Kathleen Bernardi – Why I Write My Blog, Part 4
Last week I finished with a promise to discuss an entirely opposite view of mercury amalgam. In order to lay the ground work for this view, I am going to begin with a short history lesson in the mercury fillings story.
- The most common dental filling materials prior to Amalgam (mercury) were: cork, tin, wood chips, resins (e.g. pine) and lead.
- The word amalgam actually refers to any mixture of elemental mercury and other metals to form a unique compound.
- Typically a compound is named after its main ingredient. In this case, the names silver or amalgam fillings were adopted, not mercury fillings as should have been the case as elemental mercury is the main ingredient.
- 1816: The first mercury filling was created by a Frenchman named August Taveau when he mixed elemental mercury with shavings from silver coins.
- 1830: Two French brothers, the Crawcours brought mercury fillings to England.
- 1833: The Crawcours emigrated to the United States bringing their mercury fillings with them.
- The term dentist comes from the French word for tooth, dent.
- Amalgam became the filling material of choice as it was inexpensive, easy to mix and place, sealed the tooth better and lasted longer.
- Prior to 1840 there were two types of dentists: barber-dentists and doctor-dentists.
- Barber-dentists probably due to their adjustable chairs were in the business of cutting hair and pulling teeth.
- No training, regulations or consumer protections laws existed and because mixing and placing mercury fillings was easy barber-dentists adopted this new technique creating healthy profits in the process.
- Doctor-dentists or physician-dentists and the rest of the scientific community of that day knew that mercury was a poison as a result of having observed chronic mercury poisoning in the hat-making industry.
- Mad Hatters as they were known, were hat makers who after years of exposure to elemental mercury (common solution used to turn fur into felt for hats contained elemental mercury) would experience mercury-related neurological symptoms such as:
◊ emotional instability
◊ mood swings irritability
◊ regressive behavior
- Doctor-dentists did not fully understand how and why elemental mercury could cause these symptoms but recognized at the very least that elemental mercury was a health hazard and because it was contained in amalgam fillings it should be banned!!!
I will end here today and ask that you all contemplate that last point, keeping in mind who supported this and when it occurred!!!!! I would love your feedback. As always, I offer commentluv here on my blog. That’s a plug in that allows you to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.
Until next time,