It was very exciting to receive news this week that I’d be able to interview Dr. Ara Elmajian – an amazing resource for holistic dentistry practices. I had recorded the questions I’ve received from Mommy Footprint readers since July so I hope I’ve done justice to all of you wanting information on fluoride and mercury fillings. Let me start with my own thoughts on holistic dentistry. I’ve thought for awhile now that traditional dentistry would be the next area of major concern with chemical exposure. When I ask friends that are very green what they do to limit their chemical exposure with dentistry and they pause and answer “I’ve never thought of that before”, I get nervous. And my cause for concern is real because we as a society don’t think to ask what is being put into our mouth with dentistry. Or maybe they do think to ask, but it promoted by a health concern and the prevention stage for healthier dentistry is no longer relevant. After talking to Dr. Elmajian, I’m 100% convinced that there are many cover-ups with mainstream dentistry and I thank him for being totally frank in this interview. But since he’s had these beliefs for over 30 years, this new-age revelation of mine and so many other parents is old news. I thank him for his patience while I asked questions I’m sure he’s answered many times. Here are snippets of our conversation.
Dr. Elmajian started off by stating the US is considering banning mercury in dental work at the government’s level. Although he agreed with my thoughts that phasing out would be a slow process. Dr. Elmajian pointed out that dentists being trained today are still taught how to use mercury fillings in universities across North America. So the question of “is mercury/amalgam fillings still being used in dentistry today” is void. Yes. Dentists are using it, being taught how to use it, and it will be up to you to ask questions about what is going into your mouth. Many old fashioned dentists will continue, no matter what is legislated so it’s up to you. For me, I’ll start treating dentist visits like being a consumer, purchasing a product. Ask questions and keep asking until you find out and understand what they are putting in your mouth.
“So what is the best alternative to fill a cavity or filling?” I asked. Dr. Elmajian answered that ideally it’s best to have compatibility testing done. Immune systems can be sensitive to many different materials. Lots of people have allergies to gold, white filling do contain a resin, etc., so compatibility testing can ensure your body is happy with the material being used with dentistry. Also, new ceramic materials are gaining in popularity. This testing is approx. $300 and you have blood drawn to decide what is the best material for your mouth. When I asked about people having major health problems, chronic infections, these can be caused when mercury and other metals combined leading to mercury vapors leaching into your mouth, that process is called oral galvanism. Dr. Elmajian mentioned the video called Smoking Tooth because it describes how with every time you chew, mercury vapors are escaping that could lead to cardiovascular, immune, arthritis problems and many health issues related to heavy metal toxicity.
One look at Dr. Elmajian’s website, www.draraelmajian.ca and you’ll be happy with the amount of information you’ll discover about detoxing the body of mercury, he is passionate about this subject. He advises that mercury fillings are always leaching. Always you might ask? He will say always. When you chew, drink water, and the 2nd video on his website you will see the vapors that escape from mercury when eating. He said that a filling can be in your mouth for 100 years and mercury vapors will still leach. So you can understand at this point why I stopped asking any questions related to “is mercury a dangerous material for dentistry?” The answer every time will be yes. And the process to remove the mercury is also dangerous so it’s important to do your research and go to a facility that uses proper suction system and procedures. Dr. Elmajian’s website can give you more information on what is involved with a mercury filling removal – it is a treatment process, not just involving the removal. There is diagnostic work, the removal, and follow up detox processes. At this point in our conversation I asked “do you wait for an illness to occur before thinking about removing mercury?” Dr. Elmajian laughed because this is not a question he can answer. Neither can I. Only you can. Dr.Elmajian believes in individualized care because each person has their unique biochemical individuality including how much, for example heavy metals their bodies could tolerate. Also the rate of detoxification by our eliminating organs, such as the kidney, liver etc… differ in individuals. Therefor, you have to take all of that in consideration. He left me with the question of “why would you want your system burdened with putting a material such as mercury in the body?” The birth of neurological disease, Alzheimer’s surfaced 30-50 years ago – there is no doubt in Dr. Elmajian’s mind that the brain is loaded with heavy materials and dentistry and neurological disease have some relationship.
Prevention is the key. We have the information, now we need to prevent. I asked what parents can do when their children have been told they have cavities (as mine do). He said the composite can be used, but with caution. When I asked about using Gold in an adult’s mouth he said there are many people that react to gold because of allergies and that the new ceramics that are emerging are good alternatives and yes, then are adhered with a thin bonding material. Dr. Elmajian also shared that parents across North America that are looking for answers or resources to contact, can log onto the following sites: www.IABDM.com or www.IAOMT.com (great site – you can find dentists in your province and state that don’t use mercury!).
The discussion of fluoride was also a very passionate topic with Dr. Elmajian. For over 25 years, fluoride has been an unnecessary addition into our bodies. Because it’s in the food chain, we are still getting access to it – even if it’s not in our drinking water, toothpaste, or dental routine. He agreed that xylitol is good with combating the ‘bugs’ that cause tooth decay. Simple to understand: acid = decay. Bugs eat the xylitol and therefor don’t produce the acid. In addition to using xylitol, genetic makeup says a lot about the condition of your teeth, proper hygiene is huge (proper plaque removal), and taking a good liquid form of minerals to absorb into the body. Liquid minerals, Dr. Elmajian explained are very important because we don’t get enough minerals in our food. Also proper brushing and flossing is important because plaque is composed of many colonies of millions of microbes of different genetic make up. Some are known to cause cardiovascular disease and auto immune disease. The decay causing microbe is called strep mutans. The microbes that create acid can destroy our tooth enamel. When plaque is removed, these steps won’t occur. I called Planet Organic and they told me that liquid minerals are available (their brand is called Liquid Mineral Concentrace) and although minerals are available in tablet, the system will absorb the liquid form more quickly.
I’d like to thank Dr. Elmajian for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to talk with me. It must be very rewarding for Dr. Elmajian to be a pioneer in the world of holistic approaches with dentistry. Traditional dentistry seems to have some ‘old boys club’ type characteristics and it is up to you to question your dentist. It’s no longer the greenie hippies talking about the dangers of fluoride and mercury. Talk to your doctor, talk to a holistic doctor, and talk to your naturopath until you are comfortable with the answers given for dental care. We need to think about what is being put in a porous area of our body and what the effects are with heat, cold, grinding, and age. Wow – such an enlightening day and although this journey can be scary, I always like to embrace the knowledge that certain professions and traditional ‘experts’ don’t have the answers. Rather, many beliefs in dentistry seem out of date and downright dangerous if these people aren’t questioned. Thank you Dr. Elmajian – I hope to be back with more questions…thank you for the last 30 years of holistic dentistry & knowledge.