Hidden Dangers Of Commercial Dental Care


I do not like going to the dentist for a wide range of reasons—from bad experiences with hygienists to a slew of dental procedures that have cost tens of thousands of dollars. But there is something else, too. The dental materials and practices are creating toxic dental care.

How many people ENJOY going to the dentist?

Every time I go to the dentist, I’m waiting for the “other shoe to drop.”

Things to keep in mind

  • Dentists and hygienists look for what they are trained, so they see what they want to see.
  • The problems caused by toxic dental material may be masked by the symptoms, which mimic other medical conditions.

5 things you didn’t know about your dentist

  1. More than likely your dentist graduated years ago. Dentistry has changed so much in the last several years. Has your dentist continued his education?
  2. You dentist probably doesn’t have the latest technology. It would cost more than $2000 to update his or her equipment to provide the best possible care.
  3. The American Dental Association and the FDA do not have a problem with mercury fillings. Is your dentist still using these toxic time bombs?
  4. The lab your dentist uses is more important than you are. Make sure your dentist is not using an overseas lab or a cut-rate domestic lab who uses tin, aluminum, or even lead to cut costs.
  5. Dentists can receive a kickback for referring you to a specialist. For instance, you may be told you need a root canal or orthodontics. These specialists give your dentist a referral fee for every patient that gets treatment, even if you don’t need the treatment. Do you need a second opinion?

Remember, you always have the right of refusal or even delay while you get a second opinion.

Toxic Dental Care: What are they putting in your mouth?


In 2013, research showed that repeated dental x-rays without a neck shield make you predisposed to thyroid cancer. (1)


In 2016, 30 children in California contracted a bacterial infection from a dentist’s office. The contaminated water could create long-term health problems for these children because the infection can often spread to the gum and jawbone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), outbreaks at dentist’s offices are rare. However, they do admit that even though there are recommended guidelines to prevent bacterial infections, many dentists do not follow these guidelines and procedures. (2)


Dental sealants are coatings of thin plastic applied to the teeth to prevent decay. The sealants prevent food particles and bacteria from getting into the grooves of the teeth where it is difficult to brush. Sealants last about five to ten years.

There is some concern that undetected decay can be sealed into teeth, which will continue to decay the tooth silently.

Also, there is the potential BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical used in plastics, which has been associated with health and developmental problems in humans and animals. It has been studied as a potential issue with dental sealants. The American Dental Association research shows that BPA only shows up in sealants as a trace amount. (3)

Fluoride (4)

There are many adverse effects of fluoride ingestion:

Brain.  Scientists have found dementia-like effects, as well as lower I.Q. levels.

Thyroid. Fluoride is an endocrine disrupter, which can lead to problems with judgment and intellect, depression, and weight gain.

Bones. Fracture risks may increase with fluoride ingestion. There is also a recent study by Harvard scientists that found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer in males under 20 years of age.

Kidneys. People with kidney disease have a higher risk of fluoride toxicity.

Some things to keep in mind:

Children anti-cavity fluoride treatments were never found safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration.

In 1951, the American Dental Association said, “there is no proof that commercial preparations … containing fluorides are effective in preventing dental decay.”

The bottom line—fluoride won’t keep your teeth healthy and could pose a serious health risk.

Toxic Dental Materials

There are so many dental materials created. It would be impossible for any one person to stay up-to-date with every single material used in dentistry. Here are a few that stand out.


Fillings can be made out of plastic, resins, and amalgam (metal).

Amalgam fillings have been scientifically proven to be detrimental to human health since 1927.

For almost 200 years, mercury amalgam has been the most commonly used dental filling material. Amalgam is a mixture of 50 percent mercury and the other 50 percent tin, silver, and copper.

The mercury content in the filling is not stable and leaks 24 hours a day, especially after eating, drinking hot drinks, and brushing your teeth.

Mercury is one of the most toxic metals on the planet and is a known neurotoxin. It damages nerve and brain tissues. Of course, plastics and resins are not much better.

Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridges are mostly made out of metal. If you ask your dentist for a porcelain crown, he or she may have a porcelain piece made that’s baked onto the metal. These metals act as a substructure for strength, but they also contain nickel.

Nickel is cancer-causing. It’s a neurological toxin. Crowns and bridges can also contain palladium, cobalt, cadmium, and barium. This dental work can be a big toxic mixture.


A lot of dentures are made out of materials that contain cadmium. Cadmium is a neurotoxin. The teeth and wires that they use can have stainless steel or nickel chromium, which are also bad for you.

