Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

MCS is an abbreviation for multiple chemical sensitivities. This is an increasing condition that I have known about for years and we are accustomed to providing care according to the often varied needs of patients who have MCS. Unfortunately, this is not something all health care providers pay attention to. A patient who has MCS came in this past week for an appointment and she told me about a visit to a physician she had not been to before. She brought a pamphlet about MCS to her appointment to give the new doctor so he would understand her condition. She said he would not acknowledge her condition. She said after she left the office they called her and asked her to come and get the pamphlet as they did not want it in their office. My experience is that when a patient tells me they are sensitive to something, I need to listen. We do not diagnose MCS or mercury toxicity in the dental office. That is for physicians to figure out. However, we take many steps to avoid aggravating the wellbeing of our patients. Many people have told us they are sensitive to fragrances and other substances. We avoid using fragrances for this reason. Our team members do not wear perfume in the office and we use air and water filters to purify the air and water in our office. Non latex gloves and rubber dams can be used. Ozone is used to kill bacteria without using potentially toxic chemicals. We use 100% ceramic and other biocompatible materials and techniques when we restore the teeth. There are ways to test dental materials prior to use. Every person is different, so if you have special considerations please let us know.

Another patient we saw recently reported having swelling, redness and pain around crowns with a metal base placed by this person’s previous dentist. Patients often seek out our practice because we do not use metallic filling materials. The most common request we receive is patients wanting their mercury based fillings removed. Health conscious patients are surprised to learn how common amalgam fillings are in our country.

I encourage patients to educate themselves about environmental sensitivities. Sherry Rogers MD has written a book titled “Detoxify or Die”. It is a good reference for patients to understand how environmental chemicals can potentially harm our health. 

According to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology website, dentists are the second largest users of elemental mercury in the US and place over 30 million mercury dental fillings annually. Dentists are required in the United States to treat the left over amalgam filling material as a toxic waste. It is to be placed in a sealed container and sent to a specialty company for proper disposal. We are also required to have special filters on our equipment to catch any amalgam that is suctioned out of the mouth as old fillings are removed or new ones carved so that it does not get into the sewer system and end up in Puget Sound. This amalgam waste also needs to be properly disposed of as hazardous waste. While there is no perfect dental material there are ones we believe are much better than others.

 Another problem some people have is sensitivity to cell phone energy and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from cell towers. I attended a recent conference in Europe where a dentist from Belgium gave a presentation on electro smog from cell phones and cell towers. We are all being exposed to increasing energy from these devices including computers, cell phones and EMF from the cell phone towers. He showed information that the World Health Organization reclassified cell phone radiation and wi-fi in the same potentially carcinogenic category as chloroform, engine exhaust and lead. He also said that using your mobile 30 minutes a day doubles your risk of brain cancer and increases the release of mercury from dental amalgam. He also showed an interesting video of a Japanese patient that was sensitive to her titanium implants. If interested you can look at this video on YouTube:

If you want to reduce exposure to these energy waves you can do an internet search on which cell phones put out the least radiation. My understanding is the wire in the ear phone cord can bring cell phone energy up into your ears so an air tube can reduce this. I purchased mine from  

Be Well!



  1. patrice french

    what is the best material for partial dentures for someone with MCS and EMF. My father is 88 years old and it is hard to find information on the this. We did look at TCS flexible partials and would love to hear what you think about those. We live in Mass.
    Thanks for any info you could give us
    Patrice French (dtr) William Fusco

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