Dentists are Disciplined and Gagged
for Warning the Public about Mercury Fillings

Gagging Stories about dentists in Colorado, Connecticut and Virginia

By Marie Flowers
December 2006

Dentists in Virginia and other states are being disciplined by state dental boards or regulatory agencies for warning patients or the public about mercury dental fillings or other harmful procedures such as root canals.

Dr. Hal Huggins, Anti Mercury Pioneer Who Lost His License

Dr. Hal Huggins lost his dental license in Colorado for speaking out against mercury fillings and root canals. His web site says in his biography, "Once highly regarded by the American Dental Association and speaker at many of the major dental conventions, his vigorous stand against silver (mercury) amalgams, patented and profited by the American Dental Association, finally resulted in his losing his dental license in 1996 for refusing to refer patients for placing silver amalgams or to recommend or refer patients for root canals."

Dr. Mark Breiner of Connecticut Gains Some Free Speech Rights

In 2001, Dr. Mark Breiner, of Connecticut, author of Whole Body Dentistry:Discover the Missing Piece to Better Health, was disciplined and fined $5,000 in December 2001 for advising patients that their mercury fillings and root canals could be contributing to their health problems. His disciplinary actions were categorized under fraud/deceit/incompetence/negligence in his consent order. Now tell me who is practicing fraud? A dentist who tells his patients that the fillings are not just silver, but mostly mercury, or the American Dental Association and the Connecticut Department of Public Health who doesn't want the public to know about the harmful effects of mercury fillings?

In his consent order the DPH also told him you "shall not remove teeth that have undergone root canal treatment that cannot be corrected by treatment of the root canal itself, retrograde filling or surgical apioectomy, or in which the root canal is fractured, without first providing the patient with the names and telephone numbers of two medical professionals approved by the Department with whom the patient may consult as to the traditional medical position on the planned treatment."

So if a root canal was causing health problems in a patient, Dr. Breiner was not to remove it, but to put in a retrograde filling. That means he was to put mercury down under the gumline and surgical apioectomy means he was to put mercury down in the root of the tooth, after cutting into the gums down at the root. Can you imagine mercury, not just on top of your teeth, but also down in the meat of your gums, down at the tip of your roots where it is in contact with your flesh?

Manufacturers of amalgam fillings warn against the placement of retrograde fillings. But that is what dentists do to "save" a root canal. We have testimonies at DAMS of severe poisoning by mercury used in a surgical apioectomy.

Dr. Breiner got in trouble again with the Connecticut Department of Public Health when he wrote an editorial to the Connecticut Post newspaper warning against mercury fillings when there was a mercury spill in a local high school. According to a press release from Consumers for Dental Choice,
The state threatened to review Dr. Breiner's license to practice after he wrote an article, published July 6, 2003 in the Connecticut Post, saying, "I am convinced that mercury in these amalgams is neither stable nor inert; scientific evidence suggests it goes to all tissues and organs, especially the jaw, liver, kidneys and brain." Soon after the article was published, the state Department of Public Health told Dr. Breiner that he had to "refrain from submitting any more editorials concerning [his] opinion of amalgam fillings and/or legislation."
In his support of the federal bill to ban mercury fillings and his warning the public about the dangers of mercury fillings, the Department of Public Health said Dr. Breiner had violated his first consent order back in 2001 to not speak against mercury fillings.

There were newspaper articles from the Courant Times and the New Haven Register about his being gagged.

Breiner brought a suit and in federal court was awarded some of his free speech rights. Charlie Brown, national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice, wrote in a press release, "The modified consent decree now specifies that nothing in it 'shall be construed as prohibiting [Breiner] from communicating to others, including members of the press or private individuals ... or writing or publishing op-ed pieces or articles, or speaking at a public forum or not-for-profit educational seminar about his opinions relating to amalgam fillings.'

Breiner is still barred, however, from recommending that patients have amalgam fillings removed. 'I do not have free speech within the confines of my office,' Breiner said. 'When you have a license, you forfeit certain freedoms.'"

The press release continues, "Under the out-of-court settlement with the State, Dr. Breiner will be allowed to write or lecture about amalgam or any other opinion he holds.

However, under the agreement, if Dr. Breiner includes his views in an advertisement, the advertisement must contain a statement noting that the State Health Department has an opposing opinion."

