Why You Should Care About Amalgam Fillings and Your Dental Health

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Many chronic diseases begin in the mouth, making proper oral care of utmost importance. I learned this lesson the hard way. Mercury poisoning nearly ruined my life. Years ago, I had silver amalgam fillings, two of which were drilled out by my friend Dr. Grieco. Just two days after the fillings had been removed and replaced with gold crowns I became very ill. Initially, we blamed the anesthetic. Later that week, I attempted a bike ride but was too fatigued. I thought I was over-training. The fatigue soon turned to irritability, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, anger, sound sensitivity, and even suicidal thoughts. It took nearly four years of suffering to understand the cause of the illness. After extensive research, consulting with an endocrinologist, and finally taking a test to prove it, I learned that I had been poisoned by my mercury fillings. I verified the dates with Dr. Grieco and cross-referenced my cycling journal which confirmed when the symptoms began, the week my fillings were removed. I learned that silver fillings contain 50% mercury, which vaporizes and crosses into the brain where it bio-accumulates over time. The addition of gold from the crown caused a galvanic (or electrical) reaction, which leached mercury out of the fillings 10 times faster than normal.

Only once I learned how to properly remove the remaining fillings and the mercury from my brain did I get my life back. I would have never fully recovered without removing the source of toxicity (R1), in this case the fillings in my mouth. Since learning of my experience with mercury poisoning, Dr. Grieco transformed his dentistry practice. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to discuss with Dr. Grieco the dangers of dental work and mercury poisoning, as well as the numerous unwanted symptoms that can originate from amalgam in the mouth.

It’s scary to change your practice and approach. Many dentists are afraid of this, but you did your homework.

In dental school, we were taught that mercury is bound in the silver/tin filling material. It’s a travesty that this information is still being taught in schools. The ADA [American Dental Association] is sticking their head in the sand.

Dr. Pompa: Once my gold crowns went in to replace the silver amalgam fillings, galvanism occurred. When there are two different metals in your mouth, as in the case of silver fillings, an electrical current is created. This is called galvanism, and the electric current causes mercury to leach out of the fillings 10 times faster than normal. It acts like a battery, with the two opposing metals and an acid [your saliva] and the current can actually be measured.  The electrical current is not normal in the body and has a negative impact on brain function. Galvanism can occur from any two metal sources in the mouth and becomes even more dangerous when silver fillings are one of the opposing metals because of the increase in mercury from the fillings and the brain altering current.


The ADA can no longer say that mercury is bound safely in fillings. They have changed their talking points to claim that the amount of mercury released from fillings is too small to matter, despite the fact that many other countries have banned its use. Mercury is considered hazardous waste from the EPA and OSHA, and handled with OSHA regulations before it goes into your mouth, and when it comes out and hits the dental tray. However, when it’s in your mouth it is considered safe.  That contradiction insults our intelligence and comes before Congress almost every year to change the level of danger of an amalgam filling to what it is when it’s not in your mouth: “hazardous waste”.  Yes, it’s true, if it were labeled correctly, and if you have silver fillings in your mouth, you have “hazardous waste” in your mouth every day.  The reality is whether it’s labeled that way or not, YOU DO!  And that goes beyond just insulting our intelligence; it’s DEAD WRONG and almost ruined my life and is ruining millions of lives unknowingly.  At least give us informed consent to make an educated choice of whether to put this poison in our mouths or not.

Amalgam illness is a 30+ year illness. You can have fillings for years, and over time the mercury vapor is slowly bio-accumulating in the brain.  So most people never correlate their unwanted symptoms with their fillings.  It took me years to make the connection and some people will spend thousands on medications and supplements and never get to the true cause of why they are not well.

So all that said, and you can tell it angers me, what’s the ADA’s current rationale regarding mercury poisoning?

Dr. Grieco: It’s a widespread litigation issue, bigger than tobacco, and much panic could result. Dr. Boyd Haley testified in Congress before the FDA regarding mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings. The ADA, on the other hand, had no credible evidence ensuring the safety of the fillings. Amalgam fillings are banned in Europe. The FDA's own scientific panel told the agency that amalgam use is not safe for children or pregnant women. Why then is it ok for everyone else?

Dr. Pompa: It’s crazy. Our environment is better protected than we are. One gram of mercury can pollute a 20 acre lake and disrupt the ecosystem. Imagine the impact of multiple fillings in your mouth. The skull and crossbones are on the amalgam bottle, but we’re still putting it in our mouths.


Dr. Grieco: There is no evidence to NOT be concerned (see more HERE). Consider the physical properties of mercury. The melting point is between 60-70 degrees, and our mouth temperature is 98.6; therefore, dangerous off-gassing is constantly occurring.

Dr. Pompa: Why is it so important to remove silver fillings correctly, including proper pre and post-removal treatment?

Dr. Grieco: Pre-operative treatment is crucial. The body’s detox pathways, like the kidneyliver, and digestion, need to be working properly. The procedure is still an insult to the system. At our office, we give activated charcoal supplements to patients prior to the procedure. They are then fully draped in sterile cloth, with only their mouth exposed to a rubber dam. We use high-speed air suction, a lot of water, and an IQ air filter [negative ion exchange] during the procedure to capture any airborne mercury that is released from the fillings.  If the patient is sedated, you can cross the midline; if not, only one side of the mouth can be done at a time, considering the charges of the fillings. The most negatively charged fillings must be removed first.  Then, a pre-tested bio-compatible material is input in place of the amalgam fillings.  It’s not rocket science, and this method protects both the patient and the dentist. During the procedure, me and my staff wear respiratory masks and are fully covered. Afterwards, everything is thoroughly cleaned and disposed of as biohazard waste.

