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Dentists who use Alternative Methods

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Health & Medical > Dentists > Dentists who use Alternative Methods



Amalgam vs.composite dental fillings

Nov 2008

Does anyone have advice about/experience with composite fillings? I had an old (about a decade?) mercury amalgam filling replaced with a composite about four years ago. Now I need to have it replaced again and have a crown on that tooth. I'm pretty diligent about flossing and brushing (several times a day) so I'm wondering if composites just have a shorter life span. Also, the advantage of matching my tooth color was lost on me since it is discolored anyway from coffee/tea. However, I'm still considering it because of the mercury controversy, and I developed an allergy to metals (can't wear cheap earrings anymore). Did anyone else find their metal allergy affected by amalgam fillings or crowns? in need of dental advice


I am also allergic to metals, and have been since I was little. I have had several amalgam fillings too, they are now being replaced by either composite (white) fillings or crowns or lay-ons. I go to dr. Kirk Youngman in Danville who has a holistic dentistry. He has a lot of good advice, and is very knowledgeable. It's expensive to get crowns, but they do last quite a long time. The composite fillings that I have lasted from 7-15 years, and have caused less problems than the amalgam fillings that expand and then crack or make the teeth crack. I have had more cavities behind and underneath amalgam fillings than white fillings. katrine
If you are replacing a filling on a biting surface, the amalgam fillings last a lot longer. Regarding the crown, they are supposed to contain gold, not nickel, but I have heard of dishonest labs and dentists claiming to use gold, but actually using a cheap metal instead. Dental Patient
If you are allergic to cheap earrings, that is probably a nickle sensitivity. As far as I know, no fillings have nickle in them. Some fillings do last longer than others, gold being one of the best. For more info, I suggest you read the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_restorative_materials The official info is here: http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:bWqjszbT_VEJ:www.dent.ucla.edu/PatientCare/DentalMaterialsFactSheet.pdf+california+dental+materials+sheet&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=firefox-a anon

Alternative Dentist near Berkeley??

August 2008

I may need a root canal. Everything inside me is against it for many reasons. I do not rest easy knowing there will be a dead tooth breeding bacteria inside my skull for the rest of my life since it is impossible to completely rid the area of all bacteria. I just read a couple books on how root canals can lead to to other disease and are maybe not a good idea. I am seeking other options, and more specifically a dentist or oral surgeon that is familiar with alternative techniques. Anywhere in the East Bay would be my focus area, but I am open to outside areas as well. Has anyone had a good experience, or can recommend an alternative? Thanks. -aching but apprehensive


My alternative dentist, whose husband is an alternative endodontist in the same office, has been able to help many patients avoid root canals using Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy with dental protocols she has developed. This same therapy also helps minimize the trauma for patients who have to have the surgery. Check out her website for more information: http://www.meschalmers.com I balked when I heard her office was in Santa Rosa, but I found that she is so extraordinary that the schlep is well worth it. I do recommend that you confirm your appointment the day before, however, as it is a long drive if there's been a miscommunication! Good luck. Terry

How to Talk to Dentist re Amalgam Metal Bridge

June 2007

I have a very traditional dentist whom I have always thought was great and have been going to for years. However, I have old dental work -- a metallic bridge. It is now loose, and I would prefer to go with some other non metallic option due to concerns about mercury in amalgam dental work. I brought this up once with my dentist before and he told me there was nothing to be worried about...it seems this bridge is the kind of work he does, and he says there is no other easy way to do the bridge. However, there is a lot of amalgam metal in my mouth and I still have serious concerns. Should I look for another dentist? Should I try to talk to him again? He is going to want to replace the bridge next time I go in and I would like to have a plan in place before I go in. --No Mercury Please