See complete press release at the Consumers for Dental Choice web site announcing the Connecticut Board backing down.

See a July 24, 2005 New York Times newspaper article posted on Dr. Breiner's website ( announcing his victory to speak up against mercury fillings.

Some states have now ungagged all their dentists and they can speak out against mercury dental fillings, but here in Virginia, dentists are still being dragged before the Board of Dentistry in Richmond if they speak out against the fillings, especially in advertising.

Dr. Peters Evans in Virginia Fined for Advertising as a "Natural Dentist" (No Mercury Being Used)

Dr. Peter Evans, an IAOMT ( dentist from Williamsburg, Virgina received a letter from the Virginia Board of Dentistry dated November 23, 2003. He was acused by the Board that he "caused to be published an advertisment in the Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, Virginia identifying his practice as providing 'Natural Dental Care,' a phrase that is misleading to the public and implies a claim of superiority." He was reprimanded and fined $1,000. Dr. Evans signed this consent order and didn't fight it.

Dental Boards gag and control dentists through restictions in the law pertaining to advertising. According to the Virginia Administrative Code (18 VAC 60-20-180 Advertising), Some of the laws they use to persecute mercury free dentists are listed below. "The following practices shall constitute false, deceptive or misleading advertising within the meaning of 54.1 -2706(7) of the Code of Virginia:

  • Publishing an advertisement which contains a claim of professional superiority

  • Claims to be a specialist, or uses any of the terms to designate a dental specialty unless he is entitled to such specialty designation under the guidelines or requirements for specialties approved by the American Dental Association.

  • Publishing an advertisement which contains a representation orimplication that is likely to cause an ordinarily prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived, or that fails to contain reasonable warnings or disclaimers necessary to make a representation or implication not deceptive.

Dentists deceive patients everyday by not telling them silver fillings are mercury. In fact, in some cases when a patient asks for a white filling, the dentist tells them that they have an amalgam filling that does not have mercury. This happened to a Virginia educator from a local university in 2005.

Dentists call the fillings "silver" when they are more mercury than silver. They call them amalgam, which is not deceiving, but it just clouds the issue, since patients don't know that amalgam means "mixed with mercury." But this deception is sanctioned by the Board of Dentistry. I only listed some of the advertising laws on this page, but if you clicked on the link above you can see the all the advertising laws pertaining to dentistry.

When I saw on the Board of Health Professionals' web site that Dr. Evan had been disciplined, and knowing that he was a biological dentists, I called Linda Cifelli and Anne Ferriera in Williamsburg. They are DAMS Coordinators there. Anne contacted the local press to draw attention to the fact that the public was being deceived by not knowing that silver fillings were actually mercury fillings and dentists were being persecuted for trying to advertise and warn the public.

On Dr. Evan's web site he had made the remark, "Learn about our practice's natural philosophy, mercury free and biocompatible services." That is what the Board didn't like--his mercury free and biocompatible services.

See the article from the Williamsburg Gazette.

In a newspaper article from the Daily Press, Sandra K. Reen, executive director of the dentistry board, said Evans violated a Board of Dentistry regulation that "you must describe your practice with terminology that is accurate and accepted within the dental community."

Reen would not explain why the phrase "natural dentistry" implies a claim of superiority, saying that information was "not a matter of public record." Anne Ferreira wrote an editorial to the Daily Press that was published under the heading Different Standards.
Different Standards

Thank you for bringing attention to a very important, biased issue in the dental community. The Dec. 20 article "Dentist reprimaned for misleading public " referred to a local dentist advertising in the Virginia Gazette that he practiced "natural dentistry." Sandra Reen, the executive director of the virginia Board of Dentistry, refused to explain why the phrase "natural dentistry" implies a claim of superiority, saying that information was "not a matter of public record."

Dentists as well as laypersons will be interested in Reen's definition of natural dentistry. Claims of superiority are usually quite clear. This case requires some examination.

What is wrong with a dentist advertising natural dentistry? Why does it imply a claim of superiority? Why is that information not a matter of public record?

Also, can the Board of Dentistry explain the following samples of advertisements in Virginia phone books by dentists?

