Monthly Archives: August 2014

A Decent Into Dentistry

Prologue

There was so much that went in to choosing a dentist to remove all the mercury and surface metals from my mouth. I knew in my heart for years that it would need to be done every time I saw those horrendous silver fillings in my mouth, and educated myself more on the dangers of mercury. Unfortunately, I never made it a priority because I was so scared of the financial piece.

During the time I was doing the research, I was planning to have my root canals removed, after learning just how detrimental they can be and I was unsure what physical shape I would be in having to undergo a major dental restoration. My body had all ready crashed so severely and it became increasingly unclear what symptom was a result of heavy metal poisoning, Lyme disease, structural issues, the MTHFR gene mutation, or my body trying to fight virulent microbes in my root canals. I kept trying to configure some sort of timeline in my head, but between my gypsy lifestyle, decade of insomnia, my recent initiation into parenthood and nine trillion other factors- I couldn’t get clear enough to adequately point and say “there” that’s it, that’s the issue and this is how I fix it. I had also yet to see a skilled enough practitioner that could make all the pieces of the puzzle fit, that was trustworthy.

I was mauled in the face by a german shepherd when I was 12 and got braces as a result of the dog bite. I became homeless by 14 when my mother (a career criminal) became incarcerated and the braces were left on my teeth, untreated, for several years too long. I also had severe bruxism either as a result of the braces, or PTSD, or both. Little did I know the long term structural consequences I would face as a result of the braces. I suffered reoccurring nightmares that my teeth were falling out. For years, I shelled out immense amounts of money trying to make up for the damage the braces did, each time shrinking lower into the dental chair, swallowing back the shame of my childhood, and feeling sick over the imagined judgement and conversation that the dental office was whispering behind my back. There is not one tooth in my mouth that does not have composite on it. Therefore, choosing a dentist became a painstaking process due to my history, current physical state, and the fact that it would have to happen overseas since the costs were staggering in the US.

One by one, I researched all the practitioners listed by the Hal Huggins alliance, and members of the IAOMT. Hal Huggins is the grandfather of safe mercury removal and teaches protocols that exceed your average biological dentist. I also found numerous other dental organizations committed to holistic dentistry that I wasn’t even aware existed and researched the dentists who held memberships listed on their sites. I sent out numerous sets of X-rays, questions, googled reviews furiously and soon found myself completely overwhelmed by the whole process. Especially because the dental revision was only the initial step in successfully treating myself for advanced Lyme Disease.

The more that I learned about dentistry the more I knew that having a biological dentist was imperative and that the ADA was a joke. A joke predicated on the almighty dollar that only further served the notion of a separation between dental health and full body wellness. Why in the US are health insurance and dental insurance considered a separate entity? Why are so many mainstream dentists so quick to say a root canal is needed at the first signs of tooth sensitivity? Why in this day and age is fluoride still used, especially on children? When is the last time your dentist informed you that dental materials can cause an autoimmune reaction and encouraged that a dental material compatibility test against your specific blood serum be preformed? Why aren’t all dentists educating on the dangers of mercury, instead of just saying they now have a mercury free practice?

I find it alarming how many people have nonchalantly informed me their dentist just removed their fillings without any precautionary measures, let alone any instructions on chelation therapy. Removing mercury fillings is akin to asbestos removal, and safe removal is only half the battle. Chelating them out of your tissues and brain is the other half, as mercury stores in both. The link between neurotoxicity and neurological problems is overwhelming as is the growing epidemic of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Babies are being born with high levels of mercury, passed down from their mother in utero. There are links between neurtoxicity and autism, another growing epidemic that mainstream medical and dental are quick to gloss over.

After narrowing down the options to two dentists located in Tijuana Mexico, I decided on one that offered conscious sedation, vitamin C IV’s for detoxification, and a link to a beautiful B&B that provided transportation to the dentist, as well as soup and smoothies on their website. I knew if I was going to leave my husband and toddler son behind and make the trek to Mexico, I did not want to be staying in some crappy border hotel and have to make the daily trek across the border after 7 hours of dental work. I also did not want to chance my luck in Tijuana at some random hotel, worried about clean water. I also knew that if I needed 5 teeth pulled, the ocean would be my healing and salvation, as would the soups and smoothies provided by the B&B.