Your current dentist does not appear aware of or open to learning about the dangers of mercury. Even if you were able to persuade him to use non-amalgam materials in a replacement bridge, you would be exposed to extremely high levels of mercury during the removal. Definitely find another dentist! I highly recommend Mary Ellen Chalmers, 707.545.5440. I couldn't have imagined driving from Berkeley to Santa Rosa for dental work until I met her. She is a leading holistic dentist (DMD vs DDS, the former having more medical training) who can help you get this bridge safely out and a non-toxic replacement in. Good luck! Terry Mandel
If you really want a type of bridge other than the amalgam bridge that your present dentist recommends, ask him if he could recommend another dentist to make a non-amalgam bridge for you. Then, you can get a second opinion on your options, plus find out what the cost of the non-amalgam bridge would be. Afterward, you can always return to your original dentist. There is no evidence that mercury from amalgam fillings is a health risk, especially when compared with the amount of mercury produced by coal-fired power plants. Sensible
I just saw the responses about the amalgam metal bridge. I 've been in dentistry since 1984 and have never heard of an amalgam metal bridge. Amalgam is for direct restorations (fillings done that same day) and bridges are laboratory produced restorations (you have an impression made and then you come back to get it cemented in). You can definitely talk to your dentist about which kind and they should be able to give you all the information about what kind of materials he/she can use. There is a Dental Material Safety sheet that should also be available at the office that has all the information so you can take it home to read.

I just want to clarify one more thing. A DMD and a DDS are the same equal title. It has to do with degrees from the west coast and the east coast. I do agree that removal of amalgam will definitely expose you to more mercury and it should be done with care. A DDS in Berkeley


Dentist - biocompatible AND brilliant?

June 2007

I am trying to find a dentist who is able to do inlays and is good at avoiding root canals. I've become aware of the importance of dentists using non-toxic materials, finding to my horror that I have had all sorts of bad stuff used in the past, and I need to sort this out. It's as if there's either 'biocompatible' dentists or 'excellent' ones, and I can't work out online through the maze of advertising who is going to be able to help... Anyone with any advice about this? I have narrowed down to a shortlist of possible dentists - does anyone have any experience of going to any of these? Jeff Brucia Josh Bernstein Chris Catalano Kenneth Rotman

anon I'd be very grateful for any help or advice - I want to avoid getting any more toxic material in my mouth - but I need some good quality dentistry to stop any more problems. It seems like every time I went to the dentist in the past I lost more money and ended up with more pain!! If anyone knows how to end this cycle, or has any advice or recommendations about the dentists I've mentioned, or anyone else, I'd be really grateful. I looked through the recommendations on the website, but they seem maybe a bit out of date, and don't address these issues of biocompatibility and excellence/experience. Hoping someone can help, and that this may help more people than just me! Needing a dental miracle


Check out Dr. McKinzie, DMD. I know that his practice addresses your concern about using toxic materials for fillings, etc. His office is at 3931 Grand Avenue in Oakland. Call 654-3030. Or email scott_mckinziedmd at yahoo.com anon
Rotman pased away over a year ago. He shared a practice with others at 1313 Gilman who will use the IAOMT protocol for safe placements. Another person I found excellent in all things, including the remediations you mention, is Sandor Hites, at Ellsworth and Channing. Nori
A great dental referral for whitening teeth is Dr. Malinda Chan, DDS at 654-2226. Good luck! Karen

Dentist who doesn't use mercury for fillings

Sept 2007

I am looking for a reliable dentist for our 6 year old son in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito area. I would like to find someone who 1. does not use mercury fillings 2. uses x-rays very sparingly 3. is Ok working without nitrous oxide 4. uses rubber dams when doing fillings 5. uses magnification when drilling Thank you for any suggestions, Eva


I think few dentists these days use mercury fillings. Most use the plastic fillings, from what I understand. Certainly most dentists use xrays as little as possible. You may want to define what you mean by ''sparingly'' when you call dentists to interview them. You may also want to explain to them why you want them to use dams and magnification, etc. If you find you can communicate well with them, this may be the best predictor of a good future relationship. So I'd say call around and set up in person or over-the-phone appointments to chat with them. Mom
Sept 2004

Can folks please recommmend a dentist who uses *only* composite filling material (no mercury amalgam)? I know most dentists will do the non-mercury fillings upon request, but, from my experience, these dentists don't do a good job with the fillings. I also need an incredibly good dentist because I have horrible, horrible teeth and, though my current dentist uses only composite fillings and is very nice, she has not diagnosed problems very well. The previous recommendations, which I have read, are a few years old and are specific to Berkeley. Thanks for your help! MG

Recommendations received:

  • Kenneth Rotman
  • Transcendentist (Fred Pockrass) (3)
    Sendor Hite, Marjan Rusta, Kenneth Rotman all do amalgam free dentistry. --Nori
    November 2002

