1819: English Chemist, Bell, invents a mercury-based dental amalgam filling material.
1830: Amalgam fillings used in U.S. Numerous harmful side effects reported.
1840: The American Society of Dental Surgeons denounced the use of amalgam due to concerns about mercury poisoning. Members of the society were required to pledge to avoid the mercury amalgam fillings. Many dentists continued to use amalgam because it was less costly and faster than the traditional gold materials.
1859: The pro-mercury amalgam faction in America formed its own dental society, first called the National Dental Association, later re-named the American Dental Association (ADA).
1926: Alfred Stock, German chemist, discovered that mercury was the source of his own health problems. Stock had his amalgam fillings removed and got better. He then studied the health problems of many of his friends and family and advised them to have their amalgams removed. He focused his study on the release of mercury vapor from the amalgams. He then advised his friends and families to have their amalgams removed, and they got better! He published his findings in over thirty scientific papers. Stock led an international movement to halt the use of amalgam filling.
1957: Dr. Karl O. Frykholm of Sweden published a study claiming that when saliva covers an amalgam filling, the mercury is no longer released. The study was flawed and invalid but the ADA did (and to this day still does) use Frykolm’s paper as proof that amalgam fillings were stable and safe.
1973: American Dentist Hal Huggins meets Brazilian dentist Olympia Pinto. Dr. Pinto informs Dr. Huggins that amalgam fillings are unstable and mercury from amalgams can trigger illness like Hodgkin’s Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia and MS. Dr. Pinto shared many studies on Amalgam research with Dr. Huggins who became a noted speaker and writer on the hazards of amalgams.
1979: Gay and others at the University of Iowa publish a report of their studies claiming a measurable release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings. The study also found that when the fillings were stimulated by chewing, brushing, or hot beverages the release was far greater.
1981: Svare at Ohio State confirms Gay’s previous findings.
1983: University of Calgary research dentist Murray Vimy joined Michael Ziff, an American dentist and author, to found the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). This Academy was founded to educate dentists and other health care professionals about evidence-based research, mercury-free dentistry, dental mercury detox and other related issues.
1987: Nylander, Friberg and Lind (Sweden) published a study of mercury levels in the brains of people who died of sudden, unexpected death. Mercury levels in the occipital lobe brain cortex correlated significantly with the number of amalgam fillings in the person’s mouth.
1987: Nylander (Sweden) and Eggleston (California) publish a similar autopsy study confirming a strong correlation between brain levels of mercury and the number of amalgam filling surfaces in teeth.
1988: DAMS (Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome) groups begin forming in Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago and elsewhere to educate the public on the potential health dangers of mercury fillings.
1989: Nylander and Friberg publish an autopsy study showing that mercury levels were much higher in the pituitary and thyroid glands of dental staff as compared to a non-dentist control group. The pituitary mercury level in the dental group was nearly forty times higher than that of the control group.
1990: Lorscheider and Vimy at University of Calgary School of Medicine pladed amalgam fillings with radioactive mercury into pregnant sheep and monkeys. After 29 days the mercury was traced and found in the kidneys, liver, GI tract, brain and unborn fetus. The highest levels were found in the pituitary glands of both mother and fetus.
1990: CBS television show 60 Minutes exposed the health hazards of mercury amalgams. Scientists Friberg, Lorscheider, Vimy, and Haley were interviewed. The program reviewed the science and exposed the biased attacks by state dental licensing boards on mercury-free, holistic dentists. The ADA spokesman contradicted himself and failed in his attempt to persuade.
1993: Anne Sommers, PhD microbiologist, reported that the placement of mercury fillings in monkeys and humans causes a major shift in the populations of bacteria found in the intestines. Through natural selection, some bacteria survive the mercury poisoning and become mercury resistant. The mercury resistant bacteria were found to become antibiotic resistant as well. Sommers concluded that amalgam tends to produce more antibiotic resistant bacteria.
1993: Degussa AG, the largest German manufacturer of amalgam, stops making dental amalgam.
1994: Sweden announces phase out of amalgam fillings beginning with pregnant mothers and children.
1994: Lorscheider, Vimy, and Haley report that elemental mercury vapor from amalgam fillings is toxic to brain neurons. Low-dose mercury causes neurofibrillary tangles in the brain which are regarded as a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease.
1994: Human autopsy study on SIDS babies published by Drasch and others at the University of Munich in Germany. Drasch found a strong correlation between the mercury levels in the brains and kidneys of the babies and the number of amalgam fillings in the mother’s teeth.
1995: G. Mark Richardson, PhD released a report for Health Canada on mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. He found that amalgams contribute about 50% to an adult’s mercury exposure and present an unacceptable hazard.
1996: Lutz confirms 1994 Drasch study. Lutz concluded that the mercury from the mother’s amalgam fillings is typically the major source of mercury for her unborn child.
1996: German government acts to curb the use of dental amalgams in children and women of child-bearing age.
1996: Health Canada publishes established guidelines for dentists discouraging the use of amalgam in children, pregnant women, people with kidney disorders and other vulnerable populations.
1999: IAOMT along with Consumers for Dental Choice and Moms Against Mercury sue FDA citing that dental amalgam is a medical device and therefore by law should be classified. IAOMT recommends class III classification which would place responsibility upon the manufacturer to prove the safety of its product.
2008: IAOMT/Consumers for Dental Choice/Moms Against Mercury win suit. FDA must classify dental amalgam by 7/28/09.
2008: FDA drastically changes position on dental amalgam and FDA website information relating to dental amalgam. The FDA removed claims that no science exists which validates concern for consumer safety regarding dental amalgam. It also removed claims that other countries have acted to limit or ban dental mercury for environmental reasons only. The FDA has now moved to a more neutral position recognizing the serious health concerns posed by amalgam especially for unborn children, children, pregnant women, people with mercury immuno-sensitivity or high mercury burdens.
2009: Denmark and Sweden implement a total ban on mercury including dental amalgams.