Mercury safe dentistry seems like a good idea for everyone, so I wasn’t expecting so much controversy from Dr. Tom McGuire’s article on the topic (read the article). Though dentists have lots to say about the consumer safety of amalgam fillings, that’s not what we’re talking about here.
We’re just talking about protecting dentists, staff and patients from mercury exposure during amalgam removals. Doesn’t that seem like something everyone can agree is important, regardless of whether one is pro-or anti-amalgam?
I’d like to address some of the points readers raised about Dr. McGuire’s article.
“Since when is anyone who wants to promote his moneymaking ‘seminar’ considered to be ‘a leading authority?’On what grounds?Is he an established professor at an accredited dental school? In which department? Sheesh, if I call myself an ‘expert toxicologist’ six times before lunch, does that make me one?”
– Bill C., DDS
I think it’s safe to call someone “a leading authority” when they’re authored multiple books on the subject and founded a professional association, like Tom McGuire, DDS, founder of the International Association of Mercury Free & Mercury Safe Dentists (IAMFD).
I understand you may disagree with some of Dr. McGuire’s opinions. But the fact of the matter is, he’s a heavy-hitter in amalgam debate.
As for his seminars…
“Since all of the uproar about Dr. McGuire’s article I decided to visit the seminar website. I didn’t see anything about arguing that amalgams are a health hazard. All I got was that dentistry is a high risk occupation because of mercury and that it would be prudent, for many reasons, to deal with the occupational exposure to it. I really don’t see this about being pro or anti-amalgam and I still think everyone is entitled to his/her opinion about that topic. What I read was that it is about being anti-mercury and finding out what you can do to protect yourself. After looking at the website I’m going to attend his seminar, and it is a 2 hour flight for me.”
– Bob B., DDS
Where Bill sees a chance to lose money, Bob sees a chance to gain important education. Either choice is fine. The Wealthy Dentist isn’t endorsing Dr. McGuire’s views, just giving him a chance to share his knowledge.
“Odd how the studies seem to prove whatever it is you want them to show.”
– Dr. Gary Hochstetler
An excellent point. When both sides of the consumer amalgam debate claim the science is clearly on their side, it’s hard to know who to believe.
That’s why we’re trying to move the debate away from if having amalgam fillings is safe and towards how much mercury exposure dental health professionals face.