Polymethyl methacrylate is a material used in bike parts. It is also the pink part of partials and dentures. If your dentist is using that material and you have redness on your gums, you could be allergic to it.

Add to that that dentures are constantly giving off fumes, and you have a recipe for sickness and disease.


Titanium was used in implants. This metal has been known to cause headaches, migraines, and immunity issues. Today ceramic and zirconium are used in place of titanium.


Not only is the commercial toothpaste that you use toxic, but the polishers that hygienists use also have fluoride, sugars, and pumice.

Research has shown that polishing can remove tooth enamel. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) said in their paper: (4)

  • Polishing is a cosmetic procedure with little therapeutic value.
  • Thorough brushing and flossing produce the same effect as polishing.
  • Continuous polishing can, over time, cause morphological changes by abrading tooth structure.
  • The outer layers of enamel are removed through polishing.

Their conclusion was that polishing should only be performed as needed and not be considered a routine procedure.

Deep-cleaning or Scaling

If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing this deep-cleaning method, it is a high-pressure water pearl salt that is shot between your teeth and gums to remove tartar and plaque.

Experts say it won’t harm your teeth or gums, and helps prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

However, there are some hazards of which you need to be aware:

  • Improper teeth scaling can loosen teeth. If this happens, there is a chance you could lose several teeth.
  • There are concerns for people who have diabetes or heart conditions.
  • Inappropriate teeth scaling can cause gum or periodontal disease. Bacteria and food debris accumulate in the pockets left by the scaling procedure.
  • If your teeth are already sensitive, teeth scaling can increase your sensitivity to hot or cold food.

While risks might be minimal and the rewards great, it is still best to be informed. You are your own best health advocate, and that goes for your teeth and gums, too!

In the pocket

Dentists are increasingly in the pockets of big corporations, pharmaceutical companies, and specialists. It is to their benefit to sell you … well, just about anything from fluoride to teeth straightening devices.

It is becoming a larger concern that your dental health decisions are at the mercy of dental insurance companies and corporate managers, and not necessarily what is best for you.

Allies of corporate dentistry offer high-dollar contracts that prey on new dentists trying to pay off student loans.

Out of YOUR pocket

The cost of going to the dentist is going up significantly. The average American will spend approximately $9,000+ out-of-pocket on dental procedures in one year.(5)

Dental insurance costs an average of $360 per year, which may only cover a portion of the actual cost of a procedure. If you don’t have dental insurance, a cleaning will cost about $150 each visit. If you have a cavity, you’ll pay between $90 and $250 for EACH filling. The cost of bridges, x-rays, crowns, extractions, etc. goes up from there.

Did you see this article:  How Much Will You Spend At The Dentist?

George Carlin said something similar … Somewhere in the United States is the worst dentist. And what’s terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him or her tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, dentists will begin to stop this downward spiral into toxic dental care. Perhaps as patients begin to see the dangers of this type of dental practice, it will persuade the establishment to take a closer look at their materials and procedures.

Maybe it will be a time when people’s health is put before the ol’ mighty dollar.

What are your thoughts on the dental care system? Tell us your stories in the comments below.



1 Repeated Dental X-rays Without Neck Shielding Predispose to Thyroid Cancer. American Thyroid Association. [https://www.thyroid.org/professionals/ata-publications/clinical-thyroidology/september-2013-volume-25-issue-9/clin-thyroidol-201325201-202/]

2 Bacteria in dentist’s water send 30 kids to hospital. CNN. [http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/health/california-dental-water-bacteria/index.html]

3 Are Dental Sealants Safe? Dr. Weil. [https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/dental-oral-health/are-dental-sealants-safe/]

4 American Dental Hygienists’ Association Position on Polishing Procedures, 2001 [www.adha.org]

5 Dental Facts & Statistics. [https://www.dentalplans.com/press-room/dentalfactsfigures]

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Heather Dakota


Heather Dakota is the Managing Editor at "The Grow Network." She was in the wilds of publishing as an editor and creative manager for more than 20 years, while secretly harboring a desire to be closer to the land and living in a more sustainable way. Heather is an award-winning author, Master Gardener, herbalist, avid birdwatcher, hiker, and soon-to-be homesteader. Watch “The Grow Network” Blog for more on Heather’s adventures.

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  • Helen Matejovic

    Ok thank you for this is great information,now the question is,where do you find the best dentist?

