the health effects that mercury fillings have on those working in the offices as well as the patients who visit.

Please do  not completely skip over the injury to dental personnel. For one thing the dentists claim that mercury is so safe that their staff is not injured. Well that simply is not true.

The other point is 250,000 dental assistants and hygienists are being injured solely because of their denials and utter failure of the profession to implement OSHA guidelines and OSHA personnel failure to enforce their employee protections. Yes it is against the law. Yes much has been written about it but sadly the perpetrators are still doing the crime. You cannot legally mix a new amalgam filling or remove an old one unless you do all 7 steps of employee protection.

Specifically what I need are your comments on the ADA’s policy towards denial of the effects of amalgams and also Health Canada’s, if you’re familiar with it.

Are you referring to Health Canada’s Risk Assessment for amalgam written by Mark Richardson [email removed] where they arrived at the estimate of one filling for  a child and 4 for an adult that is totally ignored by every amalgam packing dentist in Canada? All mercury fillings leak substantial amounts of mercury. Watch Smoking Teeth to see a summary.

Information on how the ADA treats (or mistreats) mercury-free offices and what that does to the industry is also something I’d like to emphasize.

I was just speaking with Jim Love an attorney in Oklahoma who has represented many of these mistreated dentists in various states and he told me that the FTC has begun to look into one of the most aggressive and worst offenders the North Carolina dental board for restraint of trade. The real losers in this issue is the public. If the ADA is allowed to dictate what government bodies allow licensed professionals to say then they can perpetuate the myth that amalgam is a stable and suitable filling material. It is neither. Using the police powers of the state to further a trade association’s agenda smacks of RICO in my opinion.

Some dentists have lost their license to practice for telling the public that so called Silver fillings leak mercury. Others have been silenced and subject to discipline for not adhering to the ADA’s gag order. One of the claims they often make is that the dentist is practicing medicine without a license when they tell a patient that they appear to be suffering the toxic effects of mercury from their amalgams. Well the ADA is practicing medicine without a license of any kind when they claim that the patient is not mercury toxic. Both you are and you are not mercury poisoned are diagnosis. If I cannot diagnose mercury poisoning, and I assure you I do not want to diagnose this disorder, they they cannot claim it does not exist either.

“The American Dental Association (ADA) owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists. The ADA did not manufacture, design, 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.”

The Superior Court of the State of California, Case No. 718228, Demurrer (October 22, 1992) Tolhurst vs. ADA

So what I like to tell patients is that dentists may only poison their patients with mercury and once poisoned they must refer the patient to a physician, chiropractor, naturopath or even the local health food operator to discuss various methods of treatment. If they have mercury fillings I tell them that it is of no concern to me just as long as they do not breathe out in my direction.

In fact the ADA has claimed that there is protection from the mercury vapor emitted from fillings because people breathe out, so I strongly recommend that everyone with amalgams do so.

Personally I think this is a red herring since dentists are encouraged to take blood pressure to “diagnose” whether or not the patient needs a referral to a physician for blood pressure medication and to be vigilant for signs in the mouth of diabetes for the same reason. But somehow we are to become mute if we see a person with eye twitches or lip tremor or gait difficulty and all the other neurological symptoms caused by a body burden of mercury.

I think this is kind of like the thief who sued the homeowner for calling him a thief. The fact that he had the homeowner’s TV in his arms at the time seems to justify the slander but nevertheless he certainly objected to the terminology.

British Petroleum has not apologized for their careless behavior and neither has the ADA. Of the two, the ADA has caused a much greater environmental disaster both in the mouths of the victims and in the lakes rivers and streams and now the farms sewer sludge is spread upon.

While the ADA makes ridiculous claims about amalgam safety, the fact that all dental offices leak copious quantities of mercury and the recipients of their “Silver” fillings excrete substantial amounts as well. Skare measured stool and determined that the bowel of an amalgam bearer is a substantial source of mercury pollution.

During the congressional hearings on mercury the head of the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control District was asked to testify on how they were able to get a 90% reduction in mercury effluent. They did this by merely requiring mercury sources to either apply for a permit or install separators to stop their emissions. The permit cost $10,000 annually along with a $400 inspection. Dentists cried out that they could not afford such a high fee and RWCB explained that they could stop disposing of mercury in the sewer. The equipment for that would only cost about $1,000  and RWCB would wave the fee if they agreed to install it within the next 30 days. Every dentist in SF complied and the RWCB had a remarkable 90% drop in mercury at their treatment plant. He went on to say that 100% of their long standing mercury problem was from amalgam. Dan Burton the Chair leaned forward with his half glasses pulled down on his nose and drawled that he didn’t understand the testimony. First the had said 90% of the mercury was from dental offices and now he said 100%. Could he explain why the discrepancy.

RWCB explained that the remaining 10% was from amalgams in the mouths of the people with mercury fillings that had traveled through the bowel and now was at the sewer treatment plant.