  • Experience the future of dentistry today
  • Discover our advanced dentistry with a soft touch
  • Combining art and science to give you the highest quality care
  • Quality dental care for the discriminating patient
  • State-of-the-art dentistry
These ads are dishonest, insulting, deceptive and claim of superiority to mislead the public. The Virginia Board of Dentsitry needs to define why they have a double standard for different dentists.

Anne Ferreira
On December 20, 2003 the Daily Press published an editorial by Dr. David Kennedy. (Both Dr. Kennedy from California and Dr. Evans belong to the IAOMT.)

I was appalled that the Virginia Dental Board has once again chosen to thwart the free exchange of dental health information and reprimand an excellent, highly qualified, health oriented dentist who had the audacity to provide mercury-free care to his patients.

They claim that he is misleading the public, yet they have never once reprimanded a dentist for calling a 50% mercury filling "silver." Be honest, toxic mercury fillings aren't silver. They are more than 50% mercury. They should truthfully be called mercury fillings.

Natural appears on every box of cereal in the health food store and no government agency has found that to be misleading to the public. Why don't they crack down on trade associations, like the American Dental Association, that have falsely claimed for 150 years that mercury/silver fillings do not release mercury?

Research has proven that mercury/silver fillings do release substantial amounts of mercury and, as a result, are the predominant source of human exposure to this very toxic element. We read every day about the dangers of pregnant women getting mercury from fish. In 1991 the World Health Organization determined that the majority of human exposure to mercury is from mercury/silver fillings.

I think it is time for a new, more honest, dental board and for the dentists to stop misleading the public by calling toxic mercury fillings "silver." The dental board should be ashamed of their behavior, in once again serving their trade association and not the public's best interest.

David Kennedy, DDS
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
3243 Madrid Street
San Diego, CA 92110

A lot of products are called natural, but natural dentisty is not a category of dentistry recognized by the ADA, so dentists that advertise had better not put a "speciality" name on their practice, such as "natural." There was a dental organization known as The Institute for Natural Dentistry, but they have now changed their name to The Institute for Nutritional Dentistry.

One web site explains "Natural dental care means preserving as much of your natural tooth as possible. We'll strengthen and improve what you have instead of drilling it away or covering it up. You'll like our gentle holistic approach." That does make sense because there is more of the tooth structure lost with the use of amalgam fillings.

Now let's go back to the "speciality" advertising. Cosmetic dentists advertise all the time that they have a "Cosmetic" dental practice and that is not an ADA recognized speciality in dentistry either, but these dentists are not dragged before the board and fined for advertisng that they are cosmetic dentists. It is okay to advertise that the dentist makes your mouth pretty, but it is not okay to advertise that he can remove a toxin from your mouth or protect you from mercury.

It might be better for dentists in Virginia to just leave out the adjective in front of the word dentist. Don't advertise "natural" dentist or "biological" dentist or "mercury free" dentist, but find a way to say it without using an adjective. How about "We use natural colored tooth fillings without heavy metals like mercury"? Or if you are a brave dentist in Virginia go ahead and tell all about mercury in an ad, and then don't back down. Take it all the way by fighting back with a freedom of speech suit the way Dr. Mark Breiner did in Connecticut.

Dr. Wayne Myles Punished for Warning About "The Failing Amalgam"
in the Washington Post

Dr. Wayne Myles from Herndon, Virginia received a letter from the Board of Dentistry dated June 30, 2004. He also was accused of making false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims by publishing an article called "The Failing Amalgam" in a supplement to the Washington Post called "Dentalife." The following was listed as false, misleading and deceptive, according to the Board of Dentistry:
  • The advertising title, "The Failing amalgam."

  • Next to plutonium mercury is the second most toxic substance known to mankind.

  • The amount of mercury emitted from a newly placed, single, large silver filling is substantial enough that if the same amount of mercury was added to a 10 acre lake, the government would condemn the lake and not allow its fish to be eaten.

  • Over time, this mercury leaks out of fillings. Within 15 years, there is no trace of mercury remaining in the filling having all been released into your body. Mercury shows up in the liver and kidneys, in mother's milk, and passes through the placental barrier.

  • ....amalgam scrap removed from patients' teeth have to be stored in a labeled hazardous waste container requiring special pickup for its disposal..[Editor's note: He is telling the truth. See ADA literature about amalgam waste.]

  • It would be highly unlikely that amalgams, if just invented, would be approved today.

