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"When people ask me what they should do to detox from mercury, all I have to say is 'Read Dr. Alison Adams book, Chronic Fatigue, ME and Fibromyalgia: THE NATURAL RECOVERY PLAN'. It sure makes my job as a dental hygienist easy knowing they will get good, true information from a survivor who really knows her stuff. Thank you, Dr. Adams for writing an excellent book that will help many people on this earth. You are a true Angel!!!
Marisa Russo, Dental Hygienist, Nutritionist and Anti-Amalgam Campaigner

Research: Results of Removal of Dental Amalgam Fillings

Female dentist works

I. Introduction 

1. For the week following amalgam removal, body mercury levels increase significantly, depending on protective measures taken, but within 2 weeks levels fall significantly. Chronic conditions can worsen temporarily, but usually improve if adequate precautions are taken to reduce exposure during removal.

2. Removal of amalgam fillings resulted in a significant reduction in body burden and body waste product load of mercury. Total reduction in mercury levels in blood and urine is often over 80% within a few months. On average those with 29 amalgam surfaces excreted over 3 times more mercury in urine after DMPS challenge than those with 3 amalgam surfaces, and those with 45 amalgam surfaces more than 6 times as much mercury. 

3. For the following case studies of amalgam replacement, some clinics primarily replaced amalgam fillings using patient protective measures and supportive supplements, whereas some clinics do something comparable to Hal Huggins total dental revision where in addition to amalgam replacement, patients gold or nickel crowns over amalgam are replaced by biocompatible alternatives, root canals extracted and cavitations checked for and cleaned. There are extensive documented cases (many thousands) where removal of amalgam fillings led to cure or significant improvement of serious health problems such as: 

  • Periodontal diseases such as tissue inflammation, metal mouth, mouth sores, bone loss and burning mouth
  • Oral lichen planus and leukoplakia
  • Oral keratosis (pre-cancerous mucosal lesion)
  • Immune system dysfunction and autoimmune problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Allergies 
  • Asthma
  • Chronic headaches and/or migraines
  • Concentration problems and/or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Tachycardia and/or heart problems
  • Blood conditions
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Dizziness and/or vertigo
  • Joint pain and/or arthritis 
  • Neuropathy and/or paraesthesia  
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease and muscle tremors
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Memory disorders 
  • Muscular and/or joint pain and fibromyalgia
  • Infertility
  • Endometriosis
  • Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Anger
  • Anxiety & mental confusion
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Antibiotic resistant infections
  • Cancers such as breast and leukaemia  
  • Alopecia and hair loss
  • Sinus problems
  • Ringing in the ears/tinnitus
  • Chronic eye conditions including conditions such as: inflammation; iritis; astigmatism; myopia; cataracts; macular degeneration; retinitis pigmentosa and loss of colour vision.
  • Vision disturbances
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Skin conditions
  • Urinary and prostrate problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Candida
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Diabetes  
  • HIV/AIDs     


The above over 60,000 cases of cure or significant improvements were not isolated cases of cures; the clinical studies indicated a large majority of most such type cases treated showed significant improvement. Details are available and case histories.  

For example, one of the clinics replacing amalgams in a large number of patients with chronic conditions had full recovery or significant improvement:

  • In over 90% of cases suffering with metallic taste, tender teeth, bad breath and mouth sores
  • In over 80% of cases for depression, irrational fear, headaches and/or migraines, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, bleeding gums, throat irritation, nasal congestion or discharge, muscle tremor, and leg cramps.
  • In over 70% of cases for bloating or intestinal cramps, skin reactions, sciatic pain, chest pain, poor memory, urinary disorders, fatigue, poor concentration/ADD and watery eyes.
  • In over 60% of cases for allergies, constipation, muscle fatigue, cold hands and/or feet and heart problems.


A Jerome meter was used to measure mercury vapour level in the mouth, and the average was 54.6 micrograms mercury per cubic metre of air, far above the Government health guideline for mercury.

Some of the above cases used chemical or natural chelation to reduce accumulated mercury body burden in addition to amalgam replacement. Some clinics using DMPS for chelation reported over 80% with chronic health problems were cured or significantly improved. 

Other clinics reported similar success. But the recovery rate of those using dentists with special equipment and training in protecting the patient reported much higher success rates than those with standard training and equipment, 97% versus 37 to 88%. The Huggins TDR protocol includes testing teeth with metal for level of galvanic current caused by the mixed metals, and removal of the teeth with highest negative galvanic current first. This has been found to improve recovery rate for chronic conditions like epilepsy and autoimmune conditions. Metals are being pushed into the body from negatively charged metal dental work with saliva as electrolyte and the highest charged teeth lose the most metal to the body.

Clinical studies have found that  patch testing is not a good predictor of success of amalgam removal, as a high percentage of those testing negative also recovered from chronic conditions after replacement of fillings.

The Huggins Clinic using TDR has successfully treated over a thousand patients with chronic autoimmune conditions like MS, Lupus, ALS, AD and diabetes, including himself with the population of over 600 (approximately 85%) who experienced significant improvement in MS. In a large German study of MS patients after amalgam revision, extraction resulted in 85% recovery rate versus only 16% for filling replacement alone. 

Other cases have found that recovery from serious autoimmune diseases, dementia, or cancer may require more aggressive mercury removal techniques than simple filling replacement due to body burden. This appears to be due to migration of mercury into roots & gums that is not eliminated by simple filling replacement. That such mercury (and similarly bacteria) in the teeth and gums have direct routes to the brain and CNS has been documented by several medical studies.

Among those with chronic immune system problems with related immune antibodies, the types showing the highest level of antibody reductions after amalgam removal include glomerular basal membrane, thyroglobulin, and microsomal thyroid antigens. TDR and other measures used in metals detox have been found to increase T-cells and immune function in AIDS patients. 

