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Dental Implants and Cell Phones — What’s The Real Risk?

Cell Phones May Pose Increased Health Hazards to Patients with Metallic Dental Implants

All cell phones emit electromagnetic radiation called RF (radio frequency) and EMF (electromagnetic fields). Considering the close proximity of the cell phone to the head during use, there is clear potential for EMF emissions to be harmful to any of the 300 million healthy cell-phone users in the United States today. However, patients who have undergone metal implant surgery as well as those who may still have amalgam fillings and/or dental fixtures are potentially at a much higher risk of harm than someone who has no metallic structures in their mouth whatsoever.

The use of metallic implants and fillings in the mouth is known to have the ability to create a potentially dangerous situation called ‘galvanism’. The body’s normal electrical (bioenergetic) current fluctuates at about 450 millivolts. Galvanism occurs when saliva mixes with amalgam (or metal) fillings and/or implants resulting in a jump of the normal oral electric current up to 1,000 millivolts or higher. This jump in oral electric current is without factoring in the amplified EMF fields associated with cell phone use and other types of exposure to electromagnetic fields. This kind of highly charged electrical current can quite easily overpower the body’s normal electrical flows and potentially interfere with energy flow to the brain. It is also suspected of causing various irritations to the nervous system.

What kind of damage are we talking about?

Studies have shown that the radiation from cell phones to which the user is exposed may in fact be the culprit behind a wide range of health problems including headaches, pressure or tingling in the head, earaches, eye problems including distortion of vision, memory loss, fatigue, brain tumors, DNA alteration or damage and changes in the brains electrical activity. Some studies have shown rats to develop lymphoma from prolonged electromagnetic fields exposure. For patients who have metallic dental repairs, the risk is quantified significantly. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Increased arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Ear problems
  • Risk to leukemia
  • Childhood cancer
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Mental conditions

For more than thirty years, research conducted at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has focused on whether EMF associated with electricity can cause biologic changes or negatively affect health. Hundreds of studies have also been reviewed in health risk evaluations by the World Health Organization and other national and international organizations concerned with public health.

While some red flags have been raised over the years, what is being debated now at the national and international level is just how much radiation should be considered ‘unsafe’, and if there are any potential long-term side effects of continued cell-phone radiation exposure. Nobody knows with certainty what long-term health consequences EMF-induced biological effects may lead to – or how co-mingling metal implants and dental repairs with EMF radiation might affect the human body. The issue remains quite controversial. However, due to the growing depth of evidence pointing to various problematic interactions, concern is justified. Regardless, research has clearly shown that electromagnetic emissions from cell phones can cause significant biological effects and we know for a fact that metallic dental implants and fillings can create an electrical resonance of their own. When you combine these two disparate elements together, you have a potential recipe for disaster – one that can pose serious challenges to the long term health and wellness of anyone who has been fitted with metallic dental materials.

How metal implants may exaggerate harmful effects posed by cell phone use

Having dissimilar metals in the teeth (e.g.-amalgam; or gold and mercury, or stainless steel and mercury and/or titanium) causes a measurable galvanic action, or electrical currents, this is what is called “battery mouth”. These types of currents cause the amalgam levels (more often than not containing mercury vapor) to rise in surrounding tissues. The average mercury levels in gum tissue near amalgam fillings is about 200 ppm, and are the result of mercury flowing directly into the mucous membrane by way of galvanic currents. Dental amalgams also release significant amounts of silver, tin and copper which have well known toxic effects of their own. Even more alarming is the fact that amalgam containing zinc produces even higher galvanic currents.

Electrical currents can harm the immune system

Among other things, the electric currents and ionic flow between various dental alloys has been shown to cause irritation in the trigeminal nerve which is the main cranial nerve system; blocking the flow of major acupuncture meridians. This blockage can lead to greater overall dysfunction throughout the body and it can significantly challenge the immune system, which in turn can lead to chronic and debilitating health issues. It doesn’t take a much of an increase in the flow of energy to create harmful effects in the human body. Scientific studies associated with oral galvanism have determined that currents of just over 5 microamps is usually enough to cause significant health problems such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, nausea, etc. Removing the amalgam filling, metal fixture or dental repair essentially eliminated the problem in patients participating in this study.

Some studies have also found persons with chronic environmental exposure to electromagnetic fields including microwaves or MRIs to have higher levels of mercury exposure and excretion. And, interestingly enough, post MRI saliva mercury levels for a sample of patients reported on average 31 percent higher after MRI than before.

What the research reveals about metallic implants and cell phone use

Researchers in one study involved two basic types of implants: metallic pins and rings in the surface layers of the human body – positioned near the mobile phone. The goal in this case was to discover ‘the worst case scenario’ with respect to energy absorption. Researchers noted that “Based on the simulations of this study, the local absorption of EM field in a limited volume may be significantly (even by a factor of 700) enhanced by a conductive implant in the surface layer of a human body. The mobile phone and the metallic implant are strongly coupled, especially when the implant is close to a mobile phone, its length is in resonance with the field, and it is aligned with the antenna. This coupling can be either conductive, magnetic or both (Troulis et al 2003).”

Immediate symptoms of heightened danger

A few recommendations for reducing exposure to harmful EMF radiation when using a cell phone might include making only short and essential calls, and always use hands-free wired kits. Some studies suggest that positioning the phone’s antenna far away from the body during the calls may also be helpful. But, how can you tell if your cell phone is causing a problem? Several topical symptoms are immediately recognizable and they include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Warmth behind the ear
  • Warmth on the ear
  • Burning skin

The long term solution

Removing any amalgam fillings, metal fixtures or dental repairs will more than likely eliminate potential and confirmed health problems in patients. Overall, ceramic dental implants and repairs are the best alternative and they are highly resistant to corrosion and superior to other implant materials such as titanium and amalgams. They also have a higher level of human biocompatibility with the added benefit of a far superior aesthetic value for patients.

Sources:

JOÓ, ERVIN, ANDRÁS SZÁSZ, AND PÉTER SZENDRÖ. “Metal-Framed Spectacles and Implants and Specific Absorption Rate Among Adults and Children Using Mobile Phones at 900/1800/2100 MHz.” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 25: 103–112, 2006.

H Virtanen, J Huttunen, A Toropainen and R Lappalainen. “Interaction of mobile phones with superficial passive metallic implants.” Physics in Medicine and Biology 50 (2005) 2689–2700.

H Virtanen, J Keshvari and R Lappalainen. “The effect of authentic metallic implants on the SAR distribution of the head exposed to 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz dipole near field.” Physics in Medicine and Biology 52 (2007) 1221–1236.

Has the Dental Work in Your Mouth Turned You Into a Walking Antenna? http://www.drlinagarcia.com/view_articles.php,t=30

The prevention of occupational risks of electromagnetic fields. http://www.officiel-prevention.com/protections-collectives-organisation-ergonomie/rayonnements/detail_dossier_CHSCT.php?rub=38&ssrub=126&dossid=338

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