As a hail mary I decided to consult with one last dentist here, as I was still on the fence if my body could handle having all the work completed at once. if I just removed the mercury and replaced the crowns with the metal showing through to start, it seemed like a waste, since I’d be paying for new crowns that eventually would need to be removed since they were on root canalled teeth. I never put together that there is often cheap metals like nickel used in crowns until my neurologist had said he had a woman that had cured her migraines after removing them. I also never considered my own allergy to fake metals and the unknown amount I had in my mouth.

 I had all ready seen two dentists in the states that quoted me ridiculous amounts of money with outrageous treatment plans and did not instill a shred of confidence in me. One dentist told me I would need 10 or 11 crowns and ushered me into their financing department like a used cars salesman, he was a complete scam although he markets himself as a biological dentist, hands out Hal Huggins materials, but in fact isn’t certified.  I felt sick after realizing the lack of integrity he possessed, after the shock of being quoted over 20k wore off. The other dentist charged me $725 for a consult, and although seemingly more integral than the first, he cared little about my concerns. After telling me my toxicity levels were off the charts and my mesenchymewas blocked, he dismissed my MTHFR mutation as something he didn’t need to know about. This was alarming because for one, it makes all the difference in the world with detoxification pathways and for two, nitrous oxide is dangerous to anyone that possesses the mutation. A little fact that I figured might be important in the dental chair. I left there with a new credit card bill, no closer to any resolution and the full realization that like so many others, I would have to find a dentist out of the country.

After finally deciding on the dentist in Tijuana, I went to one last dentist here that came recommended by a practitioner I had found to help heal Lyme. I decided to consult with this last dentist, while letting him know up front that due to cost, I would be having the work done in Mexico, so that he didn’t see dollar signs when he examined me. This dentist also did not accept insurance, however I wanted his opinion on the cavitation surgery, as I kept going back and forth between doing the entire process at once. As soon as he saw my extreme malocclusion, he warned me that removing any teeth would further compromise my jaw and that his first and only consideration in my case would be to correct my jaw and restore my airway passage that was blocked. He did say that having all my surface metals removed would definitely be beneficial. He gave me a bunch of material to research on the topic, reiterated the issues, both seen and unseen, that a blocked airway passage can cause and recommended that I get an MRI and a cat scan to show fully what was happening in my mouth. It turned out that my lower jaw is pushed so far back my hyoid bone is nearly pressing against my vertebrae. This uncovered another piece to the puzzle, but also added on the need for a special device, years of treatment and thousands more in cost.

The ancient Mercury Fillings in my upper teeth

The ancient Mercury Fillings in my upper teeth

Three crowns on my lower back side with metal showing through

Three crowns on my lower back side with metal showing through

A picture at the airport showing the dark circles under my eyes from extreme fatigue

A picture at the airport showing the dark circles under my eyes from extreme fatigue

MEXICO

Border Crossing

Border Crossing

Day 1

After a very quick border crossing, and ride into Rosarito beach to Casa Farolito, all it took for me was to see dolphins swimming in the water outside of the deck to know I had made the right decision. How could healing not happen here? The B&B set up both the transportation from the airport as well as providing transportation to the dentists office each day. I arrived so tired from both a day of travel through three time zones as well as a body that has been significantly stressed and fighting for the better portion of a year. My joke in the previous weeks leading up to the trip was that being consciously sedated would be the most rest I got in years.

The Ocean That Saved Me

The Ocean That Saved Me

A portion of The Casa deck

A portion of The Casa deck

Day 2

I had little idea what to expect from the dentists office. The only problematic aspect of dealing with their office is spotty communication at best. The other dentist I had been considering always called me back immediately and patiently answered nine million of my questions. This office I never once spoke to the dentist and wasn’t allowed to choose my own travel dates, which was slightly frustrating. However, being that I had to wait nearly three months for an appointment seemed promising and one of the owners of Casa Farolito had allayed my fears by saying yes, their communication skills lacked, but their dentistry did not and she consistently saw patients of his come and go from all over the world. 

The dental building is what you would expect if you’ve ever been to Mexico, which is to say, not a shiny, modern one, but dilapidated at best. I was kept waiting a little while at first, but I always remind myself in any given country that is not America, that I am not in America anymore and not to have American expectations, or impatience.

