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Stephen Bourne MB, MRCGP

The toxic properties of dental mercury are well known (1, 2, 3) and have been banned in Scandinavian countries (4). There are no published UK studies in this field.

Dental assistants wear protective clothing in the United Kingdom when preparing dental amalgam. After dentists have removed mercury amalgam fillings from their patients’ mouths, they must put them into sealed containers for eventual safe disposal so that mercury vapour from the removed fillings cannot contaminate the ecosystem and poison plants and animals. The British Dental Association (BDA) has not explained why it considers that mercury amalgam that is toxic when handled and can contaminate the ecosystem is not toxic inside people’s mouths.


The BDA’s current recommendation is that ‘the continued use of dental amalgam is time-limited based on environmental mercury pollution as recommended by the Minamata Treaty. The recommendation includes a planned phase-down of use of dental amalgam with an anticipated complete phase-out by 2030’ (4).  This conclusion does not take into account environmental research (2,4), human research (1,4,5,6) and animal research (12), which indicate dental mercury is toxic for humans and animals. However, the BDA advises that dental mercury is toxic for pregnant women and children; it has also failed to explain why it considers it is not toxic for adults.


Although the BDA maintains that mercury amalgam fillings are safe, it has not considered dental research that has become possible with the Jerome J431-X and the new J405-0 mercury vapour analysers. This technology can measure levels of oral mercury vapour and has shown that chewing gum and drinking hot drinks cause significant release of mercury vapour from amalgam dental fillings into subjects’ mouths. The technology has been demonstrated to the author by a London Harley Street dentist, Dr Heshem El-Essawy. Such release of mercury vapour from amalgam dental fillings into subjects’ mouths is inconsistent with the BDA’s assertion that amalgam dental fillings are stable and not a source of chronic mercury poisoning.

A meta-analysis of patients treated for dental mercury toxicity has shown that 89% of 1569 patients treated experienced ‘that their symptoms had improved or were eliminated after safe replacement of their mercury amalgam dental fillings’ (5).


Mercury from dental amalgam fillings is a systemic toxin that can contribute to the pathogenesis of any chronic medical condition (5), particularly to anxiety, phobias, Parkinson’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and strokes (6).


In 1981, a fifty-one-year-old patient with malignant hypertension and severe chronic migraine joined my NHS general practice. His symptoms did not respond to conventional medical treatment from his previous GP, from me and subsequently from several private consultant physicians. He was eventually successfully treated by George Lewith MRCP (deceased), who identified high-voltage mercury amalgam dental fillings as the causes of his refractory migraine and hypertension and referred him to a mercury-free dental colleague for replacement of his toxic high-voltage mercury amalgam dental fillings. The patient’s symptoms cleared up immediately after the dentist, a member of the British Society for Mercury-free Dentistry (7), replaced his high-voltage metallic mercury amalgam dental fillings.


At the time, the patient was incapacitated by chronic poor health. Since replacing his high-voltage amalgam dental fillings, he has led a full and active life. Forty years later (spring 2021), he is eighty-nine.


Here is the patient’s account of his experience.

“In 1981, I was aged fifty-one and seriously ill with malignant hypertension and migraine. Conventional medical treatment had not helped. My GP, Dr Bourne, eventually suggested that I consult Dr George Lewith at his clinic in Upper Harley Street. Dr Lewith compared my amalgam dental fillings to ’having a battery in my mouth’. He used a simple DC voltmeter to measure the voltages at my amalgam dental fillings.


As an electrical engineer, I did not find it surprising that Dr Lewith identified my high-voltage amalgam dental fillings (in excess of 1.5 Volts) as the causes of my migraine and high blood pressure. Chunks of amalgam containing several different metals in acidic saliva form a battery that would destabilise cerebral electrical activity, which would be demonstrable with an EEG.


The rest is history. Dr Lewith referred me to a mercury-free dentist, who replaced my high-voltage amalgam dental fillings. The result was quick and astonishing: the migraines and malignant hypertension ceased, and there was a distinct improvement in my energy levels. Removing my high voltage amalgam dental fillings has proved to be a life-changing procedure.”


