Amalgam Potentials Measured in Absence of Saliva - In 1952!

It appears that some people still believe that in order for metal amalgam dental fillings to generate electrical potentials in the mouth
the fillings must be involved in an electrolytic reaction with saliva.
However, experimental research studies reported by William Schriever of the University of Oklahoma and Louis E. Diamond of the University School of Medicine, Oklahoma City, and published in the Journal of Dental Research as long ago as 1952 proved that this is not true.
see:
http://jdr.iadrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/2/205
These studies demonstrated that readings of electrical potentials from amalgam fillings which had been dried and separated from all contact with saliva in the mouths of the subjects were just as prominent as those those taken when the fillings were wet.
Quote:
"Next one oral pack (or two if necessary) was put in place, the two teeth were carefully swabbed with 95 per cent ethyl alcohol, and air was blown on both teeth. The potential difference of the dry fillings in the dry teeth was measured as described above. This potential difference is designated V1 (Fig. 3)."
The authors went on to "deduce" from this fact that the measured potentials "must" have been produced by the action on the fillings of "bone fluid " contacting against the concealed surfaces of the fillings inside/under the teeth.
Quote:
"Since the teeth were dry the potential difference V1 (Fig. 3) was the e.m.f. (e) caused by the action of the bone fluid on the two fillings, i.e., e = V1."
I wonder whether this "deduction" (presumtion?) made by Schriever and Diamond that bone fluid must act as an electrolyte was based on the false belief that the only way that metals, mixtures of metals and dissimilar metals in contact with each other are able to generate electrical potentials is by becoming involved in electrolytic reactions.
Of course, those of us who understand thermoelectric and electromagnetic phenomena (and particularly those who recognise the way in which these two must interact in inhomogeneous mixtures of metals) realise that this is simply not true.
But perhaps the explanation for the fact that Schriever and Diamond's paper appears to have gone largely ignored for nearly sixty years is because some of their peers maybe didn't quite believe the "bone fluid" theory, and Schriever and Diamond were not able to verify it positively. As a result, having proved that it is not necessary for there to be any saliva in contact with the fillings to produce the electrical potentials, the principal effect of the publication of this paper was to confuse those involved as to just exactly how the amalgam potentials are generated.
I have a suggestion.
Perhaps it is a combination of thermoelectric and electromagnetic phenomena which has been the principal reason for amalgam fillings generating electrical potentials all along (at least there's no strong scientific evidence to indicate otherwise), and the contribution made be electrolytic effects is either negligible or zero. And furthermore the continued confusion over where these potentials come from is due largely to the fact that the electromagnetic and thermoelectric behaviors of dental amalgams have never been investigated experimentally (or at least if they have then the results have not been made public).
People keep telling me that the thermoelectric and/or electromagnetic behaviors of typical dental amalgams should be easy to measure.
One of the first to do so was Professor D M Rowe of Cardiff University in October 1988.
However, nearly 10 years later, and in spite of the continued lack of any satisfactory explanation for the electrical potentials generated by dental amalgams, it appers that the thermoelectric and/or electromagnetic properties of amalgam fillings have not been measured (or at least if they have then the results have not been made public).
Anyway one thing's for sure, we now know that it is not necessary for metal amalgam dental fillings to be in contact with any saliva for them to genetrate electrical potentials in people's mouths.
William Schriever and Louis E. Diamond's paper proved that.
So come on all you unscientific ridiculers at sci.med.dentistry and sci.materials who were misled into believing otherwise, isn't it about time you acknowledged your own ignorance?
Or are you still too arrogant to even recognise it?
Keith P Walsh
PS,
This message has been posted to google groups at:
sci.med.dentistry sci.materials misc.health.alternative
and to the Internetional Thermoelectric Society forum at:
http://www.its.org/ztforum
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That's one experiment. The proof is of course if it is repeatable.
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wrote:

Thank you for your reply.
You are of course perfectly correct.
When a potentially controversial result such as this crops up there are generally three ways to react:
1) Dismiss it out of hand and refuse to believe it because you don't like the sound of it.
2) Accept it without question.
3) Accurately reconstruct the experiment in order that the results can be confirmed or not.
I believe that only one of these responses is a scientific one, and I also think that you have identified which one it is.
I had meant to quote the title of Schriever and Diamond's report in my initial message, but I forgot, so here it is:
"ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS "
The thing to note about this report is that it was published in 1952, and some dentists STILL insist that amalgam dental fillings must be in contact with saliva in order to generate electrical potentials, almost 60 years after these studies appear to have demonstrated experimentally that this is not true.
Do you know of any subsequent experimental investigations whose results may have contradicted the results reported by Schriever and Diamond?
Keith P Walsh
PS, in my initial post I wrote that Professor D M Rowe of Cardiff University in Wales had first suggested that the thermoelectric and/or electromagnetic behaviors of typical dental amalgams should be easy to measure in October of 1988. This was a typing error. It was in fact in October 1998.
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wrote:

