Holistic Mercury Amalgam Removal a.k.a. Total Dental Revision (TDR)

Mercury Poisoning

Mercury is one of the most toxic naturally occurring substances known to humans.

Mercury is toxic because it can invade every single in the body and brain and damage the mitochondria. It interferes with how minerals are used (or not used) in the body. And it disrupts the endocrine system as it is a xenoestrogen (mimics estrogen in the body).

Mercury is a cumulative poison, meaning that it accumulates in the body over time. As it accumulates health can decline and manifest as different symptoms often equated with aging. When the body reaches its maximum accumulation level, the body will become impaired and the minor symptoms will become severe. From what I have learned, sometimes this shows up with aging like with Alzheimer’s, and sometimes this can happen long before, as seen in Autism.

“Mercury poisoning is the most common heavy metal problem. It is also difficult to diagnose because the exact problems it causes vary so much from person to person.” Andrew Cutler, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities, p.81

Each person’s toxic breaking point varies:

  • We all have a unique set of genes that determine many things, including how quickly or slowly one is able to remove toxins from the body.
  • We are all exposed to different toxins at homes, schools, workplaces, and other frequented locations.

In other words, Genes + Toxic Exposure = Individual’s Bio-accumulated Toxic Load.

It took a while to figure out why my body broke down. I was always cold, had chronic illnesses, fatigue and a host of other symptoms. Thankfully I found some resources on-line and took a hair metal and elements test along with a metal fecal test that confirmed that I had a lot of mercury floating around in my body and accumulating in my tissues, organs, and bones.

Once I had identified mercury as the main toxic element in my body, the next important step was identifying where the mercury exposure was from. Because of the rise of industrial manufacturing, we are exposed to many sources of mercury: compact fluorescent light bulbs, high fructose corn syrup, dental amalgams, some vaccines, and as a bi-product of coal-burning (which pollutes our air, water, and land.)

In my case, I had mercury flooding into my body at a high rate for an extended period of time after placing a gold crown and copper-filled amalgam into my mouth that already housed six additional amalgam fillings (more in step 1 post).

“Copper fillings emit mercury fifty times faster than conventional amalgams.” Dr. Huggins

This meant I had to have all of the metal dental work removed from my mouth. Drilling the metal out is when the highest amounts of mercury can enter the body. So removing the metals safely is key to accumulating less mercury in the body and brain. And preventing autoimmune diseases or other illnesses. So I began my research into what the grandfather of holistic dentistry Dr. Hal Huggins called “Total Dental Revision (TDR).

I share my TDR experience and the 7 steps I took to get the best possible health outcome in my upcoming book. For now, you can start by reading step 1:

Step 1: Educate Myself On Holistic Dentistry
Step 2: Prepare Financially / Understand Dental Insurance
Step 3: Finding a Holistic Dentist Who Follows ALL safety removal protocols & has experience*
Step 4: Testing Heavy Metals via Doctor’s Data & Dental Product Compatibility via Biocomp*
Step 5: Creating a Detox Protocol
Step 6: Receiving Holistic Amalgam Removal
Step 7: Chelating Mercury From The Brain, Tissues, and Organs

*If I were getting a TDR done asap, I would definitely not skip these two steps*

UPDATE: Here is a recent study published this year on Radio Frequency (RF) releasing mercury from amalgams at a higher rate:

Effect of radio frequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations (Source: Study published on NIH.gov)


Dental amalgam is composed of approximately 50% elemental mercury. Despite concerns over the toxicity of mercury, amalgam is still the most widely used restorative material. Wi-Fi is a rapidly using local area wireless computer networking technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluates the effect of exposure to Wi-Fi signals on mercury release from amalgam restorations.


The mean (±SD) concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva of the Wi-Fi exposed teeth samples was 0.056 ± .025 mg/L, while it was only 0.026 ± .008 mg/L in the non-exposed control samples. This difference was statistically significant (P =0.009).


Exposure of patients with amalgam restorations to radio frequency radiation emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices can increase mercury release from amalgam restorations.

Holistic Amalgam Removal | What Is Holistic Dentistry?

Breaking Bad-ly

A few years back, I was enjoying a great life — happily married to my soul mate, pursuing the career of my dreams, and in pretty good health. And then one day my nails started shredding, I had repeat illnesses, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, to name just a few symptoms.