Swedish researchers have developed a sophisticated test for immune/autoimmune reactions that has proved successful in diagnosing and treating environmentally caused diseases such as lichen planus, CFS and MS related to mercury and other immunotoxics.

Interviews of a large population of Swedish patients that had amalgams removed due to health problems found that virtually all reported significant health improvements and that the health improvements were permanent (study period 17 years). A compilation of an even larger population found similar results. For example 89% of those reporting allergies had significant improvements or total elimination; extrapolated to U.S. population this would represent over 17 million people who would benefit regarding allergies alone.


II. Tests For Mercury Level Or Toxicity And Treatment

Faeces is the major path of excretion of mercury from the body, having a higher correlation to systemic body burden than urine or blood, which tend to correlate with recent exposure level. 

Faecal test

For this reason many researchers consider faeces to be the most reliable indicator of daily exposure level to mercury or other toxics. The average level of mercury in faeces of populations with amalgam fillings is as much as 1 ppm and approximately 10 times that of a similar group without fillings, with significant numbers of those with several filings having over 10 ppm and 170 times those without fillings. For those with several fillings daily faecal mercury excretion levels range between 20 to 200mcg/day. 

Saliva test

The saliva test is another good test for daily mercury exposure, done commonly in Europe and representing one of the largest sources of mercury exposure. There is only a weak correlation between blood or urine mercury levels and body burden or level in a target organ. 

Blood test

Mercury vapour passes through the blood rapidly [half-life in blood is 10 seconds (370)] and accumulates in other parts of the body such as the brain, kidneys, liver, thyroid and pituitary glands. Thus blood test measures mostly recent exposure.  

Urine test

Kidneys have a lot of hydroxyl (SH) groups which mercury binds to causing accumulation in the kidneys, and inhibiting excretion. As damage occurs to kidneys over time, mercury is less efficiently eliminated, so urine tests are not reliable for body burden after long term exposure. 

Hair test

Some researchers suggest hair offers a better indicator of mercury body burden than blood or urine, though still not totally reliable and may be a better indicator for organic mercury than inorganic. 

In the early stages of mercury exposure before major systemic damage other than slight fatigue results you usually see high haemoglobin, haemocrit, alkaline phosphatase, and lactic dehydroganese; in later states you usually see marginal haemoglobin, haemocrit, plus low oxyhaemoglobin. Hair levels were found to be significantly correlated with fish consumption, as well as with occupational dental exposure and to be a good medium for monitoring internal mercury exposure, except that external occupational exposure can also affect hair levels. Mercury hair level in a population sampled in Madrid Spain ranged from 1.3 to 92.5 ppm. This study found a significant positive correlation between maternal hair mercury and mercury level in nursing infants. 

Hair mercury levels did not have a significant correlation with urine mercury in one study and did not have a significant correlation to number of fillings. One researcher suggests that mercury levels in hair of greater than 5 ppm are indicative of mercury intoxication.

Fractionated porphyrin test

A new test approved by the FDA for diagnosing damage that has been caused by toxic metals like mercury is the fractionated porphyrin test, that measures the amount of damage as well as the likely source. Mercury blocks enzymes needed to convert some types of porphyrins to haemoglobin and adenosine tri phosphate (ATP). The pattern of which porphyrins are high gives an indication of likely toxic exposure, with high precoproporphyrin almost always high with mercury toxicity and often coproporphyrin.  

Provocation/challenge tests

Provocation challenge tests after use of chemical chelators such as DMPS or DMSA also are effective at measuring body burden, but high levels of DMPS can be dangerous to some people – especially those who still have amalgam fillings or those that are allergic to sulphur drugs or sulphites. Many studies using chemical chelators such as DMPS or DMSA have found post-chelation levels to be poorly correlated with pre-chelation blood or urine levels, but one study found a significant correlation between pre- and post-chelation values when using DMPS. 

Challenge tests using DMPS or DMSA appear to have a better correlation with body burden and toxicity symptoms such as concentration, memory and motor deficits – with many studies finding a significant correlation between post-chelation mercury level and the number of amalgam surfaces. On average those with 29 amalgam surfaces excreted over 3 times more mercury in urine after DMPS challenge than those with 3 amalgam surfaces, and those with 45 amalgam surfaces more than 6 times as much mercury. 

Several doctors use 16 mcg/l as the upper bound for mercury after DMPS challenge, and consider anyone with higher levels to have excess body burden. However one study found significant effects at lower levels. Some researchers believe DMSA has less adverse side effects than DMPS and prefer to use DMSA for chelation for this reason. Some studies have also found DMSA as more effective at removing mercury from the brain. A common protocol for DMSA (developed to avoid redistribution effects) is 50 mg orally every 4 hours for 3 days and then 11 days off. Another chelator used for clogged arteries, EDTA, forms toxic compounds with mercury and can damage brain function. Use of EDTA may need to be restricted in those with high Hg levels. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been found to be effective at increasing cellular glutathione levels and chelating mercury. 


Further resources

This is a SAMPLE, for the fully referenced PDF version of this research article click The Results of Removal of Dental Amalgam Fillings. Related research PDFs are available by clicking the relevant links ilable on the Research page.

The issue of chronic mercury poisoning from dental amalgam fillings and a detoxification programme are outlined in The Natural Recovery Plan book.

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Results of removal of amalgam fillings research: Article summary

This research article examines 60,000 cases of documented improvements in a variety of health conditions and diseases as a result of dental amalgam filling removal and replacement combined with a programme of mercury detoxification.


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A Natural Recovery Plan Research Article written by Bernard Windham. 
Alison Adams Dentist, Naturopath, Author and Online Health Coach
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