Dr Lewith organised weekend courses for doctors and dentists at the Centre for the Study of Complementary Medicine in Southampton (8). Given my patient’s remarkable recovery, I attended several courses and began an ongoing interest in integrative medicine.  


Subsequently, in NHS general practice, I noticed that a few patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who could not work and had not responded to conventional medical treatment had high-voltage dental amalgam fillings. My attempts to have these replaced were unsuccessful because appropriate dental treatment was not and is still not provided for NHS patients. There are two reasons for this.


  1. Medical problems caused by high-voltage dental amalgam fillings do not become evident until several years after placement, and patients with such medical problems do not consult their dentists.

  2. Although chronically ill patients with high-voltage dental amalgam fillings consult their doctors, most doctors are unaware of the association between them and chronic health deterioration, as this association is not described in medical textbooks.


Since specialising in integrative medicine in retirement from general practice, I have found that some chronically ill patients, who had not responded to conventional medical treatment, have high voltage metallic mercury amalgam dental fillings and that their symptoms improved immediately after replacing them.


Here is a recent patient’s account of her experience.


“I first consulted Dr Bourne in August 2020 because I had been feeling abnormally tired for years. He identified two high-voltage mercury amalgam dental fillings as the causes of my tiredness. He advised me to consult a mercury-free dentist with a view to having my high-voltage mercury amalgam dental fillings replaced.

I visited a mercury-free dentist in September; the fillings were replaced in November.

Since they were replaced, I have no longer felt abnormally tired and have been able to concentrate better at work. My tiredness cleared up immediately after the fillings were changed. This was due to removing the sources of electricity in my mouth.

I used to have a sore throat every winter, and this year it came back again in September. My sore throat cleared immediately after my high voltage dental fillings were replaced.”



Dental amalgam contains 50% mercury, copper, silver and tin and such metals bathed in acid saliva form a battery.


Experience gained from collaborating with a mercury-free dentist has indicated that the metallic dental fillings most urgently need replacement are those with the highest associated voltages above 100mV. This observation supports G.P.s and physicians routinely using voltmeters to identify high-voltage metallic dental fillings in their chronically ill patients’ teeth. Patients with high-voltage amalgam fillings should be referred to mercury-free dentists (7) or teaching hospital dental departments for appropriate dental treatment.


Replacing toxic high-voltage amalgam dental fillings requires specialist dental expertise, which is time-consuming and expensive. This initial cost could, however, be offset against the consequent reduction in long-term medical costs that would accrue from such appropriate treatment.


Electrical stress from an oral battery effect rather than chronic mercury poisoning causes the pathological tiredness associated with high-voltage amalgam dental fillings. An earthing mat (9) can earth pathogenic static electricity and enable electrically stressed patients to become temporally clearer-headed.


Autopsy research on cadavers (10) has shown that mercury from dental amalgam is deposited in body organs proportionately to the number of amalgam dental fillings and to the number of years that they have been in place.  At autopsy, the highest mercury concentrations were found in the brain, thyroid gland and kidneys. In view of this finding, it is improbable that replacing patients’ amalgam dental fillings would cause a sufficient reduction in systemic mercury poisoning to account for the immediate clinical improvements reported in the above two case histories. A cessation of dental amalgam-generated electricity caused immediate clinical improvements.


Dental mercury is liable to be deposited in the brain (10). Mercury particles in the brain are micro aerials that attract harmful electromagnetic radiation, and that can cause people with mercury amalgam dental fillings to feel ‘phased out’ when visiting electrically polluted places such as airports and underground railways (11).


Mercury deposited in sheep kidneys significantly impairs renal function (12), which is probably why there is a much higher incidence of dialysis-dependent renal failure patients in wealthy countries, whose residents can afford mercury amalgam dental ‘treatment’ than in poor countries whose residents cannot (13).


In view of these considerations, it is suggested that doctors routinely measure voltages at metallic dental fillings in their chronically ill patients’ mouths and that if high-voltage fillings are found (14,15), they should refer such patients to dentists with post-graduate expertise in mercury-free dentistry (7) or to suitable teaching hospital dental departments for replacement of their high voltage pathogenic amalgam dental fillings.


