I do not like going to the dentist for a wide range of reasons—from bad experiences with hygienists to a slew of dental procedures that have cost tens of thousands of dollars. But there is something else, too. The dental materials and practices are creating toxic dental care.
How many people ENJOY going to the dentist?
Every time I go to the dentist, I’m waiting for the “other shoe to drop.”
Things to keep in mind
- Dentists and hygienists look for what they are trained, so they see what they want to see.
- The problems caused by toxic dental material may be masked by the symptoms, which mimic other medical conditions.
5 things you didn’t know about your dentist
- More than likely your dentist graduated years ago. Dentistry has changed so much in the last several years. Has your dentist continued his education?
- You dentist probably doesn’t have the latest technology. It would cost more than $2000 to update his or her equipment to provide the best possible care.
- The American Dental Association and the FDA do not have a problem with mercury fillings. Is your dentist still using these toxic time bombs?
- The lab your dentist uses is more important than you are. Make sure your dentist is not using an overseas lab or a cut-rate domestic lab who uses tin, aluminum, or even lead to cut costs.
- Dentists can receive a kickback for referring you to a specialist. For instance, you may be told you need a root canal or orthodontics. These specialists give your dentist a referral fee for every patient that gets treatment, even if you don’t need the treatment. Do you need a second opinion?
Remember, you always have the right of refusal or even delay while you get a second opinion.
Toxic Dental Care: What are they putting in your mouth?
In 2013, research showed that repeated dental x-rays without a neck shield make you predisposed to thyroid cancer. (1)
In 2016, 30 children in California contracted a bacterial infection from a dentist’s office. The contaminated water could create long-term health problems for these children because the infection can often spread to the gum and jawbone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), outbreaks at dentist’s offices are rare. However, they do admit that even though there are recommended guidelines to prevent bacterial infections, many dentists do not follow these guidelines and procedures. (2)
Dental sealants are coatings of thin plastic applied to the teeth to prevent decay. The sealants prevent food particles and bacteria from getting into the grooves of the teeth where it is difficult to brush. Sealants last about five to ten years.
There is some concern that undetected decay can be sealed into teeth, which will continue to decay the tooth silently.
Also, there is the potential BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical used in plastics, which has been associated with health and developmental problems in humans and animals. It has been studied as a potential issue with dental sealants. The American Dental Association research shows that BPA only shows up in sealants as a trace amount. (3)
There are many adverse effects of fluoride ingestion:
Brain. Scientists have found dementia-like effects, as well as lower I.Q. levels.
Thyroid. Fluoride is an endocrine disrupter, which can lead to problems with judgment and intellect, depression, and weight gain.
Bones. Fracture risks may increase with fluoride ingestion. There is also a recent study by Harvard scientists that found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer in males under 20 years of age.
Kidneys. People with kidney disease have a higher risk of fluoride toxicity.
Some things to keep in mind:
Children anti-cavity fluoride treatments were never found safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration.
In 1951, the American Dental Association said, “there is no proof that commercial preparations … containing fluorides are effective in preventing dental decay.”
The bottom line—fluoride won’t keep your teeth healthy and could pose a serious health risk.
Toxic Dental Materials
There are so many dental materials created. It would be impossible for any one person to stay up-to-date with every single material used in dentistry. Here are a few that stand out.
Fillings can be made out of plastic, resins, and amalgam (metal).
Amalgam fillings have been scientifically proven to be detrimental to human health since 1927.
For almost 200 years, mercury amalgam has been the most commonly used dental filling material. Amalgam is a mixture of 50 percent mercury and the other 50 percent tin, silver, and copper.
The mercury content in the filling is not stable and leaks 24 hours a day, especially after eating, drinking hot drinks, and brushing your teeth.
Mercury is one of the most toxic metals on the planet and is a known neurotoxin. It damages nerve and brain tissues. Of course, plastics and resins are not much better.
Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are mostly made out of metal. If you ask your dentist for a porcelain crown, he or she may have a porcelain piece made that’s baked onto the metal. These metals act as a substructure for strength, but they also contain nickel.