The office staff was polite, offered me a seat in the sparse waiting room, that did offer wifi and a menu to order food from a local cafe that catered to the dentists clients. The dentist arrived shortly thereafter and his greeting was friendly and warm. My initial consult went smoothly and was consistent with what the written treatment plan and $8,500 estimate they had e-mailed me had shown. The dentist answered all my questions and was happy that I was in a positive place to start treatment. I will be consciously sedated for the next three days for up to seven hours, removing 7 mercury fillings, and replacing 5 mixed metal crowns, with temporary ones, until the permanent ones are made in a lab in Chicago. I had a biocompatable dental materials test done weeks before, that the doctor had a copy of along with a highlighted notation from each category of the least reactive materials to be used, which felt promising. I then received a massage that they had set up for me, to help relax and get ready for the treatment. The massage wasn’t the greatest, but being that I have chronic muscle and nerve pain, I would probably let Charles Manson rub my back.

Day 3

I wake up feeling both excited and increasingly nervous. As much as I want the root canals removed from existence, I am not so secretly relieved that I will be going home with all my teeth. I am required to fast the mornings of treatment, which is unfortunate because I am convinced that there may not be many better things than Casa Farolito’s breakfast overlooking crashing waves on their huge ocean deck. Reading a Hal Huggins book “It’s All In Your Head” which has been left here helps to bolster my excitement that at long last I will have all the metals removed from my mouth.

I arrive at the dentist armed with a book and don’t have to wait very long. I am escorted to the dentist chair and immediately set up with oxygen, a drip line, and a blood-pressure cuff hooked up to a machine to monitor my vitals. I am fitted with goggles and covered with a blanket. I ask what the combination of sedation is and am told 5 things I immediately forget. The dentist then tests which quadrant of my mouth is most charged, which is my lower left area possessing 3 metal crowns, 3 root canals and had never healed correctly from work done there many years ago. The metal has begun showing through on the crowns and I am starting to get an ulcer on the side of my tongue where it rests up against that area. I am once again so grateful to know only materials that I tested non-reactive to will be used. I itch and blister if fake metal sits on my skin, so how on earth did it take me so long to consider the correlation of the damage it could be doing in my mouth?

Before I know it I am drowsy, relaxed and nodding in and out. A few times I have moments of a clearer consciousness and I can feel the dentist prodding at an area of gum line and hands working in my mouth. I see another injection go into my line and I nod back out, and so this cycle continues on a few more times. Before I know it I am coming to and biting on the paper they use to adjust your bite. The dentist then shows me the huge chunks of old metal crowns that were removed. I feel relief. I am still groggy when I’m told that my my food has arrived. I’m instructed to sip a little water and take a charcoal tablet the dentist hands me in 15 minutes, but to wait a half hour to eat or drink anything. The same woman that gave me a massage arrives to do a half hour of accupressure. I fall asleep on the table momentarily, get back up, wander out in a haze and the dentist tapes magnets to my face where my jaw suffered the worst. This is the fault of my jaw and not the dentist however, as the mere act of biting in to an apple sends me reeling with discomfort. They call for my ride back to Casa Farolito where I am served soup, a smoothie and some tea. My jaw is sore and I feel reasonably silly with magnets taped to my cheeks, luckily all the other guests have checked out and it is just me and the crashing waves. My gum line where the work was done feels slightly sensitive and I look forward to the magic white pill to take at bedtime for inflammation they gave me. I officially have two more 7 or 8 hour days in the chair. The same excitement and nervousness resounds.

Day 4

I wake up feeling eager to remove the metal. I had some residual throbbing where the metal crowns were removed and the dentist tells me it is most likely from the gums since he did a lot of work around the gums. Before I know it, I am ushered into the chair in the same process as last time. I quickly nod off and continue the same process of coming slightly to, seeing the anesthesiologist inject my IV line and fall back out. I come to for the day and the dentist is checking my bite which needs to be adjusted 87,435 times due to some of my teeth being so worn from grinding for years. I learn it is somewhere around 5:00, which means I’ve been in the chair for close to 8 hours. I feel hazy from the drugs, but overall I feel good considering the amount of time spent in the chair. The dentist told me we don’t have much left to go. I’m in the homestretch.