I also want to mention that dental offices are one of the biggest polluters of our environment. If the mercury released during amalgam removal is not properly captured and filtered during the procedure it’s very hazardous.  A dental supplier can easily set up a unit with an amalgam mercury trap, which captures the mercury. This is an easy way to prevent pollution of our water systems.

Dr. Pompa: Important point. I hope people can appreciate how dangerous the procedure can be. I see so many clients suffer from incorrect amalgam removal. Some get sick immediately post removal by breathing in the mercury vapor released during the procedure.  Others have a “honeymoon” period, where they feel better for 6 to 9 months then get very ill. I believe this is related to the galvanism; once the electrical current is removed, people initially feel better, but it doesn’t last. When the fillings are removed, mercury starts moving out of the body. This stage is what I call “the crazies.” To learn more about it, read my three part article series “When detox is dangerous”.  Once the fillings come out, metals will begin to mobilize throughout the body, unless proper chelation is initiated.

Now let’s move on to discussing root canals. What are your thoughts?

Dr. Grieco: It’s a slippery slope. Many of my patients have root canals, and there are pros and cons of which patients need to be educated. Famed dentist Dr. Weston Price’s did a root canal on his son’s front tooth, and he later died of a heart attack. Dr. Price implanted his son’s extracted root canal tooth into numerous rabbits, all of which then died of heart attacks. So evidence of the toxicity of root canals has been around for years. Dr. George Meinig, the founder of the American Association of Endodontics, wrote a book on the dangers of root canals and how they can damage our health. Toxic bacteria surround root canal teeth and contribute to inflammation and thereby other disease.  There is a lot of controversy around the topic, since this procedure is so commonly performed; however, there’s evidence that it’s a contributor to the modern disease process.

Dr. Boyd Haley has been instrumental in teaching about the toxic bacteria surrounding root canal teeth. Often, we recommend that a patient has root canal teeth removed along with any amalgams present. However, this situation brings up the issue of cavitations in the jaw bone which have similar toxic bacteria that root canal teeth carry. It’s a huge issue.

Dr. Pompa: Dr. Haley was researching “safe” root canals, i.e. pain-free. Haley’s research found anaerobic bacteria at high levels around root canal teeth and concluded there really is no safe root canal. There are biological dentists who feel they can perform the procedure safely, and others feel it’s impossible to make the procedure safe due to the thousands of microtubules that contain these bacteria.

What's your take on this debate?

Dr. Grieco: Dentists are now using lasers and oxygen ozone therapy for root canals. Dr. Phil Mollica, a pioneer in ozone therapy, says that it can be sterile, but it’s only a matter of time before the bacteria work their way back into the microtubules and find a place to live. Long-term, there’s no safe root canal; it can be sterilized for 24-36 hours post-procedure, maybe, but after that who knows what happens.

Dr. Pompa: So what can people do? There are only three options: root canal teeth can be removed and a gap left in their place; you can get a non-metallic [ceramic] Maryland bridge; or you can get an implant, made of either titanium or ceramic. Correct?

Dr. Grieco: It’s crucial that all material put into the mouth is proven to be biologically compatible, via blood testing, with the patient. Muscle testing can also be used. However, I believe the most accurate way is a Clifford’s blood test, which most biologically safe dentists would recommend.

Dr. Pompa: I’d like to also note the health risks for the dentists performing these dangerous procedures.

Dr. Grieco: Yes, even at low levels of exposure, higher levels of mercury are observed in urine, and the more fillings dentists remove appear to be correlated to a prevalence of neuropsychological and muscular disorders. Dentists also have the highest suicide and divorce rates of doctors, and tend to suffer more memory loss, insomnia, depression, and chronic fatigue and hand tremors.

Dr. Pompa: Thank you again for all that you do, Dr. Grieco, working on the front lines risking your health for the greater good.A word from Dr. Pompa

It was such a pleasure to bring you this interview with Dr. Grieco because I tell my story often, but no one, until now, has heard this part of the story.  Few people risk their reputation and career and say “I was wrong” and change the way they do everything. I pray that more dentists will make that bold decision.  I pray that more will simply step out and look at the real science and get beyond what the ADA says or their biased funded research.

I’d like to reiterate the importance of proper heavy metal detox after the procedure of amalgam removal. As I mentioned, chelation must begin four days post-amalgam removal or new problems can arise.  I see so many people who, years after getting their amalgams out, are still sick and often times more sick because they never detoxed correctly or at all.  Heavy metal detox is often performed incorrectly by regular MDs and by alternative health practitioners. Some alternative practitioners use chlorella and cilantro to chelate metals, but taking these can stir up and redistribute metals, making symptoms worse because they are not true chelating agents. Other practitioners use IV chelation, which has been shown to be dangerous and ineffective. IV chelation therapies pull a lot of heavy metals all at once but do not stay in the body long enough and so can also cause redistribution of heavy metals.  I tried my fair share of chelating agents while attempting to detox, and the method I created through my own trial and error saved my life. I encourage anyone who believes they may have heavy metal toxicity to seek the proper method of true heavy metal detox.  This is the reason that it is crucial to work with a practitioner trained in proper heavy metal detox. Please read the article series, “When Detox is Dangerous,” as it explains the many pitfalls in the area of heavy metal detox and will begin the journey to greater understanding.

This is such an important topic, and knowledge is power. Life can get better when you remove the cause of your sickness (R1). The process takes time, but you can get your life back. I believe God allowed me to go through this trial to bring the message to the many suffering without answers.

If you would like more information on working with me or a practitioner trained in proper heavy metal detox, please contact my office.

Dr. Derek Grieco’s office (Pittsburgh, PA area): CLICK HERE

To find a biological dentist in your area: CLICK HERE

More information: CLICK HERE