American Dental Association Flummoxed in Philly…

Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen


The American Dental Association (ADA) spent a fortune last month holding its annual convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  If it had hoped for a public relations coup to help promote its aims, its hopes were dashed by the Pennsylvania chapter of the North American anti-mercury-amalgam movement, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Mercury Free Dentistry”

The ADA fell on its face – and frankly – their convention worked against them.  What  I predicted in my September 26th, 2005 newsletter Health Freedom” Counter Attacks – Big Time…” happened.  Here’s what I said:

The American Dental Association (ADA) is about to get “publicly confronted” at their 2005 Philadelphia convention.  In shock, I think, and reeling from the effects of lawsuits (“ADA Gets ‘Kiss of Death'”),  the ADA may be totally unprepared for what will happen next. As we know, mainstream US dentistry is in bad shape.

And, what happens next?  Well, the “Pennsylvania Coalition for Mercury Free Dentistry” is insulted, and incensed that the ADA would even THINK if holding a meeting in their state – and are gearing up to get in their face…  They’ve put together a five pronged attack.  I’ll tell you about one of those prongs:

Dentists – “Get your Head Out of the Sand…The ADA won’t protect you when the lawsuits start…… describing how the ADA abandoned one of its members in California, when it bailed out of a case claiming:  “The ADA owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists.  The ADA did not manufacture, design, supply or install the mercury‑containing amalgams.  The ADA does not control those who do.  The ADA’s only alleged involvement was to provide information regarding its use.”

This one will be fun to watch.  I don’t think most dentists have any idea that the ADA has abandoned them.  For more information click here.

Public Relations-wise, the ADA was crushed.  For the media focused only on the dangers of mercury amalgams – as they should have.  It looks as though the ADA exits ONLY to promote deadly, out-of-date, but expensive dental practices profitable for their members.

But more happened.  Attorney Charlie Brown, in a communication to the national anti-conventional dentistry group, writes:

* We take it to the ADA in Philly

            The ADA convention had an unwelcome set of visitors – we folks calling for a ban on mercury fillings.  Led by Freya Koss, we had a counter-conference, did pickets at the conference, and made mercury fillings the main topic in the TV and newspaper news.  The ADA cant hide from us any more. 

* Watson-Burton bill introduced with highest number of sponsors ever.

Twelve Members of Congress, so far, are sponsoring H.R. 4011, the new Watson-Burton bill to ban mercury amalgam.  This year’s bill adds a new reason:  the environment.  With Richard Butcher working to add Democrats, and John Rowe working to add Republicans, we expect more to sign on this fall.  Both have asked me to pass on their request to urge your Member of Congress to enlist. 

* Zero Mercury summit of major environmental groups

            Here in Washington, we helped host a two-day gathering of over 50 environmental leaders to talk about one subject:  mercury.  Our issue, mercury amalgam, was one of the three issues addressed.  Under the leadership of Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project, we have made enormous strides in merging our ban movement with the environmental goal of banning mercury products. 

* We head to the courts to abolish mercury fillings in CT

            Consumers for Dental Choice, joined by 4 CT residents, filed our appeal in the fight to ban mercury fillings.  With a great legal team — Doug Cohen, Nancy Reiner, and Mike Kozlik of the premier Brown Rudnick firm — we get a neutral umpire to look at this issue.  A ruling could come by the spring of 2006. 

* WA state dental board under fire

            A series in the Seattle Post Intelligencer portrays a board in the pocket of the Washington state dental association.  Our activists – Mary Ann Newell, Ann Clifton, and our board president Sandy Duffy – are quick to respond.  On November 10, they will present a petition to that board, calling for disclosures of the risks of mercury fillings, a definitive statement against the gag rule, and an end to the deceptive term silver.” 

* First-ever Mercury Dental Amalgam Week celebrated

            Amanda Ganong led a Washington event involving vapor testing of capital visitors on the Washington monument mall, and folks all over the country did events. 

* The truth emerges in CO

            Dr. Matt Falkenstein of Durango is advertising “mercury-free dentistry,” driving the Colorado dental association batty.  Of course, that is Matt’s Constitutional right, a right affirmed in Mark Breiner’s federal case in Connecticut by the ACLU earlier this year. 

Charles G. Brown, National Counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice and Coalition for Mercury-Free Dentistry, 1725 K St., N.W., Suite 511, Washington, DC 20006, Ph. 202.822-6307; fax 822-6309,,  

Charlie Brown, last year, was a speaker at the American Trial Lawyers convention. There, he promoted the idea of suing, and suing, and suing, and suing, and suing various segments of the cash-heavy dental establishment.  As New York state anti-fluoridation activist Carol Kopf, pointed out “By the way, according to a Wall Street Journal article, dentists now make much more money than physicians while working fewer days and fewer hours.”

Things are heating up in the dental world.

Stay tuned…

Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate