Freya Koss was a successful, active business woman. She was an event planner, played tennis, and even took ballet into her mid-50’s. One night when she was walking out of a theater, she was hit with severe physical symptoms out of nowhere.
Koss says, “I had double vision, drooping eyelids, loss of equilibrium, loss of muscle strength, and swollen mandibular glands.”
With just one look at her pictures, you can see how dramatic the physical changes were.
Koss recalls, “I went to a neurologist at a teaching hospital and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, lupus, and then another doctor diagnosed me with myasthenia gravis. Three life threatening auto immune diseases.”
She immediately hit the internet looking for answers, remembering that she’d had dental work done just seven days before her symptoms started, with one mercury filling placed and one removed. She says she discovered that she’d been mercury poisoned.
“I was shocked. I was angry. I thought my life was over.”
Dr. Ada Frazier isn’t surprised. She’s an integrative holistic dentist and says the biggest risk to a patient is when you take out dental amalgams, also known as silver or mercury fillings. That’s because of the mercury vapors released.
Dr. Frazier explains, “It is a toxic substance. It’s a neurotoxin. We are trained to follow a specific protocol that keeps both the patient and the practitioner and their staff safe from any exposure.”
That protocol also protects the environment.
“One of the things we use is a mercury ionizer. It emits a stream of electrons across the patient’s head as we’re cutting the amalgam out,” says Frazier.
Any mercury ions that escape are attracted to the electrons and become trapped on the plate.
Dr. Frazier also uses a DentAirVac. “We call it the Snuffleupagus because it looks like it has a long nose. But when we turn it on, it’s like a vacuum and any additional mercury ions that escape, will be sucked up into this.”
The patients breathe in pure oxygen. Dr. Frazier and her assistants wear a mask, where the canisters protect them from breathing in any vapors. There are HEPA filtration systems all over the building.
There’s also an amalgam separator. “What that does, when we suck up that toxic water, it goes into that apparatus,” explains Frazier.
Frazier says mercury toxicity has been linked to everything from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to MS and depression.
Frazier warns, “It can completely shut down your immune system, and when that happens you don’t have the natural resource that the universe provided for you to take care of most illnesses.”
According to the American Dental Association, “Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also considers them safe, but admits that “High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys”.
But Freya Koss doesn’t buy it, and says there’s nothing safe about these fillings. After a 16 year battle to regain her health, she says something needs to change, and has dedicated her life to getting the word out and trying to change public policy.
“My double vision slowly disappeared after the fillings were removed, says Koss. “I regained my equilibrium within several weeks of having the fillings removed and I started to heal.”
In October 2013, nearly 100 countries gathered in Japan to sign a treaty to reduce mercury use globally. The United States wasn’t there because of the government shutdown. But the U.S. did sign and ratify the treaty in early November. Some countries like Sweden and Norway have banned the use of dental amalgams. For patients like Koss, they can only hope the rest of the world is not far behind.