1819: A mercury-based dental amalgam filling was invented by the English chemist, Bell.
1826: The dental amalgam mercury filling was first used in England and France.
1830: Amalgam fillings were first used in the United States. Numerous harmful effects were soon widely reported.
1840: The American Society of Dental Surgeons denounced the use of amalgams due to concerns about mercury poisoning. Member of the society were required to pledge to avoid mercury amalgam fillings. But many dentists continued using amalgams since they were cheaper, faster and easier to place than gold materials.
1859: Determined to continue, the pro-mercury amalgam factions in America formed its own dental society, first called the National Dental Association; it later became the American Dental Association (ADA).
1926: Prominent German chemist Alfred Stock discovered that mercury was the source of his own health problems, after having his own amalgams removed, Stock then studied the health problems of many of his friends and advised them to have their amalgams removed. He studied the release of mercury vapor from amalgams and published his findings in over thirty scientific papers. Stock led an international movement to halt the use of mercury amalgam filling.
1930’s: Stock laboratory and most of his records were destroyed in a World War II bombing raid, derailing the anti-amalgam mercury movement that he had led.
1957: Dr. Karl O. Frykholm of Sweden published a study wrongly claiming that when saliva covers an amalgam filling, the mercury is no longer released. Ever since then, The ADA has cited Frykholm’s paper as a proof that amalgam fillings are stable and safe.
1973: An American dentist suffering from MS, Hal Huggins, DDS, met a Brazilian dentist, Olympia Pinto, at a conference in Mexico City. Dr. Pinto shocked Huggins by telling him that amalgam fillings are unstable and mercury from amalgams can trigger illnesses like Hodgkin’s disease and sickle cell anemia. Eventually Dr. Pinto sent Dr. Huggins many studies on amalgam research. After learning about the amalgam health issue, Huggins researched and wrote his first major book on the hazards of amalgams.
1979: Measurable Mercury coming from Amalgam. Gay and others at the University of Iowa reported a measurable release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings; when the amalgams were stimulated by chewing, brushing or hot beverages the release was far greater. In 1981 Svare, at Ohio State, confirmed Gay’s findings.
1983: University of Calgary research dentist Murray Vimy, joined with Michael Ziff, an American dentist and author, to found the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to educate dentist and other professionals about evidence-based dentistry. With his father, Sam Ziff, Michael Ziff went on to author books on such topics as mercury free dentist and dental mercury detox.
1987: Nylander of Sweden and Eggleston of California, did a similar autopsy study on victims of sudden unexpected death. They confirmed a strong correlation between brain levels of mercury and the number of amalgam filling surfaces in the teeth.
1988: DAMS groups formed in Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago and elsewhere, begin to educate the public.
1989: Dentists Poisoned. Nylander and Friberg published an autopsy study showing that mercury levels were much higher in the pituitary glands and the thyroid glands of dental staff as compared to a non- dentist control group. The mercury level in the pituitary glands of the dental group was about forty times higher than that of the controls. Other studies found dentists to have a higher rate of irritability, depression and mood disorders. Dentist have a much higher suicide rate than other white collar professionals.
1990: Lordscheider and Vimy at the University of Calgary School of Medicine placed amalgam fillings with radioactive mercury into pregnant sheep and monkeys. After just 29 days after the placement of the mercury amalgams, the mercury was traced and found in the kidneys, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, the brain and many other parts of the body including the unborn fetus. For both the mother and the fetus, the highest mercury level was in the pituitary gland, explaining the clinical association between amalgams and depression and mood disorder.
1990 (December 16): The CBS television show Sixty Minutes, hosted by Morley Safer, and viewed by 30 million Americans, exposed the hazards of mercury amalgams; the host interviewed scientists Lars Friberg, Fritz Lordscheider, Murray Vimy and Boyd Haley. The program also exposed the biased attacks by state dental licensing boards on mercury free, holistic dentists. The ADA spokesman squirmed under cross-examination by the host. This sort of dental amalgam expose was never repeated again on any TV network.
1993 (December): The largest German manufacturer of amalgam, Degussa AG, stopped making amalgam.
1994: Sweden announced phase-out of amalgam fillings, starting with pregnant women and children.
1994: Lorscheiderr, Vimy Penergrass and Haley reported that elemental mercury vapor from amalgams fillings is toxic to brain neurons. Low dose mercury causes the neurofibrillary tangles in the brain regarded as a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease.
1994: A human autopsy study on babies who had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was published by G. Drasch and others at the University of Munich in Germany. They found a strong correlation between the mercury levels in the brains and kidneys of the babies and the number of amalgam fillings in the mother’s teeth. These findings were confirmed by another autopsy study conducted In 1996 by Lutz. These studies showed that mercury from a mother’s amalgam fillings is typically the major source of mercury for the unborn child. The German government then acted to curb the use of amalgams in children and women of childbearing age.
1995: G. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., released a report for Health Canada, Canada’s chief health regulatory body, on mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. He found that amalgams contribute about 50% or more of adult’s mercury exposure and present an unacceptable hazard. Dr. Richardson advised Health Canada to ban dental amalgams; although it was unwilling to go that far, in 1996 Health Canada established guidelines for dentist cautioning against the use of amalgams in children, pregnant women, people with kidney disorders and other vulnerable people.