Since mercury amalgam dental fillings cause pathogenic oral electric currents and pathogenic mercury deposits in vital organs and are consequently a major cause of health deterioration (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13), the use of mercury amalgam in dentistry should be discontinued.



The above two case histories are consistent with some refractory medical conditions suitable for treatment, including replacing patients’ high-voltage mercury amalgam dental fillings. Further clinical experience will indicate whether this intervention can be successfully replicated in a cohort of chronically ill patients with high-voltage metallic dental fillings.  

I am prepared to provide voltmeters to researchers willing to measure the voltages at metallic dental fillings in chronically ill patients’ mouths, particularly those with chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, migraine, epilepsy, renal failure, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s syndromes. Voltage measurements could be recorded by any medical team member, including students (14).


Chronically ill patients with metallic dental fillings with voltages above 100mV (15), would be referred to suitable dentists (7) or to suitable teaching hospital dental departments to replace their high-voltage amalgam fillings with non-metallic dental material. Medical Outpatients would monitor clinical outcomes.


High-voltage dental fillings may cause abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings. In view of this, patients with migraine or epilepsy and high-voltage dental fillings could have their EEG recordings taken before and after dental treatment to replace their high-voltage dental fillings. This intervention could normalise such patients’ EEG recordings and simultaneously remove the cause of their migraine or epilepsy.



  1.  The proposed research confirms that replacing high-voltage metallic dental fillings in chronically ill patients’ teeth can be therapeutic. In that case, this finding will support medical doctors routinely measuring voltages at metallic dental fillings in their chronically ill patients’ mouths and referring chronically ill patients with high-voltage metallic dental fillings for dental treatment to have their pathogenic high-voltage metallic fillings replaced.


  1. The research could support mercury-free dental treatment being provided for NHS



   3. If the BDA accepts that high-voltage metallic dental fillings are pathogenic, it should 

       review the scientific considerations that caused Sweden to prohibit the use of mercury 

       in dentistry (4) and provide similar advice to British dentists.


  1. A snapshot of biological dentistry in Europe AIOB. Raymondo Pische MD, DDS.  (November 2017. (Rio.pdf). Mercury, in all forms, poisons cellular function by altering proteins' tertiary and quaternary structures and binding with sulfhydryl and selenohydryl groups. Consequently, mercury can potentially impair the function of any organ or subcellular structure. The chief target area of mercury is the brain, but peripheral nerve function, renal function, endocrine and muscle function, and several types of dermatitis have been described. Mercury is believed to interfere with DNA transcription and protein synthesis in the developing brain, with the destruction of the endoplasmic reticulum and the disappearance of ribosomes. Mercury causes kidney toxicity, autoimmune conditions, immune system dysfunction and hypersensitivity reactions such as asthma and dermatitis.


     2. The environmental impact of dental amalgam and resin-based composite materials. S. 

         Mulligan,1, G. Kakonyi,2 K. Moharamzadeh,1 S. F. Thornton2 and N. Martin,

         BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL | VOLUME 224 NO. 7 | APRIL 13, 201


     3. "Never has so much harm been done to so many by so few."


          Professor Murray J Vimy, Professor of oral medicine at Calgary University, Canada,   

          speaking about dental mercury in the year 2000.


      4.  Mercury in dental-filling materials - updated risk analysis in

           environmental medical terms. An overview of scientific literature

           published in 1997–2002 and current knowledge.  In 1998, a report commissioned by the Swedish

           Government stated that ‘mercury from amalgam fillings is liable to damage the central nervous

           system, the kidneys and the immune system’. The Swedish Dental Material Commission advised

           that exposure to dental mercury amalgams is hazardous, and the mercury must be deposited 

           in the thyroid gland, the retina of the eye and the testicles.


            Seychelles Medical and Dental Journal, Special Issue, Vol 7, No 1, November 2004

            Maths Berlin MD, PhD. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, University of  

            Lund, Sweden.