  • Aware of the expansive nature of mercury, why do many dentists place amalgams containing 55% mercury into a brittle tooth, short, this material is prehaps the main culprit in tooth fracture.

He was charged for making a claim of superiority for saying about himself, "Less than .01% of practicing dentists have completed this level of advanced training in the United States.

He was charged with failing to tell the full cost of a discount he was offering on particular dental services. He may have violated advertising laws in not listing the whole cost of a service, but most of his facts about mercury can be backed up, some of it ADA dental literature.

In his consent order he agreed to stop distributing The Failing Amalgam" article, to stop talking about his level of training being advanced, and to stop advertising a service without telling its cost before the discount. You can read his consent order. He was fined $1,000 and if he fails to obey this order, can have his license suspended or revoked.

Now once again, who is guilty of fraud? Dr. Myles, or the Dental Board for not allowing people to know that amalgam fillings are one of the leading causes of tooth fractures? It is in the Journal of the American Dental Association. If you do a google search on the ADA's web site you might find them even talking about tooth fracture from amalgam fillings. By the way, it is easy to find medical journal articles online or go to Pub Med to access medical journals, but it is very hard for the public to read the JADA, the Journal of the American Dental Association. I have to go to a university library that teaches dentistry to read their journals. I can't read them online. Why aren't these journals accessible to the public? What do they have to hide?

Dr. James and Dr. Jennifer Rice

Dr. James and Dr. Jennifer Rice, a husband and wife, advertised about mercury fillings in the Charlottesville Observer. We passed this information about their disciplinary actions to the Senate Health Committee when we tried to get an informed consent law passed in Virginia. You can read the Rices' story here. Dr. Rice stated in his advertisement that mercury fillings cause toxic amounts of mercury to leak into the bloodstream. He also stated that amalgam expands and contract causing your teeth to crack, leading to the necessity for more expensive dental work to have to be done later. That was the same point Dr. Wayne Myles made in "The Failing Amalgam" advertisment in the Washington Post.

Their story shows that some dentists do not have a fair or even legal proceeding before the dental board. Dr. Rice said the board violated ten rights he was supposed to have in a hearing. His lawyer told him he had never seen such a miscarriage of justice.

On the day that the Rices were being fined by the dental board in Richmond for trying to let the public know about the harm of mercury dental fillings, an ADA spokesman was testifying before the Goverment Reform Committee in Washington DC, swearing up and down that the ADA encouraged patient choice, and that the ADA encouraged their dentists to talk to their patients about dental materials. I heard the ADA spokesman testify that day. I was there. [Liar, liar, pants on fire]

That was the day that Sandy Duffy testifed about how dentists are gagged and how it passes from the ADA down to the state dental organizations. The whole committee hearing that day was about Informed Consent and patients knowing and making a choice about what was in their dental fillings. You can read transcripts on these Congressional hearings from 2003 on this web site.

So on the very day that the ADA spokesman claimed the ADA encouraged patient choice, and he even passed out a press release with that name on the title, the Rices were in Virginia being fined, not allowed to cross examine the Board's witness against them, and not even having a semblance of a fair trial. Dr. Rice had Charlie Brown with him and he wasn't allowed to cross examine the Board's witness. Go back and look at the transcripts of these dentists. That is one thing they are supposed to have---an opportunity to cross examine the dental board's witnesses against them.

Some dentists are more cautious. One biological dentist in Virginia did not want to appear before the Senate Health Committee when we tried to get an informed consent law passed in Virginia. He was afraid of the dental board. He did write an anoymous letter for us to distribute to legislators that expressed his concern about the use of mercury dental fillings.

I am not writing this story to embarrass dentists who have been disciplined. The public and lawmakers need to know under what conditions biological and mercury free dentists have to work. The public needs to know that dentists being gagged is the reason we do know about the poison in our mouths.

Vote with your feet! WALK OUT! If your dentist still uses mercury, don't go back to him. Call his office and tell him why. If these dentists in these stories are risking their licenses and money trying to defend themselves from the dental boards, to try to warn the public about the dangers of mercury, why do you keep going to a dentist who might someday poison you or your family? Mercury using dentists need to be boycotted. You don't owe him any loyalty. He didn't tell you the truth about what he is putting in your teeth.

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