Nickel is cancer-causing. It’s a neurological toxin. Crowns and bridges can also contain palladium, cobalt, cadmium, and barium. This dental work can be a big toxic mixture.
A lot of dentures are made out of materials that contain cadmium. Cadmium is a neurotoxin. The teeth and wires that they use can have stainless steel or nickel chromium, which are also bad for you.
Polymethyl methacrylate is a material used in bike parts. It is also the pink part of partials and dentures. If your dentist is using that material and you have redness on your gums, you could be allergic to it.
Add to that that dentures are constantly giving off fumes, and you have a recipe for sickness and disease.
Titanium was used in implants. This metal has been known to cause headaches, migraines, and immunity issues. Today ceramic and zirconium are used in place of titanium.
Not only is the commercial toothpaste that you use toxic, but the polishers that hygienists use also have fluoride, sugars, and pumice.
Research has shown that polishing can remove tooth enamel. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) said in their paper: (4)
- Polishing is a cosmetic procedure with little therapeutic value.
- Thorough brushing and flossing produce the same effect as polishing.
- Continuous polishing can, over time, cause morphological changes by abrading tooth structure.
- The outer layers of enamel are removed through polishing.
Their conclusion was that polishing should only be performed as needed and not be considered a routine procedure.
Deep-cleaning or Scaling
If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing this deep-cleaning method, it is a high-pressure water pearl salt that is shot between your teeth and gums to remove tartar and plaque.
Experts say it won’t harm your teeth or gums, and helps prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
However, there are some hazards of which you need to be aware:
- Improper teeth scaling can loosen teeth. If this happens, there is a chance you could lose several teeth.
- There are concerns for people who have diabetes or heart conditions.
- Inappropriate teeth scaling can cause gum or periodontal disease. Bacteria and food debris accumulate in the pockets left by the scaling procedure.
- If your teeth are already sensitive, teeth scaling can increase your sensitivity to hot or cold food.
While risks might be minimal and the rewards great, it is still best to be informed. You are your own best health advocate, and that goes for your teeth and gums, too!
In the pocket
Dentists are increasingly in the pockets of big corporations, pharmaceutical companies, and specialists. It is to their benefit to sell you … well, just about anything from fluoride to teeth straightening devices.
It is becoming a larger concern that your dental health decisions are at the mercy of dental insurance companies and corporate managers, and not necessarily what is best for you.
Allies of corporate dentistry offer high-dollar contracts that prey on new dentists trying to pay off student loans.
Out of YOUR pocket
The cost of going to the dentist is going up significantly. The average American will spend approximately $9,000+ out-of-pocket on dental procedures in one year.(5)
Dental insurance costs an average of $360 per year, which may only cover a portion of the actual cost of a procedure. If you don’t have dental insurance, a cleaning will cost about $150 each visit. If you have a cavity, you’ll pay between $90 and $250 for EACH filling. The cost of bridges, x-rays, crowns, extractions, etc. goes up from there.
Did you see this article: How Much Will You Spend At The Dentist?
George Carlin said something similar … Somewhere in the United States is the worst dentist. And what’s terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him or her tomorrow morning.
Hopefully, dentists will begin to stop this downward spiral into toxic dental care. Perhaps as patients begin to see the dangers of this type of dental practice, it will persuade the establishment to take a closer look at their materials and procedures.
Maybe it will be a time when people’s health is put before the ol’ mighty dollar.
What are your thoughts on the dental care system? Tell us your stories in the comments below.
1 Repeated Dental X-rays Without Neck Shielding Predispose to Thyroid Cancer. American Thyroid Association. [https://www.thyroid.org/professionals/ata-publications/clinical-thyroidology/september-2013-volume-25-issue-9/clin-thyroidol-201325201-202/]
2 Bacteria in dentist’s water send 30 kids to hospital. CNN. [http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/health/california-dental-water-bacteria/index.html]
3 Are Dental Sealants Safe? Dr. Weil. [https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/dental-oral-health/are-dental-sealants-safe/]
4 American Dental Hygienists’ Association Position on Polishing Procedures, 2001 [www.adha.org]
5 Dental Facts & Statistics. [https://www.dentalplans.com/press-room/dentalfactsfigures]
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