  • gthomson

    Wow – you all just keep hitting the topics I’m interested in lately. I’m coming up on 54, and haven’t been to a dentist for maybe 20 years. You can probably imagine the work I need. The dentist I had from the time I had teeth, until I was about 25, did well with what was known I believe.
    I was set on this year as the one I got back in to a dentist to start fixing up things, and had a dentist recommended by others as the only one they’d go to. I was about to go. Then I heard about ‘holistic dentists.’ They seem to do things without the toxic materials. And they often re-do work done previously I believe to remove the potentially toxic materials, and replace with something else.
    I have a fairly high pain tolerance… until it comes to dental work.
    And it seems like the holistic dentists first take out what was already done, and then re-do it in non-toxic ways. So that scares me even more – double-whammy on the pain.
    I believe they often cost more and not as supported by dental insurance for the added cost?

    Is there a way to know what my fillings are made of – done over the past 40 years probably?
    Is there a way to know if they are actually releasing any toxic metals into me to know if they should be taken out and replaced?

    I have no doubt I need some dental work. But I also don’t want to get oversold on replacing all previous work if it isn’t needed. The holistic dentists around me (2 that I’ve found in the SoCal area) also seem very young, so not so many years of experience. Would love a holistic dentist with 20 years experience that will just gas me and fix everything 🙂

    • I paid a small fortune for “professional care” that has left lasting damage. One DD shot my upper gums full of epinephrine in 2014 even thou’ I noted that I could not have it in my local anesthesia.
      Consequently, the gums have remained fire-engine red since, not to mention what this did to my heart.

      After years of undetected-by-x-rays decay under a crown with much pain and headaches, one “specialist” sent me home, again seeing nothing on the x-rays and declining a physical check up. $100.- please.

      Another one sharpened (and reused) a syringe needle in my presence, and dropped a crown to the floor that he then inserted into my bleeding mouth without any pretense of rinsing.

      And these are only a part of my negative experiences from these quacks.
      I believe Florida is a magnet to bad dentists that had action taken against them in other States.
      I still haven’t found one good, pro-patient dentist who actually wants to provide ethical care.

      • Alana

        Dr. Robert Branstrator is in Marco Island. He is not a holistic dentist, but does not believe in gouging patients pockets. It’s about what’s best for the patient with him.

  • Carolyn Villanova

    Early in the article, it was mentioned that upgrades at the dental office could cost $2000. Is that all? Or is that an error?

  • Ronald Wagner

    There is no validity to this article . Dentist are required to have continuing education courses to maintain their licensure in every state . Dentists are prohibited from receiving kickbacks for referrals ( unlike lawyers who make tons of money on referrals) . Until there are peer reviewed double blind studies implicating various dental materials as causing any malady I would stay with the current dental therapies as they are very efficacious . Dentists do look for what they are taught ,i.e. Dental pathology or abnormalities ! Is that bad ?? Total bs article with no substantiation !

  • janet Sellers

    I have a loooong history of issues with dentists…nearly 20 years ago I had all the mercury fillings removed which I know was a good thing but how the dentist executed the procedure eventually caused my thyroid to go hypo!! So having the mercury removed is important but so is the How of it which I didn’t know at the time.

    I also nearly died in the chair when the hygenist assistant injected my upper left quadrant for a scaling procedure and I completely passed out. Woke up with paramedics administering oxygen and went to the hospital for EKG while vomiting for four hours afterwards. The Dentist wouldn’t take any responsibility for any of my reactions to the incorrect administering of ephenedrine and insisted i must have been sick when I got there!! I was not sick prior to arriving whatsoever…. seriously dangerous dentists out there.

    • gthomson

      While my reply here doesn’t have anything to do with dental work, this comment triggered something for me to know more about. I had some shoulder surgery a few years back to deal with calcium deposits. They shaved the upper side of bone during the process. They did a nerve blocker type of thing to kill the pain before doing the general anesthesia I think. From what I understand after the fact… that nerve blocker could have potentially collapsed my lung also if that needle was just a little off. If I knew that before, I’m not sure I would have been okay with it. So, like I said… not related to dental, but next time I’ll ask more questions before the day of the surgery.

    • Helga

      My reaction wasn’t that immediate, but I have lasting damage to my upper gums as well as my heart. These quacks get away with murder.

    • Oh Janet, I’m so sorry that you had this experience. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Kris Naillon

    I was enrolled in a dental lab technician program. When I was in the metal portion of the program, it has the ingredients on the package of metal we were to use. There was a warning on the label. The teacher, while not wearing a face mask himself had them available for those who wanted to use them. The teacher said that he would not recommend breathing the particles which when you grind on the metal get released into the air. The risk is there.


