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Sunday, 27 January 2013

You put WHAT in my mouth?!

S.O.T.T: Remember when you were a kid, and a trip to the dentist meant a dip into the Treasure Chest for a sparkly ring or a tiny plastic puzzle? It also usually meant a big silvery filling. But more and more we are finding that silver should be wrapped around your finger, not embedded in your teeth. As kids, our parents took us to the dentist without a second thought to the composition of our fillings. The dentist said you had a cavity and it had to be filled. Mercury amalgam was the filling of choice, so case closed. Imported from Germany to the US in the 1850s, amalgam is a combination of liquid mercury, powdered silver, tin and copper. Back then, the term 'silver filling' was deliberately misleading because the compound was more than 50% mercury, an element used by milliners (aka hatters). The hatters worked in confined areas and their exposure to the mercury fumes for extended periods caused irrational behavior, which became known as Mad Hatter disease. To this day,when used to fill a person's tooth, its vapor is released into the lungs, the brain - in fact, every organ system in the body - for a long, long more>>>...