Where does this go? Into the river or into the sludge. Sludge is dried and incinerated or spread of farms as fertilizer depositing mercury in the process. Rain carries it down into the subsurface water where it is pumped back into our city drinking water and round and round it goes. If incinerated just like crematoriums the mercury first goes up and then returns so don’t buy a house down wind of a coal fired power plant or crematorium.

The exposures that dental professionals and patients are subjected to in the average dental office and what you think could and should be done to alleviate them (assuming amalgams are not removed entirely).

Even if amalgam were banned today the dental personnel would still be exposed for decades to come every time they removed an old filling. Just like painters are still being diagnosed with lead poisoning even though lead in paint was banned decades ago. OSHA is suppose to prevent both these injuries but sadly does not.

To protect employees the law states that, “When it is reasonable to assume exposure is likely the employer shall:

  1. Inform the employee and, at a minimum, review the MSDS sheets as required by the Right to Know Act of 1987
  2. Providing training in how to protect yourself
  3. Providing all the protective equipment
  4. Institute engineering controls like fans and vacuums
  5. Employ work practices to minimize exposures such as how you drill
  6. Monitor both their facility when exposure is likely and medically test their employees for mercury
  7. Record all of the above and keep these records available for immediate inspection upon OSHA enforcement request for a minimum of 30 years

I call these the 7 steps to employee protections. Poison in Your Dentist’s Office

BTW in the video Theresa Pichay, who describes herself as the California Dental Association’s go-to person for OSHA compliance, claimed mercury wasn’t on her radar? I’ve recently found video of her at the California legislature years earlier claiming amalgams are safe (and other places too). If it wasn’t on her radar how come she is traveling all over the place claiming it is safe?

The mantra should be “Show me your records”. It is just as simple as that. No records? Your are guilty. Lives like Karen Palmer’s would be saved.

Even though I followed OSHA guidelines, my mercury levels were always elevated every time I was tested, despite many rounds of chelation. I retired from clinical practice in 2000 and still my mercury was elevated until I got on OSR. That nutrient solved my mercury issues in less than a year. I think everyone should get some and take it often. It seems to fix the body’s ability to excrete mercury. I think a major problem that many people don’t realize is that with chronic exposure to mercury the body slowly loses its ability to remove mercury. You see this very clearly in the highly unethical NIDCR-funded Casa Pia study. Or as I call it the Casa Can’t Pia study. The orphans who got amalgam fillings urine mercury at first shot up and doubled right away. Next year they got more amalgams and urine went up again. The next year they got more but their mercury went down and continued to drop so by the end of 7 years the children with a mouth full of amalgam; urine mercury was not significantly different than the lucky little kids with no mercury fillings at all.


Because mercury causes its own retention. Now that the child cannot effectively excrete mercury from the urine they will begin to accumulate it and after a long period time, some may  become poisoned.

I called this unethical experiment a study designed to fail to show harm. Why? Because their only measure of exposure was urine. Well anyone who has looked at mercury in any detail knows mercury leaves the body primarily by the bowel and not the urine. In fact urine may be reversed with those who effectively excrete it via urine are in fact least likely to be symptomatic. So they claimed to see no correlation between urine mercury and symptoms of injury. Well daaah! Of course not. It is the child who cannot excrete mercury that is injured. And just think we taxpayers paid dentists to injure children in Portugal. (See Casa-Pia Urine graph attached.

“The panel meeting will focus particularly on the potential risk to vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, fetuses, and young children.”

That was the subject of my talk at the last FDA hearing in 2006. 1 out of 6 women in the US today have blood mercury high enough to harm a fetus.

Snapp carefully removed amalgams (don’t do this while pregnant. Do it at least 214 days prior to conception).

The blood mercury spiked at first but then gradually dropped so that In 214 days the blood mercury was merely 10% of the baseline at the beginning. We’ve got all these warning about fish and air pollution and the like but not own word about her intra oral exposure when research has long confirmed that by far the predominant source of human exposure to mercury is from your fillings.

WHO Criteria Document 118 Table 2.

Finally, any comments you might have on the FDA’s agreement to reconsider.  I note that they’ve made it clear that they won’t be considering banning amalgams (above):

I find the machinations of Washington DC, where money speaks far louder than words, that they would make such a determination prior to hearing any testimony, except of course from the ADA lobbyists.

If mercury is such a terrible poison as to cause a whole host of diseases of mankind and we are experiencing an ongoing environmental disaster due to its use in fillings why would anyone consider keeping it in use? Because the largest purchaser of amalgams by far is the government. They insist on using it in all military personnel, coast guard, and public health employees. They use it in welfare recipients and crippled children. The government is the biggest problem.

I live in California where most dentists no longer use any amalgam and the vast majority of affluent young people have no mercury fillings. Who wants a black filling in a white tooth anyway? It looks ugly. Would you go to a dermatologist and ask for a black wart to be sewed onto your nose. Perhaps one w2ith a few long curly black hairs? No, well no one willingly gets a black filling either. They are bamboozled into getting one by their dentist who incorrectly claims that is is safe and effective and the cheapest way to fix a cavity. This is not true. The cheapest thing is prevention and if there is a tiny cavity then a tiny filling bonded to the tooth is second.