It took me over half a year of intense research to start to figure out what was going wrong. The root cause of illness was heavy metal poisoning. From mercury. But not mercury from eating tuna fish, or from a broken thermometer, or an industrial accident.

I had mercury toxicity from my “silver” amalgam dental fillings and “gold” crowns.

What!?! First, I never even knew that there was mercury or other toxins in those fillings. Second, how could it be possible that my dentist, the caretaker of my oral health, would knowingly put toxic metals into my mouth?

Test Don’t Guess

Do not reproduce without written permission.California has laws preventing patient’s from ordering tests or receiving results directly, so I had to find a holistic doctor.

The new holistic doctor (both western and easter trained) that I chose was well-aware of mercury toxicity and had a decade of experience working with patients in this area.

I asked her if we could order two tests from Doctor’s Data — one measuring heavy metals & minerals from hair, which reflect 3-6 months of metals and minerals in the body, and the other measuring heavy metals in a fecal specimen, which reflect recent metal levels in the body. Both test results established that my body’s mercury levels were high and had been high for some time.

Since I did not really eat seafood, or work in manufacturing, we both agreed that the most logical place to look for the source of mercury in my body was in my mouth.

Note: In addition to the two heavy metals tests, my annual blood serum profile with a Complete Blood Count (CBC) was helpful at diagnosing inflammation and more. Wish I had been able to monitor the excretion of porphyrins in urine as a way to measure the success of treatment (Huggins p.94), but had to prioritize my time and budget.

“But we know that there are two definite ways that mercury comes out of fillings: through electrical current and mercury vapor.” – Dr. Hal Huggins.

Drill, Fill, & Bill! 😦

“Silver-colored” fillings, also called amalgams, were used heavily on my generation and the previous generations to fill cavities. These fillings are actually an amalgam (a mixture) made up mostly of mercury, as well as silver, tin, and sometimes copper or other toxic heavy metals. When that mercury in the fillings mixes with saliva, it becomes methyl mercury that vaporizes into the body, possibly causing gut and cell damage, autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, MS, or Parkinson’s.

In Dr. Hal Huggin’s book, It’s All In Your Head, he explains that the American Dental Association (ADA) has always known the toxic effect of the mercury and kept this information on the down low — “Today, any dentist who mentions that mercury might be a hazard is liable (under the new dentistry commandment of “ethics”) to lose his license.” (p.15) … “in all states except California.” (p174)

But how could dentists put such toxic substances in our mouths and therefore our bodies? (FYI: Countries like Sweden have banned amalgams.) My former dentist, of almost twenty years, is part of the old school of dentistry who were trained to believe that the mercury in amalgam fillings cannot come out of the tooth and harm the body.

In 2011 my dentist upgraded offices. That year he recommended filling a small new cavity in my mouth. The content of the filling was about 50% mercury, 28% silver, 14% tin and 8% copper. In 2012, he replaced my “silver” onlay (similar to a crown) with a “gold” one. The content was 74.5% gold, 3.5% Palladium, 11.0% silver, 10.45% copper, .5% zinc and .05% Iridium. At the end of that year, my body broke down.

That is when I read Huggins book and learned:

1.”Plain mercury when not combined with anything is poisonous.” “When mercury combines with methyl groups it is called methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is 100 times more toxic than plain, elemental mercury. It is especially toxic to the brain and nerve tissue”(p. 31).

2.”Let a gold crown be placed beside an amalgam filling, though, and all kinds of electrical fury are generated.” (p26) Because “gold” crowns galvanize each “silver” filling and “porcelain” metal-infused crown, Huggins states “Under no circumstances would I now put gold in a mouth that contains amalgam.” (p115)

3. Most gold crowns and some amalgam fillings are made with copper which (p.76-78).
• “reacts adversely with over 90 percent of our populace”
• “emit mercury fifty times faster than conventional amalgams” and
• “Clinically, when a person becomes ill due to high-copper amalgam, it is extremely difficult to correct his or her disturbances…is probably the most deadly.”

Holistic Dentistry

Today, most conventional dentists have since switched to using white “porcelain” fillings made with aluminum, mainly for aesthetic purposes and possibly for financial reasons.

Other holistic / environmental dentists, have learned that the amalgams and some porcelain fillings are toxic and have switched to using biologically compatible dental material and safer removal protocols to protect themselves and their patients.

