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861 Willow Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Telephone: (919) 942-2154
A holistic approach to oral health and wellness.

Removing Amalgam Fillings:
A Memorable Experience

Dental Dr. Michael Willock, a pre-eminent holistic dentist in Chapel Hill, acknowledges that his entire academic journey, including years in dental school, was often a struggle caused principally by his own dental issues.

Dr. Willock prepares “an ozone cocktail” to help curb dental infections and especially to effectively treat periodontal disease.

As a teenager, he suffered from chronic fatigue, needing about ten hours of sleep each night. “I was fuzzy headed; I had a hard time focusing and studying,” he recalls. “I remember a time in college when I was studying chemistry. I stared at a single page for over 30 minutes. I kept reading and re-reading the material and at the end of the 30 minutes I realized I didn’t have a clue what I had read. I couldn’t focus. I went off, did something else, and came back and finished my studying later.”

After graduating from dental school, Dr. Willock took a variety of supplemental courses and in the process expanded his understanding of a host of dental health issues. It was in this period that he met the renowned and controversial Dr. Hal Huggins, an activist raising awareness of dental amalgam’s toxicity. This meeting was closely followed by the release of important research by Dr. Boyd Haley, chairman of the department of chemistry at the University of Kentucky.

“Dr. Haley is now retired, but earlier he helped Hal Huggins do a range of studies on mercury toxicity. They worked on the toxicity of root canal treatments, as well, and Boyd knew the chemistry forwards and backwards and often he did the studies on his own and confirmed that what Hal Huggins was saying was correct. Hal Huggins is a basically unknown hero to the American people. He was also an unrecognized hero to the world.”

Filling Cavities

Amalgam, which has been used by dentists for over 150 years, has traditionally been the filling of choice for cavities. Composed principally of mercury and silver, amalgam becomes brittle over time. From the day it’s placed, notes Dr. Willock, it begins to leak because it does not bond to the tooth, but is rather a tight “fit press.” Today,” he points out, “there are other superior materials to place in teeth, such as composite resins and ceramics that do bond to the tooth and seal it much better.”

The realization years ago that amalgam was a potential source of toxicity was an eye-opener for Dr. Willock. “I’m a long-time member of the IAOMT (The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology., and the IABDM (The International Board of Biological Dentistry and Medicine.,” notes Dr. Willock. “Both groups have taken a strong position against use of amalgam for dental fillings. And the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona, where I have also done extensive studies, does as well. Everyone in the dental field knows that amalgam expands, contracts, and even cracks on occasion; eventually it destroys teeth. So I ask myself: ‘Why use amalgam if there are other, safer attractive materials available?’”

As Dr. Willock acquired new knowledge, years ago, he realized that many of his own problems with concentration could be directly linked to amalgam toxicity. And thus he began the process of having these fillings removed. “A few teeth had to be replaced because a lot of my teeth are crowned and the amalgam, in time, broke them down. Once I really understood what was going on with my teeth, I had a dentist friend of mine here in town remove the remainder of the amalgam fillings.”

And the effects were quickly evident, he says. “The first thing I experienced was more energy. I could finally focus when I wanted to and understand what I was looking at. From my studies at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, I learned that the more impurities and toxins we get out of the body, the more quickly and effectively the body knows how to heal itself. One job is simply to get the toxins out of the way.”

The procedure to remove amalgam fillings is fairly simple, he reports. “The biggest impediment is if the patient has a major immune challenge, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. In the removal procedure, a rubber dam is placed on the tooth with the amalgam filling, and the patient wears an oxygen mask so that he doesn’t accidently breathe in any of the toxins.” At times, Dr. Willock uses a type of suction system called isolite, which has triple suction, lights, and a strap that goes across the airway passage so that none of the amalgam drops into the airway. These are preventive measures to ensure that the patient doesn’t accidently swallow any toxic material, Dr. Willock notes.

“Patients are now far more often choosing attractive ceramic, zirconia, and composite resins that do bond to the teeth and seal more effectively.”

Ozone Therapy

Another innovative, holistic procedure used in Dr. Willock’s office is ozone therapy, a method used to treat mouth infections with a naturally occurring substance that is truly broad-spectrum and has no toxicity or side effects. The substance used is oxygen and its energized form is ozone. Ozone therapy is being effectively used worldwide to treat a variety of dental issues, Dr. Willock notes. It is also used in hospitals around the world.

Ozone is composed of three atoms of oxygen that are highly charged. Infections in the mouth are positively charged. The negative ozone charge is drawn to the positive charge like a magnet and the ozone neutralizes the infection. “Dental cavities,” notes Dr. Willock, “are, in fact, bacterial infections that erode and destroy tooth structure due to acid that is produced every time food is consumed. Ozone is toxic to certain bacteria, and injecting ozone into a decayed lesion has the effect of reducing the production of dental cavities.”

Ozone therapy as an aid to treatment, he notes, “can be used to flush out pockets of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites in the mouth, especially for those suffering from periodontal disease. The ozonized water percolates down to the gum tissue and is effective at killing bacteria.”