    We are new to the Richmond/Berkeley area and in need of a mercury- free dentist, preferably someone who can also create all-porcelain crowns. Any recommendations? Thanks, Susan


    Recommendations received:
  • Aaron Escalante
  • Roger Koppel
  • Kenneth Rotman

    Holistic dentist who is also skilled

    August 2006

    After losing a tooth last time I attempted to get an amalgam replaced, I am tring to find a dentist to replace my other amalgams. This isn't just for the mercury toxic thing - my fillings are falling apart. It's good to see that at last there is some acknowledgement around that amalgams are not necessarily a great idea - many dentists just went along with the ADA statement that amalgams were safe, and kept on calling them 'silver fillings' when really they have a lot of mercury in them.

    I've looked at the website and found recommendations for Drs Fred Pockrass, and Joshua Bernstein. But it's hard to tell from their websites how they really are with patients - has anyone been to them for amalgam replacement recently?

    The dentist I went to before (not anyone on recommended on this website) claimed to be holistic, but wasn't very skilled. In general, I've found that dentists either advertise that they are 'holistic', and then they would probably be great about the mercury issue - I wouldn't need to ask twice for safety precautions in removing the fillings. Or - they advertise that they are cosmetic experts, with lots of training, and can do very good quality work. Both these approaches can also be supplemented by a very upmarket, financial awareness - so the dentists may be unusually expensive.

    I am trying to find one who can do both, and doesn't charge exorbitant rates. The money is not so important, for one that I could trust to do quality work and would be careful about mercury toxicity. I'd really appreciate recommendations for a dentist who could help - I don't mind travelling at all (better than dental stress!). Thanks for any ideas! Ellie

    Recommendations received:

  • Sonja Garden Berkeley
  • Gary C. Hale El Cerrito
  • Ted Hochstein Berkeley
  • Barry Kami Berkeley
  • Steven Kobayashi Albany
  • Fred Pockrass Berkeley

    Dentist who doesn't push x-rays

    July 2003

    I'm looking for a dentist who doesn't push having diagnostic x- rays once a year. My old dentist was very understanding about my decision to avoid unnecessary x-rays (When I lived in Oregon my dentist told me that any good dentist should be able to find a cavity without using x-rays and since I've been x-rayed quite a bit, I decided long ago that I would skip having dental x-rays unless there was a compelling reason to have them). But he retired and now I have to argue about it with his replacement every six months when I go in for a cleaning. I'm sick of it and would like to find a good dentist in the Oakland area who doesn't rely on routine x-rays. I like the descriptions on the website of Laurie Shephard-Page, and I'm wondering where she stands on the x-ray question. nelly

    Recommendations received:

  • Madelyn Ballard
  • Mojdeh Hariri-Vijeh
  • Fred Pockrass
  • Laurie Shephard-Page (2)

    Dentist who follows the IAOMT procedures

    July 2002

    Hi - I am going spare looking for a dentist I can trust...can anyone help? I am looking for a dentist who follows the IAOMT procedures for safely replacing mercury fillings (mine are falling apart) with a non-toxic alternative material, and does (or refers for) biocompatible periodontal work, and is also very good at cosmetic work (ie bridges or implants). I have so much wrong with my teeth, and also I'm absolutely terrified of dentists (basically I moved over here from England where dentistry was nightmarish when I was a child...). Any help would be very gratefully received! Janice


    Recommendations received:
  • Stephen P. Broderson

    Dentist to remove all my amalgams & chelation/detox therapy

    May 2003

    I would like my amalgams removed. Can anyone recommend a dentist who is aware of all the safety protocol and can refer a chelation/detoxification therapy? Preferably someone who knows about European techniques such as using nasal oxygen supply, and either the Clean Up system (from Sweden) or the dental dam with lots of high power suction. I have Alameda Alliance First Care commissioned Delta Dental (it is not straight Delta) but haven't yet found a dentist under thsi plan who uses the highest safety standards). The only local dentist I've found is Dr. Rusta who follows the standards set by a Dr. Broderson-- any thoughts on these dentists? Recommendations or personal anecdotes welcome. Otherwise...I will probably just get it done in Europe (in Germany and Holland the price is only 45 Euros per tooth!!) but I prefer to have it done here since the best method is supposedly getting them removed over several weeks. saskia


    Recommendations received:
  • Sandor Hites (2)
  • Fred Pockrass
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