    I find that your article makes some pretty sweeping statements and implies that the profession is all like that. Some of your assertions are totally untrue. For example it is illegal for a dentist to receive a “kickback” for referring anyone to a specialist. If he/she did they could lose their license to practice.

    While continuing education is mandated it does not necessarily mean that all dentists use the material that they learn each year.

    In terms of updating your office $2000 a year would not probably get you very far.
    I personally do not necessarily like amalgam filings and do not recommend them for people. Having said that there are people who seem to be adversely affected by them and there are those who do not. If you think about it the dentist and his team should be the ones at the greatest risk as they are are removing them daily and thus are exposed to the vapor of doing such. However I am not aware of any study that shows that dentists or dental assistants as a group are at any higher risk than the population as a whole.

    Yes there are materials in dentistry that may adversely affect some people in specific ways, that does not mean that all people are going to be in the same way.

    One of the best statements that I have heard is that the rules of medicine apply to 80% of the people 80% of the time. While I do not know if those statistics are exactly correct, the point is that we need to understand the basic principles and then understand ourselves as individuals and see what works for us.

    While I agree that each patient should be educated, I do not believe that this article provides a balanced look at things. We are all unique individuals and we all should use some caution with what ever product or service that we use. We need to make sure that we look at both sides of any argument in order to be able to consider the different claims.

    I have practiced dentistry for 36 years and have worked at keeping up to date on materials and practices. I can honestly say that many of your statements about people reactions to various products are certainly possible but not very prevalent,

    I agree with you that about metals overall and I try to minimize their use in the dental setting as much as possible. For example virtually all of my crown and bridge work is all ceramic.

    I would just encourage you to be a little more balance when you write such an article, because I think that it is good for people to know of potential problems, It is also important for people to know about the probability of experiencing those problems. That is what you missed in your article.

    Thanks for listening,

    Dr. Ken Waddell

  • Jean S.

    The article was well done. I worked for a holistic dentist for 6 years several years ago. It is the most toxic place b/c most of the materials really don’t belong in your mouth. There is a correlation between good health and the health of your mouth. When we removed mercury fillings from patients with cancer and many other auto immune diseases, their diseases reversed. However, any underlying infection in the jawbone needs to be treated for the diseases to stay reversed. Also finding replacement materials that are the least toxic is important. I don’t think there are any non-toxic materials in dentistry so it is better not to have any if that can be done. A good diet and the use of nutritional pharmacology are important to maintaining good health b/c once you have damage to your jawbone and teeth, it is a continuous process to maintain what you have.,

  • Denise

    Unfortunately there are still many dentists in denial of their inadequate education. I know from talking to different dentists that they were wined and dined by their superiors and advised to not mention the toxicity of “silver” (mercury) fillings. In fact, they were told to make sure to call them silver fillings or amalgams rather than say the word “mercury”. They were also “taught” that other materials used to fill teeth are just as toxic as mercury so it doesn’t matter what you use so you might as well use what is cheapest and easier for you (the dentist) It doesn’t sound like what is good for the patient was at the forefront of this decision making process. Why?
    I personally found a dentist with certification through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and I have no regrets. I had all the mercury fillings in my mouth removed safely and replaced with material that was found to be compatible with “my” body through Clifford Testing. The protocol for removing mercury and replacing was extensive.. took 4 weeks and required special equipment to avoid further exposure. By the way, if mercury is not toxic, Why does it need to be handled as “toxic waste” according to the EPA and OSHA standards? And it is costly to dispose of this toxic material taken from one’s mouth.
    Because your mouth is part of your body, this toxic material does have an impact on health. It took a while after the removal, but with continued detoxification efforts I have overcome a thyroid issue along with other health concerns. I will NEVER visit a conventionally trained dentist again!