          5. DENTISTRY WITHOUT MERCURY by Sam Ziff and Michael Ziff   

             2001. ISBN 0-941011-04-6.


          6. TOXIC DENTISTRY EXPOSED (the link between dentistry and chronic disease).

              Graham Munro Hall BDS and Lilian Munro Hall BDS.


          7. British Society for Mercury Free Dentistry (


          8. Judith Moore et al. Why do people seek alternative therapies?  British Medical

              Journal  (1985), 290, 29-29. 


              In 1985, a group of British doctors (Julian Kenyon, David Dowson and  

              George Lewith), who practised vegatesting in Southampton at the Centre for The

              Study of Complementary Medicine authorised a survey of their practice success rate

              to be carried out by senior medical students, and the findings were published in a

              letter to the British Medical Journal. In the letter, it was pointed out that only about

              20% of techniques employed by conventional doctors have been properly evaluated.

              The survey found that the majority of patients attending the clinic had long-term

              Health problems, and that between 60-70% of them experienced significant health

              improvements as a result of attending the clinic for only eight weeks. As the patients

              had previously been unsuccessfully ‘treated’ with conventional medicine for up to

              ten years, the improvements were impressive.


          9. Earthing mats are available from Groundology: (


         10. Dental Amalgam and Mercury Levels in Autopsy Tissues: Food for Thought. Guzzi,

              Gianpaolo DDS; Grandi, Marco MD†; Cattaneo, Cristina PhD†; Calza, Stefano  

              MSc; Minoia, Claudio BSc‡; Ronchi, Anna BSc‡; Gatti Anna BSc; Severi, Gianluca

              PhD. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2006 –

              Volume 27 issue 1 - p 42-45.



              Eighteen cadavers from routine autopsy casework were subject to a study of tissue

              total mercury levels in brain, thyroid, and kidney samples by atomic absorption.

              On these same cadavers, all dental amalgam fillings, the most important source of

              organic mercury exposure in the general population, according to the World Health

              Organisations (WHO) were charted. Total mercury levels were significantly higher

               in subjects with a greater number of occlusal amalgam surfaces (>12) compared

               with those with fewer occlusal amalgams (0-3) in all types of tissue (all P ≤ 0.04).

               Mercury levels were significantly higher in brain tissues compared with thyroid and

               kidney tissues in subjects with more than 12 occlusal amalgam fillings (all P ≤

               0.01) but not in subjects with three or fewer occlusal amalgams (all P ≥ 0.07).


           11.  Dirty Electricity. Samuel Milham MD, MPH. 2010.ISBN: 13:978-



           12. Mercury from dental "silver" tooth fillings impairs sheep kidney function. Boyd

                 N.D. Benediktsson, H; Vimy MJ; D.E. Hooper, and Lorscheider F.; Am. J.

                 Physiol. 261,  (Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. 30): R1010- R1014, 199.



                  Within thirty days after placing twelve occlusal amalgam fillings in six adult

                  sheep, there was a 50% impairment in kidney function. After sixty days, there was

                  60%. impairment in renal function.


          13.  During a lecture at the Royal London Hospital about twenty-five years ago, Prof

                 Blandy (professor of nephrology) pointed out that renal failure is statistically much

                 higher in wealthy developed countries than in poor undeveloped countries. He

                 subsequently agreed with me that this is likely to be due to the extensive use of

                 dental mercury in wealthy countries, and he agreed with my suggestion of research

                 to measure the voltages associated with the amalgam fillings of teeth in renal

                 failure patients and to compare them with those of age-matched controls. The

                 research was not allowed because it was unfunded.

          14.  Set an electrician’s voltmeter to measure up to 2 volts (2000mV). Place one probe

                 gently on the inside of the patient’s cheek (buccal mucosa) and the other gently on

                 the 'silver' dental filling being investigated.  Record the positions and voltages of all

                 the teeth with voltages above 100 mV because the amalgam fillings in these teeth

                 will be replaced first. Ideally, all the mercury amalgam dental fillings should

                 eventually be replaced. This recommendation is based on about forty years of

                 clinical experience.



 Revised during April 2023 by Integrated Medical Centre, London, England. All rights reserved.




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