"Blindsided in the Prime of Life." I guess it happens to a lot of people. I never thought it would happen to me because I was always relatively healthy. And I never thought that a dentist could damage me so. But our family dentist was a maniac, one of the "old school" types whose philosophy (although never stated outright) was that a molar in a kid was bound to get a cavity eventually anyway, so what the heck, let's put fillings into all of them. When I was a child, the fillings that I call "the white stuff" did not even exist. It was either a mercury (silver) filling, or nothing.
After comparing notes with my sisters, it seemed that we all had metal fillings put into all 8 molars (4 on the bottom, 4 on the top). The "clincher" was my older sister, who went back to this dentist about 6 or 7 years before he retired, to get some work done on her mouth. He told her that she had about 6 or 7 cavities in her mouth. She was a bit suspicious, and didn't think her mouth was that bad. She went to another dentist to get a second opinion, and that dentist told her that she didn't have ANY cavities in her mouth. So it became obvious that he had probably been taking us all for a ride over all those years, simply to make $$, and creating fictitious cavities that we did not have the ability to confirm or deny. He clearly targeted all the molars in everybody's mouth, and no other teeth.
Needless to say, the damage had already been done. It was a mid-20th century philosophy that putting mercury in a person's mouth could cause no harm, but when I look back on it now, perhaps you could say that putting a 7-year old child in a dental chair and placing heavy metal in his or her teeth is child abuse. In the past decade, the tide certainly has been shifting about the dangers of mercury. I learned that the only thing more toxic to the human body besides mercury was plutonium. If I was slowly being poisoned by dental work, my thought was 'Why prolong the agony?' Maybe I could ask my old dentist to remove the mercury and put plutonium in my teeth instead, since he put all that metal in my mouth originally. Why not do things 100%? Plutonium is both radioactive and highly toxic (mercury is not radioactive). Nope, no second-rate poisoning for me. If you're going to go, you might as well go out with a bang.
By the time I realized how serious the situation was, I found out that this particular dentist had closed up shop and retired about 4 years prior. So a lawsuit was not possible, even if I had wanted to go down that road, which I did not. The reality of the situation is that in decades past, people might have wanted a better material than silver fillings, but there wasn't anything available. This is why George Washington had wooden teeth. I remember reading in a 1970s issue of "Popular Science" that someone had the brilliant idea to harness barnacles for dental glue, since it has no problem strongly adhering in a moist environment. There were all sorts of good ideas, but which ones would pan out over time? Although dentistry and materials science have come a long way in the past 30 years, epoxy and composites are relatively new, and the technology is still evolving. Dentists are only taught in dental school to use what is currently available, so you can't blame dentists for the way that dental material and technology developed.
This whole situation really opened my eyes to how much control over our health that dentists have, and how dentists and MDs should consult with each other MUCH more than they do presently, and also how much potential for damaging the human body that dentists have. I obtained tooth charts, created by alternative health folks, which showed how each tooth is directly connected to a body system. So of course, if you are going to do something to that tooth, the corresponding body organ will clearly be affected as well. There is much more going on with our teeth than modern science gives credit for.