  • anna

    SOTA magnetic pulser!!! it sends a safe electric shock into you which is supposed to kill infections. i used it on an infected tooth that had swollen up my whole face (in combination with liposomal vitamin c). my face is back to normal and the tooth has no pain, i am waiting for my holistic dentist to get back into town to remove it because i dont want a damaged tooth, but i have suppressed the symptoms and killed the infection for now.

    i think this machine would be of aid to anyone who had any sort of jawbone pain. i heard a dentist say TMJ was actually caused by “cavitations” and while i pray that everyone could get scanned for and treated of cavitations by a holistic dentist, another cheaper thing that might help while you are saving up money for that is the SOTA magnetic pulser, it might be able to kill the infections like it did for my tooth (in combination with homemade liposomal vitamin c)

  • anna

    this is how you find a good dentist– https://iaomt.org/for-patients/search/

    • Grace

      I don’t see anything about these dentists except there location with out reviews or an explanation of how they would do things more natural or healthy what makes you say these dentists are better? I really am looking for a good dentist and having trouble finding someone I will be comfortable with. I have had more than one really bad experience with different dentists.

  • Ris

    When will you be having a downloadable version? I have no gadgets for DVD’s anymore to watch alternatives to dentists?

    • Hi Ris. Are you looking for a downloadable version of the article or a downloadable version of “Alternatives to Dentists?” If for the article, we are working on that feature for our new website, but feel free to copy and paste into a word document. If you share it, please link back to the article. If you are looking for the digital version of Alternatives to Dentists, it is available at the link at the end of the article. Let us know if you need further help: happiness@thegrownetwork.org

  • Penny M.

    This is all news to me Penny I need my teeth fixed I do have a six tooth bridge in the front of my moth and one crown I have had many teeth removed now a dentist broke my bridge big part of the front big tooth is broken then a tooth on the front right smaller tooth has broken clear to the metal of the bridge it is exsposed to every thing and in fact it is cutting me and no one dentist will help me get it fixed I need help on the lower jaws I have no teeth to eat or chew my food at all now I had to have two teeth pulled on the upper left jaw by my bridge and fell like I am always drolling all the time I do need help with my teeth and no one at all as a dentist will fix the bridge what so ever or fix anything what so ever I need help can you tell me what to do to get the help that I need I got hurt years ago I was pushed from a semi truck and that is why I have the bridge thanks for your time I would like to learn more about you all thank you for sharing this information

    • Hi Penny, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re experiencing this kind of grief. You can see more articles about oral care, right under the article to the right “Related Articles.”

  • Tracy

    I’m interested in the CD you have a posted above, “Alternatives to Dentists”.
    Let me know how I can receive it.

  • Deb

    I had 13 silver (mercury) fillings placed in my mouth 50 yrs ago which is why I had physical and mental problems till I had them replaced 5 yrs ago (I’m 61 yrs old). Unfortunately I had them replaced incorrectly and spent 6 hrs with total mental breakdown. I almost went for medical assistant but chose to wait to avoid sedating medications. Since then I detox regularly because of the metals but unfortunately I now deal with seizures which is being controlled with CBD. Anyway I no longer deal with physical and mental problems that I lived with for years. Prior to having my silver fillings replaced my gums were so inflamed the conventional dentist I was seeing was gong to do major surgery on my gums which I declined since I was fearful of loosing all my teeth. The silver fillings made my gums so inflamed which promptly disappeared when the fillings were replaced…I feel GREAT and got my life back….I see a mercury free dentist who does clean my teeth every 6 months but doesn’t use harsh ingredients on my teeth.

    • Aw, Deb! I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of that, but happy things have turned around. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Julie

    I’ve had all kinds of nighmares with dentists. From inappropirate behavior to dental work including mercury cavities on teeth that didn’t have cavities. I;ve even had a dentist refuse treatment and have me sign a waiver because i couldn’t afford to do what he wanted even though I’d been down that road with other dentists and knew what the referral would say and do. Now I have severe bone loss in the front and they want to do a bridge and deep cleanings etc. What do you suggest?

    • Julie, that is a tough position to be in. My suggestion would be to keep searching. There will be a dentist or medical professional who can help you with your problems. Have you watched Alternatives to Dentists? That would be a good place to start. Click the image at the bottom of the article. Then, you can always contact Doug Simons (the author of the video) to see what he suggests.

  • I listened to Doug Simmons interview on The Power Hour on YouTube last night. It was awesome! I can’t wait to watch his video. I was told by my sons dentist that he has no enamel on his teeth and that there is no way to regenerate enamel. I’m very excited to try his methods. Thank you for the great information!

  • Sara

    I never had gum line cavities until after I had a “deep pocket” tooth cleaning by a professional dental technician. Now I have several of them. She caused receding gums and scratched my dental enamel so deeply, it was not able to recover fast enough. Her office charged me $400 and did hundreds of dollars worth of damage to my teeth. I have not allowed anyone to “clean” my teeth and my bank account since.

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