Thank you for your reply.
You are of course perfectly correct.
When a potentially controversial result such as this crops up there are generally three ways to react:
1) Dismiss it out of hand because you don't like the sound of it.
2) Accept it without question.
3) Accurately reconstruct the experiment in order that the reported results can be either confirmed or not.
I believe that only one of these responses is a scientific one, and I also think that you have correctly identified which one it is.
I had meant to quote the title of Schriever and Diamond's report in my initial message, but I forgot, so here it is:
"ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS"
The thing to note about this report is that it was published in 1952, and some dentists STILL insist that amalgam dental fillings must be in contact with saliva in order to generate electrical potentials, almost 60 years after these results appear to have demonstrated experimentally that this is not true.
Do you know of any subsequent investigations whose results have contradicted those reported in 1952 by Schriever and Diamond?
Keith P Walsh
PS, In my initial message I wrote that Professor D M Rowe of Cardiff University in Wales first told me that the thermoelectric behaviors of typical dental amalgams should be easy to measure in October 1988. This was a typing error. It was in fact in 1998.
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Keith P Walsh wrote:

Yawn.... Do the experiment and make your own measurements...
--
Paul D Oosterhout
I work for SAIC (but I don't speak for SAIC)
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"Yawn"?
A few years ago the organisation "Health Canada" issued the following statement via the website of the Canadian Dental Association with regard to the placement of metal amalgam dental fillings:
"It should be noted that Health Canada has taken the position that new amalgam fillings should not be placed in contact with existing metal devices in the mouth"
I wrote to the Canadian Dental Association regarding this statement with the following query:
"Is this recommendation intended to apply to metal alloy retaining pins screwed into the root sockets of a patient's tooth?"
And I received the following reply from Dr Philip Neufeld of Health Canada:
"Dear Mr. Walsh:
... it is unlikely that a metal retaining pin implanted into the tooth or the jaw bone would cause galvanic currents. In order for galvanic currents to be created, the pin would have to be in contact with an electrolyte such as saliva or extracellular fluids, and such retaining pins are usually not exposed. ...
Yours sincerely,
Philip Neufeld, Ph.D."
(you can read the complete reply at: http://www.its.org/node/5212 )
That was in 2002.
But now it appears that as long ago as 1952 in their paper "ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS", Schriever and Diamond "deduced" that electrical potentials can be generated by the action of "bone fluid" on the UNEXPOSED surfaces of metallic dental restorations, and that this may occur in the complete absence of contact with saliva or any other fluid on the exposed surfaces.
Do you know if any subsequent scientific investigation has ever disproved the "bone fluid" theory?
Or do you think that Philip Neufeld is just not very well read in his subject?
Feel free to wake up and attempt an intelligent reply.
Keith P Walsh
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Keith P Walsh wrote:

Keith, Do the required experiments yourself, and then you will know of at least one scientific investigation that has (or has not) disproved the "bone fluid" theory.
I think its time for breakfast...
--

Paul D Oosterhout
I work for SAIC (but I don't speak for SAIC)
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Paul O wrote:

    Stay away from the bone fluid; it is past its prime.
Steve
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wrote:

Steven,
Do you think that the "bone fluid" theory deduced by Schriever and Diamond is correct?
And if so, would you say that Dr Philip Neufeld's suggestion that it is only necessary to avoid the placement of amalgams in contact with other metals when the surfaces of the contacting metals are exposed might therefore be inaccurate?
Or would you say that the "bone fluid" theory is wrong? In which case, is there any established scientific explanation for the fact that amalgam fillings are able to generate electrical potentials when they are free from contact with saliva?
Feel free to attempt a reply which demonstrates your ability to be honest and intelligent, rather than the dismal combination of indolence and cynicism implied by your previous contribition.
Remember you're supposed to be a bright guy.
Keith P Walsh
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Keith P Walsh wrote:

    Sorry--I am unfamiliar with the term "bone fluid". Not a term I believe we ever used in physiology. Can you define precisely what Schriever and Diamond mean by "bone fluid"?

    Keith, who told you that? ;-)
Steve

--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
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On 30 Apr, 20:45, Mark & Steven Bornfeld