Day 5

I once again arrive eagerly to be rid of heavy metal. To never open my mouth and see the dark silver fillings and the ominous energy they portray. I have trouble going under this time as if I am fighting the drugs. Eventually they win out. I spend almost 4 hours in the chair and wake up hazy. I feel tired and the need to lay down. At some point that evening I feel completely nauseous. I’m not entirely sure if it is from the drugs, the toxicity, or a fateful drop of Montezuma’s revenge from something I ate. My teeth throb that night and eating isn’t impossible but the slightest pressure lets me know I’ve undergone a tremendous amount of work in a short time.

Day 6

Definitely nauseous, no way around it. I feel crappy, literally and figuratively. Today is my final check up and I have to close my eyes on the ride to the dentist for fear I may hurl. Once there I let the dentist know and he says it could be from the drugs or from Mexican food- it’s anyone’s guess. I decide to continue on with my final Vitamin C IV to help push all the toxins through. I start to feel slightly better and get to talk to the dentist a little more on a personal level. It is clear to me he became a biological dentist out of integrity. He is thoughtful and has an overall very calm and quiet energy about him. He shares the story of initially working on his wife who had severe allergies. He removed her mercury and root canals and improved by 95%. We talk about different protocols of mercury removal, health and wellness in general and I manage to rant about GMO’s, the outlawing of sustainable energy and the failed America in me. My IV finishes and we say our goodbyes. I will return in 2 months for the permanent crowns once they are completed. He gives me a copy of the highlighted, non-reactive materials he used. They also credit my account with an adjustment for the hours of anesthesiology that I didn’t require on the prior day. I get back to the Casa and succumb to nausea. The thought of any food is revolting as is liquid. I spend the day cuddling with Netflix and attempt some light food and tea by the ocean that night. It doesn’t take me long to decide I want to be horizontal. I pop some ibuprofen to help with the slight throbbing and annoying headache, which feels more of a result of dehydration.

My Vitamin C IV drip

My Vitamin C IV drip

Detox!!

Detox!!

Day 7

I wake up feeling better, but still crappy literally and figuratively. However, I am determined to get in to town and spend a few pesos on some trinkets for some loved ones. I spend the morning watching the dolphins jump right in front of me. I squeal like a 14 year old girl. I let myself drop in to how good and different it feels to not have a mouth full of metal. I somehow feel lighter. The sensitivity has resolved itself a little bit, and my stomach still threatens revolt. I wonder about public bathrooms in Tijuana. It should be an adventure. I am eager to start chelation therapy fully and know that the mercury is getting removed from my tissues and brain. I don’t want to add to my sickness right now so I take a few supplements for chelation and immune modulation.

Day 8

It is my final day here and I end up meeting a woman staying at the Casa trying to get medical treatment for a sick baby at a local orphanage. I buy some formula, split a cab with her and make the trek to the orphanage. I feel especially compelled, because I understand what it is to grow up without parents, or even a home. It is a heartbreaking scene  at the orphanage and one far too common I’m sure. There are more children than the staff can possible tend to, and not enough resources. The language barrier prevents me from talking to the older children, but I look in to their big beautiful eyes and my heart breaks as I wonder their fate here in Mexico. I continue on to where the babies and toddlers are. I help change diapers, feed the sick baby that initially spurred my trip here and spend as much time holding each toddler and giving them the same love and attention I give my own two year old. I feel powerless to do much else and after a couple hours it is time to leave.

The Orphanage

The Orphanage

Love- truly a universal language

Love- truly a universal language

Leaving Mexico

I look forward to going home and seeing my husband and son. On the ride to the airport I have an unexpected enlightening conversation with the driver on everything from the pineal gland, health and wellness to all things in between. The car in front of us in the long line to cross the border has the name Kendra carved in dirt. I like to think of it as an auspicious sign for what the future holds.

Look Carefully...