Drilling deeply into the tooth removing 1/3 of the center in order to pack in a time-release mercury filling is insane. The drilling alone weakens the tooth 75% and the fillings expand and contract with hot and cold so it too pushes laterally on the tooth structure leading to a fracture and eventually a crown or extraction later in life.

If you include not the costs of brain damage in the fetus or infertility in the recipients or the numerous mercury related disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, Arcodynia or ALS* but only the cost of repeated dental care amalgams are terribly costly.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells.

Did you notice that all the diseases I listed involved nerve damage? That is because mercury is a poison for nerves. Watch How Mercury Causes Neurodegeneration (Brain Damage) <>

This isn’t made up like the ADA’s claims of safety. This study was published in peer reviewed scientific literature. It is reproducible and similar things occur in humans albeit slower.

Notice that I didn’t say mercury caused any of these diseases? That is not because it doesn’t, but to have absolute proof of causation you’d have to have much more research done. The NIH cut off Boyd Haley’s research funding once he figured out mercury was linked to Alzheimer’s disease. That is how the government addresses this issue. They funded a study of Nuns that claimed to not see any connection. The study was so poorly done that the only place they could find to publish it was in the Journal of the American Dental association. A trade publication masquerading as a scientific journal, which is is not.

The data showed that the Nuns had lots of mercury in the Ponds area of their brain. Ponds area is responsible for smell. One of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease is loss of smell.

Neurotoxicity symptoms associated with mercury and mercury compounds include, but are not limited to, impaired vision, speech, hearing and walking; sensory disturbances; incoordination of movements; nervous system damage, very similar to congenital cerebral palsy; mental disturbances; psychomotor retardation, chronic inflammation of mouth and gums, personality change, nervousness, fever or rash. Exposure to mercury impairs the brain and nervous system from developing normally in fetuses.

I believe the FDA is revisiting the issue because the IAOMT prepared a brilliant petition for reconsideration. We found research that was not cited and pointed out 27 factual errors in the research that was cited. During the last FDA dog and pony show in 2006 only advocates for continued mercury use were invited and due to the previously mentioned issue of dentists being unable to diagnose a medical condition the panel consisted of 50% physicians and 50% dentists. The dentists wrote themselves in for 50% of the vote even though they technically could not decide the issue of injury from amalgam. The vote was 13 to 7 against the Draft FDA white Paper that sounded exactly like the ADA had written it. It made all the same claims that we hear spewed from the dentists about safe and effective.

Of the votes 9 out of 10 of the medical panel voted to reject their claims. One lady explained her yes vote was not based upon the information but by the way the question was asked.

2. Does the FDA White Paper objectively and clearly present the current state of knowledge about the exposure [to mercury] and health effects related to dental amalgam?

3. Given the amount and quality of the information available for the draft FDA White Paper, are the conclusions reasonable.

Notice how they couldn’t even use the word mercury in Question 2?

Nevertheless they got a resounding NO to the white paper which is almost identical to the one they issued July 2009. You see the fools in the dental division do not have to pay any attention whatsoever to the learned physicians views.

I particularly like their response to Dr. Goldman’s question when she asked what precautions are typically taken in a dental office for a woman who is pregnant. All the dentist on the panel looked at each other like a deer in the headlights. Finally  the chairman who runs a large clinic in Washington DC explained that there were no precautions taken to prevent a pregnant woman from getting a big bolus dose of mercury. Dr. Goldman was visibly stunned. She voted NO when the time came.

I would hasten to point out that the opposite is in fact the normal government funded procedure. For example if a young disadvantaged woman becomes pregnant and has no money to pay for her health care the government will put her on welfare and in California that entitles her to go to a dentist for dental care. When the dentists sees her and picks around he/she will find many unfilled cavities and begin to drill away. The more he/she finds the more he she gets paid so you can bet there will be many fillings by the time the baby is born. The fact that her blood mercury will spike every time a new filling is placed and stay higher for her lifetime is of no consequence tot he dentist since we cannot diagnose nor treat any of the learning disorders the child will suffer. Government can of course hire more teachers and institute remedial education. When that fails we can hire more cops and build more prisons but then those are not within the purview of the dentist either.

All of this good news emanating from Washington DC where politics and economic of special interest groups trumps logic the public interest and science every time.

Now if we could just fire all the OSHA enforcement people who aren’t doing their jobs and hire some who would the problem would simply go away. Since you cannot legally open the amalgam mixing capsule with a civilian (patient) present they wouldn’t have to ban amalgam. They simply couldn’t use it because of existing laws.

If mercury comes out when they are put in and comes out again when removed how can anyone ever get rid of the old fillings safely?

By following the  International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology safer amalgam Removal procedures mercury fillings can be removed with minimum exposure to staff and patient. You can get a PDF copy from our web site at or you can watch one version being demonstrated here. Safer Amalgam Removal

Any questions?


David Kennedy DDS
The information given in this reply is the opinion of the author. Please consult your local physician for more dental health/medical information.

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