Many of the holistic dentists belong to an organization called International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT.org). The Academy has 

“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.” 

However, I first learned about mercury poisoning from dental amalgams, while trying to heal my gut, from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. On her FAQ page she discusses dentistry and references dentist Dr. Hal A. Huggins, to understand how to safely remove amalgam fillings.

Both Dr. Natasha and Dr. Huggins books are extremely helpful but dense reads — heavy on the science/biology and not so easy to grasp when you have a lot of mercury on the brain.

In addition, I listened to several podcasts, read through various websites like IAOMT.org, and read another informative technical book by Andrew Cutler called Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities.

Huggin’s Protocol

The late Dr. Huggins is considered the grandfather of holistic dentistry by many. (There is some controversy over Dr. Huggins. I believe this article explains it well.) From Huggin’s book, It’s All In Your Head, I learned that removing amalgams without the proper equipment is dangerous because the highest amounts of mercury are released and absorbed into the body during the drilling and removal process. In some patients, the careless removal advances potential thyroid auto-immune disorders, like Graves or Hashimoto Thyroiditis, and other severe neurological disorders.

Making sure the biological dentist I chose followed all of the mercury safety removal protocols and had several years of experience doing it was very important to me. My biological dentist is trained by both Huggins and IAOMT and uses a combination approach for removing amalgams. We worked together to make sure she implemented more of Huggin’s protocol than she normally did.

Below are a few noteworthy steps in the Huggin’s protocol:

1. Sequential Amalgam Removal – In short, fillings have both positive and negative electrical charges on them. “If the negative fillings are removed first, the patient’s chances of improvement are good. If the positively charged fillings are removed first, leaving the negative behind, changes for success drop substantially.” (p.114).

2. Seven-Fourteen-Twenty-One-Day Immune Cycle – It is worth reading the explanation in Huggin’s book, but at a high level: “White blood cells, like all cells in your body, live a cyclical existence. Seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days after a challenge, legions of your little defense soldiers are dying off while new, inexperienced recruits are being brought in. During the changing of the guard, there is a time of reduced defense. Herein lies your susceptibility.” (p.119)

3. Complete amalgam removal within 30 days. I called the Huggins Center to find out the why behind this rule. I think the gist is that there is less burden on the immune system. In addition, once all of the mercury is out, I was able to start a full detox protocol. And, as Huggins wrote, many of his patients did not start to feel well until the last bit of amalgam was removed from their teeth. Last, “Usually within twenty-four hours of final amalgam removal, body temperature has moved [1 to 2 degrees] toward 98.6°F.”(p.122)

4. “Even if the procedures are quite short – like 15 minutes – never, never cross the midline during the same appointment. The midline is an imaginary line dividing the head into two halves at a point between the front teeth and between the eyes. Unless, of course, you are utilizing IV conscious sedation. Then you can do things upside down and backwards with no effect on the immune system.” I don’t think this rule was in Huggin’s book but it is on his website.

5. Dental Bio-compatibility Testing. This test measures serum blood against many commonly used dental products and metals. It is one of the most important tests I’ve ever taken and I am thankful I invested in it. There are two companies that offer the test. I chose Biocomp and trust their testing methodology.

Huggin’s also focused his work on the dangers of root canals and cavitations, which can lead to bacterial infections, inflammation throughout the body, and heart attacks. I only briefly explored cleaning up those areas since I had to prioritize getting the mercury out.


Today I am amalgam-free and am feeling better each day. It takes several years to recover from mercury poisoning. I am continually working on healing my gut cells, addressing my body’s micronutrient imbalance from heavy metal damage, and eliminating stress and other toxins from my body and environment that wreak havoc on my weakened immune system.

I share the 7 steps I took to get the best possible health outcome in my upcoming book. My goal is to share my experience with others going through similar trials, and help prevent what happened to me from happening to others with a cohesive book that can reach more people!

Step 2: Prepare Financially / Understand Dental Insurance
Step 3: Finding a Holistic Dentist
Step 4: Testing Dental Product Compatibility With Biocomp
Step 5: Supplementation Support Protocol
Step 6: Receiving Holistic Amalgam Removal
Step 7: Detoxing & Chelating Mercury From The Brain, Tissues, & Organs

In the meantime, you can read the other related posts in my healing protocol linked below.

Be Gutsy!

Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out