How did you meet your dentist? Let's back up....do you have a dentist? Some people on TV have us calling 1-800-whatever "for a dentist in your area". Your dental insurance company sends a book of names of providers --- it may feel like getting a name from a phone book. Sure, their services are (sometimes) covered by your plan, but you may wonder about the level of care you'll receive once you're in the chair.
Think about it.....
- Who are these practitioners?
- What are their credentials?
- How were they trained?
- Do they rest on their laurels after graduation, or do they continue their education?
- Do they practice Biocompatible Dentistry?
It's been established that just because a dentist graduated from a swishy dental school doesn't mean that he or she will practice safe, modern, biocompatible, environmentally-conscious dentistry.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)
In 1984, thirteen dentists were discussing a seminar they had just attended on the dangers of mercury from dental amalgam fillings. They agreed that the subject was alarming. They also agreed that the seminar, though long on fireworks, was short on science, and if there really was a problem with dental mercury, the evidence ought to be in the scientific literature. So, like thirteen musketeers vowing “all for one and one for all,” they set out to find the evidence, or failing that, to sponsor new research that would provide the answers they sought.
Over two decades later, the IAOMT has grown to over 700 active members in North America, with affiliated chapters in fourteen other countries. The years have been very fruitful, as the Academy and its members have chronicled and promoted the research that has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that dental amalgam is a source of significant mercury exposure, and a hazard to health. It has taken the lead in educating dentists and allied professionals in the methods of safely dealing with amalgam fillings, and safely disposing the waste. It has also led the way in developing more biocompatible approaches in other areas of dentistry, including endodontics, periodontics, and disease prevention. All this while maintaining the motto, “Show me the science!”
A more biocompatible approach is the hallmark of "biological dentistry." In using that term, we are not attempting to stake out a new specialty for dentistry, but to describe an attitude that can apply to all facets of dental practice, and to health care in general: to always seek the least toxic way to accomplish the mission of treatment, to do it while treading as softly as possible on the patient's biological terrain.
Scientific Advisory BoardThe scientific activities of the IAOMT are overseen by an advisory board composed of world leaders in biochemistry, toxicology and environmental medicine. They are:
Boyd Haley, PhD, FIAOMT, chairman. Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky; permanent member, NIH Biomedical Sciences, Study Section.
Louis W. Chang, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Founding Director of the Taiwan Division of Environmental Health & Occupational Medicine.
H. Vasken Aposhian, PhD, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Professor of Pharmacology, University of Arizona, College of Medicine.
Herbert Needleman, MD, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh school of Medicine.
Maths Berlin, PhD, Advisor to this Committee. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Medicine, Medical Faculty of Lund, Sweden. Dr. Berlin was the chairman of two World Health Organization conferences on mercury exposure in 1991.
Some of the most dramatic developments in the scientific case against amalgam were sponsored wholly or in part by IAOMT, including:
IAOMT members have been expert witnesses before Congress, FDA, state legislatures, Health Canada, and other government bodies. We support the effort to inform consumers about health risks from amalgam mercury and water fluoridation, and support efforts toward eliminating these risks. We have testified before regulatory agencies about the environmental effects of dental mercury in wastewater, and support regulations to separate mercury from the waste stream of dental offices.
IAOMT members have also been expert witnesses before dental boards and trial courts, supporting mercury-free dentists in their struggles against harassment by the pro-mercury establishment.
Ongoing research, education, and political action, along with patient referrals, peer support, and the camaraderie of a group of docs who are truly interested in healing, make the IAOMT an exciting organization of which to be a member.