As of Thursday 11/8/18, the process of having fourteen Mercury amalgam dental fillings that were installed in my mouth approximately four years ago removed and replaced with non-toxic composite safe material fillings over the past several months was finally completed! Thanks again to those who contributed and helped to allow me to make this happen!
This campaign was the first time I've ever asked for financial help from friends and acquaintances, to help cover some large short-term expenses in my life. I'm posting it one more time because, so far, less than half of the goal was met, and though the procedure is done, the expenses have left a big hole in my meager bank account.
The graph photo posted above is the results of a metal toxicity provoked urinalysis test that I had performed this past February, showing Mercury levels off the chart. The costs for the dental work, and the detoxification treatments I had to undergo after each dental appointment, were over $12,000, none covered by any insurance. Details about why I did this are in the long description below.
Also, I increased my original goal to $16,000 because, in September, I had to pay about $2,500 on advance rent, security deposit, etc... on a new apartment that I have to move in to by October 1. The apartment house I had lived in for 26 years was abruptly sold and all tenants were kicked out. I had to take time off from one of my two jobs for apartment hunting, packing and moving and lost at least a thousand dollars of work income, and the professional movers I hired cost over $1200.
LONG DESCRIPTION AND DETAILS: Five years ago, I had a severe dental situation with several very old fillings that had gone bad as well as new cavities, requiring a total of fourteen new fillings. Also abscesses, breaking teeth, and severe periodontitis (gum disease). Some local dentists who offered the option of safe non-Mercury fillings turned me down as a patient due to the scope of the work that I needed.
An older dentist who had been practicing for around 50 years was willing to take me on. He patiently dealt very well with all of my dental issues over the next couple of years. He was a great craftsman, had great manner and skill, he would have been the best dentist I ever had, except for that he only used Mercury amalgams exclusively as filling material.
He also did the removal and replacement of all the old decaying Mercury fillings with new ones without the precautions for safely removing Mercury fillings suggested by modern safe dentistry, including a patient dental dam (to prevent swallowing of Mercury particles during the procedure) or a patient breathing mask (to prevent breathing of Mercury vapor), both items that my new dentist used during the procedures to replace them this year.
The possibility of toxicity from Mercury fillings was not yet acknowledged when he learned fifty years ago. It is still controversial in the profession, but even conservative agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, whose site is still filled with older articles that attempt to debunk the possibility of Mercury filling toxicity, have more recently been adding new studies and discussions acknowledging the possibility.
The graph photo that I posted here is the results of a metal toxicity "provoked" urinalysis test that I had performed this past February. All elements are within or close to the safe (green, within reference) left column except for Mercury, which goes right up to the maximum of the farthest "outside reference" (red) right column.
In the couple of years following the dental work in 2014, my feet became increasingly painful, becoming severe and debilitating by early 2017. I could not get a definite diagnosis from many podiatrists, orthopedists, neurologists, etc... at several Boston area hospitals, only all kinds of scary "guesses" that they couldn't back up with any evidence.
Early this year, I finally found the right doctor, a high-level neurologist at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital, who knew the correct test to do to provide the actual diagnosis that eluded all others.
The feet pain is caused by a less common form of neuropathy called "Small Fiber". Other neurologists didn't find it because it does not come up on the usual EMG tests for more common systemic peripheral neuropathy. It requires analysis of biopsies of skin because with "Small Fiber" essentially the nerve endings in the skin and tissues of the affected areas have become fried, sending intense pain and magnification of all sensations through the nervous system.
The biopsies came up positive for "Small Fiber Neuropathy". Normal walking feels as if the balls of my feet and toes are walking on sharp raised edges of steel girders all the time, since January 2017. That's why you may have seen me walking with a cane since then. It was given to me by a podiatrist to help take a little of the pressure off the painful feet while I walk.
There are several possible causes of Small Fiber Neuropathy. Most common is diabetes, but several blood tests ruled that out, I'm not even at risk with my no-sugar diet. Others include nutritional deficiencies which came up negative, auto-immune conditions (the BI neurologist also found I have a low level auto-immune syndrome that could be a factor), and metal toxicity, which prompted me to get tested for toxicity from the fourteen Mercury fillings I had installed a few years prior.
When I told this high-level neurologist about the fourteen Mercury fillings, he said something like: "I can't tell you for sure whether all those Mercury fillings caused or aggravated your neuropathy or not, or whether having them replaced with safe filling material will help it, or not. Whether they played a role or not, the nerve damage may be irreversible. However, I can't believe a dentist would still do that in this day and age! Mercury has become known as a neurotoxin in large amounts! I didn't think any dentists were still even using it at all!" (Actually, many still do, but most at least offer the option of safe material these days).
I know a few other people who have suffered symptoms (though different from mine) and came up positive for Mercury toxicity, who had them clear up eventually after having their fillings changed out and undergoing detoxification. When I saw the graph I posted here with Mercury off the chart in the "red" zone, I decided that I would have the fillings replaced even if my feet were fine, or whether doing so would help my "Small Fiber Neuropathy" or not. I didn't want to carry all that Mercury around for the rest of my life!
The lowest estimate I could find from a dentist who would do the changeout of all fourteen Mercury fillings with the minimum necessary precautions is around $11,000 out of my pocket. She was not in this area when I was originally looking to have my dental work done four years ago. Some fancy "holistic" dentists quoted me around $18,000!
Plus, immediately following each appointment, I had to go to a two-hour IV detoxification/chelation appointment with a toxicology specialist doctor to help rid my system of Mercury particles and contamination from the dental work, at a couple of hundred dollars out-of-pocket apiece for those.
None of this was covered by any insurance.
There is no conventional cure for "Small Fiber Neuropathy" (or any kind of neuropathy). The usual conventional suggestion is to attempt to mask the pain using the numbing "side-effects" of powerful anti-depressant or anti-psychotic drugs, and failing those, powerful addictive debilitating opioid painkillers. After trying a couple of the drugs very briefly last year, I decided to decline that route.
There is also no conventional cure for the discovered low-level auto-immune condition, but I'm told there's a possibility that may have also been exacerbated by Mercury toxicity, it never showed up before, so that's another possible reason to have the fillings changed.
I'm not suggesting that everyone else with Mercury fillings should go and have them changed. Most people with Mercury fillings go through life with no ill effects, and the work done to change them out can free up more Mercury particles and vapor that may cause contamination than leaving them alone. It's not suggested unless there's a possible reason to do it.
I currently work about 60 hours per week at two jobs and I make ends meet for my regular ongoing expenses even in today's usuriously greedy economy, but the one-time large expenses of the dental work, plus advance rent, security deposits, paying movers, and having to take time off from work for moving, were large burdens for me, and any assistance at all will be helpful, even donations of just a few bucks are most appreciated!
Thank you very much,
- Jim and Helen Linnehan
- Mark Darling
- Dave Martin
- Tina & Bruce