Look Carefully…

1 Month After Treatment:

I was feeling immensely better having the metal out of my mouth, a little more energized, positive and hopeful. I’m assuming this is both a physical and psychological result. I still have pretty significant sensitivity in my teeth, which I am praying is from having such extensive work done in such a short period. Also when I bite a certain way there is pain on my upper right side. Unfortunately, my energy levels and relief proves to be very short lived, as two significant things happen. I start Lyme treatment, which means going through herxing as the organisms are killed. This essentially means getting worse before getting better. And my temporary crowns on my lower left side break and I am left without my last 3 back teeth. The anxiety I feel is overwhelming and trying to explain my situation to dental receptionists over the phone is fruitless. I call the dentist in Tijuana and of course they are on vacation for that week. I make the trek to see the dentist here that will be putting the ALF device in my mouth for a dental mold and to see if he can put temporary crowns on for me. He tells me in no uncertain terms that I don’t need temporary crowns since they are root canalled teeth and adjusts my bite for the pain I have on the upper right side. A week later I get a hold of the dental office in Mexico, they reiterate the same thing, that there should be no issues, remind me I signed a waiver that they aren’t responsible for broken crowns, and my permanent ones won’t be in for another month. I am getting increasingly sick from the lyme treatment and am starting to feel the stress of having to travel back to Mexico on both myself and my family. My husband calls the office putting in the ALF device to see if they would be willing to put in the permanent crowns if I can have them shipped here. They agree.

All I want for Christmas are my three back teeth.

All I want for Christmas are my three back teeth.

2 Months after treatment

I get one more bite adjustment from a random dentist, but am still experiencing a pain when I bite just the right way. Any other sensitivity has subsided. The crowns are finally complete and are overnighted to me. The sheer excitement and relief of having a full set of chompers is palatable (no pun intended). No sooner am I in the dental chair, when the dentist informs he doesn’t want to be involved in putting these in. He tells me that he needs me to sign a waiver, as he can’t be held responsible for these crowns. I immediately agree and reiterate that even if they fall out I would never hold him responsible. He seems very aggravated as he double checks that the crowns fit on the molds and then goes to place them on my teeth. I feel some discomfort. He sits me up and says the gums have grown over the teeth and he can’t do it. I’ll need to go back to Mexico, or find someone else. I start sobbing hysterically, which makes him very uncomfortable as he silently stalks out of the room. I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve all ready cancelled my trip to Mexico and feel so spread out between the dentists, lyme doctor, neurologist, genetic specialist and a slew of other practitioners that I have seen. He then says to me it is bad dentistry and the gum needs to be removed from the teeth and that my teeth should have been built up more to hold the crowns. He then tries to tell me, he told me that correcting my airway obstruction was the thing I should have been focusing on. I try to explain to him, that I heard him say removing all the surface metals was important, but not to remove any teeth, which I didn’t. I also remind him I couldn’t start successful lyme treatment without removing the metals and that we would have gone to him, except we couldn’t afford his costs out of pocket. We also needed to feel like I was moving ahead with treatment as I had a child to care for and I was worsening by the day. The device had taken months to build and he told me in no uncertain terms, it still wasn’t a guarantee.

I let him put in the ALF device between wrenching sobs and blinding tears. I feel so broken over this whole experience, that I have to live without teeth for longer and figure out a solution. Not to mention the way in which he handled it, which in my experience was less than compassionate. I call Mexico on my way home and am still hysterical. The dentist says removing the gum is a procedure any dentist can do and that he didn’t build up the teeth any more as he didn’t want my bite to be off. He reminds me I had crowns on these teeth for many years before and they were fine. I have a few days to calm down, all the while I adjust to this new device in my mouth that only allows two teeth to make contact and I feel like I have a lisp. I also feel slight anxiety as I remember yeas of braces in my mouth, and their poking unattended wires. 

I realize in retrospect so much of my anguish could have been avoided if the dentist here could have just calmly told me that the gums would need to be removed at a different visit and that there was a chance the crowns may fall off, so I just needed to sign a waiver freeing him of liability, instead of reacting in the manner which he did. I sit here typing this in some level of resignation. There is a part of me that dreads the physical and financial stress that another trip to mexico will mean. I am loathe to go back to the dentist here and feel stuck as the only other dentists that use the ALF device would mean an even further drive monthly and more money for a consult, since insurance won’t cover anything and there is no guarantee that they won’t suck. My last option is to call dentists and start from ground zero. I all ready called one that was recommended here (not biological) and they don’t participate with our insurance. I consider writing to other biological dentists that are well known to see if they will take my case, but I don’t have the energy between the lyme, my toddler and the defeat I feel. I laugh to myself thinking that it is situations like this that create religious fanatics because there is nothing left to do, but pray. Pray that a solution will reveal itself, or I will gain enough clarity and energy to navigate this further.

Lyme induced Episcelritis

Lyme induced Episcelritis

photo 2-3

The People That keep me Going…

And the four leggeds...

And the four leggeds…

photo 2-4

 

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