Due to conservation issues and concerns about mercury buildup in ocean water fish, in 2004 the Environmental Protection Agency advised that women of child-bearing age and young children avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel. Additionally, it was recommended that consumption of albacore tuna be limited to six ounces or less every week, and other fish low in mercury like salmon to 12 ounces a week or less for these two groups.
Fish consumption and amalgam dental metals are two of the main sources of mercury exposure, another is passed from mother to child during pregnancy. As of June, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration has stated that silver-colored amalgam fillings, which contain up to 50% mercury, may not be advisable for pregnant women and young children.
In San Francisco, where approximately 1,600 dentists practice from 600 offices, studies of the Bay revealed that one of the chief sources of pollution was mercury from dental offices. As of 2004, with the mandatory installation of amalgam separators, and other regulatory measures, pollution in the Bay has now been significantly reduced. However, conservation improvement came about only after the filtration became mandatory. As of September, 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency continues to support a voluntary program.
Although dental metals account for 14% of the metal waste found in the ocean, no state regulatory boards have made mercury/amalgam filtration mandatory as yet. It may well be that the momentum in this area will have to come from consumers. Do you know whether your dentist has an amalgam separator that keeps mercury out of the water system?]
Ultimately, all our activities have an impact on the eco-system, contributing to our own well-being and to that of future generations. Recycling, becoming active locally, supporting green businesses and organizations dedicated to conservation like Surfrider and the Wyland Foundation are some of the ways we can help to create sustainability.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.