No I can't.
I can only presume that they meant "fluid from bones".
If you want a more precise definition you might try asking either Schriever or Diamond themselves, although it's so long ago now since they reported their finding that amalgam dental fillings are able to generate electrical potentials even when their exposed surface are not in contact with any saliva, I suppose you might be too late.
At the time of publication of their paper "ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS", in 1952, William Schriever was a member of the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma, and Louis E Diamond likewise in the Department of Biochemistry at the University School of Medicine, Oklahoma City.
And it was the Journal of Dental Research that published it.
These facts of course doesn't necessarily prove that the "bone fluid" theory is correct.
Here again is what they actually said:
"Since the teeth were dry the potential difference V1 (Fig. 3) was the e.m.f. (e) caused by the action of the bone fluid on the two fillings, i.e., e = V1."
I strongly suspect that this assertion is really only a presumption which is based on the premise that in order for metal fillings to generate electrical potentials they must be in contact with an electrolyte of some kind. And I (we) now know for a fact that this premise is simply not true.
So if your reply was intended to convey the note of scepticism which I inferred when reading it, then I can only say that I too would share your scepticism, unless anyone knows of any experiment which has positively demonstrated that the electrolytic action of "bone fluid" on the surfaces of metal dental fillings does actually take place in sufficient degree as to produce the sizes of electrical potentials measured by Schriever and Diamond.
Otherwise, if we igore the "bone fluid" theory, then the question arises as to what other physical process could have been producing these electrical potentials if it wasn't the elecrolytic action of either saliva or bone fluid?
Any suggestions?
Or are you going to go with bone fluid now?
Keith P Walsh
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unexposed = deexposed
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Thank you for your contribution.
My copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (ninth edition, published in 1995 by Oxford University press and printed in the United States on acid-free paper) lists "unexposed" as a single word and defines its meaning simply as "not exposed".
This is precisely the meaning I intended when I used it in my previous post.
(For the record, the word "deexposed" isn't in there - perhaps it's in the "unconcise" edition.)
Dentists sometimes tell us (leastways a couple of them have told me) that new amalgam fillings quickly form a layer of metal oxide on their surfaces due to the electrolytic action of contacting fluids, and that on being formed this layer adheres to the surface of the amalgam with a degree of permanence such that it has the effect, after a finite period, of preventing the amalgam from taking place in any further electrolysis.
I am not aware of any scientific argument for suggesting that this is false.
However, whenever the results of any scientific studies are published reporting measurements of amalgam potentials with magnitudes in the hundreds of millivolts, in my experience the stock response of the dental profession is to say something like , "Ah yes we understand all about this, it's called "Galvanic activity" (or electrolysis), and it happens as a result of the electrochemical action of saliva on the metal fillings in the mouth."
But most of the reports I've read of experiments which have measured the electrical potentials in amalgams do not describe measurements taken from "new" fillings at all.
Scriever and Diamond's report "ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS" doesn't either.
Isn't there some inconsistency here?
Materials scientists may recognise that metal oxides do not make particularly good electrical insulators, so although a layer of oxide adhering to the surface of an amalgam filling may prevent any further electrolysis from taking place, it wouldn't necessarily be very good at preventing the flow of electrical current driven by electrical potentials arising from physical phenomena other than electrolysis. (I'll be happy to point a couple of them out again if anyone wants me to.)
Isn't it possible that the electrical potentials generated by amalgam fillings and measured by Schriever and Diamond as long ago as 1952 (and repeatedly measured by others ever since) do not in fact depend primarily on the natural phenomenon known as "electrolysis" for their existence?
(Remember that Schriever and Diamond proved that these electrical potentials could be measured even when there was no saliva in contact with the fillings.)
Keith P Walsh
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wrote:

A huge strawman, as -expos- isn't even English, which has been dead for 1000 years, but Latin, so whatever any such dictionary says is descriptive of the world's illiterate muttish bullshit.
un- != not-
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Hey - whatever you say Buddy!
Next time I'm in Oxford I'll pass on the message.
When a quantity of metal amalgam is used to fill a cavity in a tooth and is then allowed to set hard, part of the surface of the resulting solid filling is exposed to the environment of the oral cavity (mouth), and part of it is not.
If for the purposes of this discussion I can distinguish between these two parts by defining the former as the "outward" surface, and the latter as the "inward" surface, then I would expect that anyone with even the most rudimentary experience of these matters is unlikely to be confused by the following:
In their paper "ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS", William Schriever and Louis E. Diamond reported having measured electrical potentials in amalgam dental fillings when the outward surfaces of the fillings were not in contact with any saliva.
They also deduced that the measured potentials must therefore have been due to the "action" of "bone fluid" on the inward surfaces of those fillings.
I believe that this "deduction" may have been based on a false perception that in order for metal fillings to generate electrical potentials they must be in contact with an electrolyte of some sort, and that they may also have assumed without seeking any experimental confirmation that "bone fluid" is indeed able to act as such.
I would therefore suggest that the "bone fluid" explanation, put forward by Schriever and Diamond as a requirenment for the generation of electrical potentials by amalgam dental fillings in the absence of any contact with saliva, is not necessarily correct.
Would you agree?
(Dang it if I've misused a word somewhere! - I bet I have haven't I? You know, I'd love to see you let loose on Steven Bornfield. He thinks that the term "mercury amalgam" is a "pleonasm".)
Keith P Walsh
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Keith P Walsh wrote:

Its hard to say. Why don't you run a few tests and find out...
--

Paul D Oosterhout
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Back in 1992, in a master's degree thesis which appears to be attributed to Peter Sheridan, who was then a part-time Lecturer in the faculty of dentistry at Sydney university, the author makes the following declaration:
"Electrical Reading of restorations is particularly worthless....firstly there is no consensus as to what these devices are actually measuring and secondly, electric potentials or corrosion rate have not been established as significant factors in the body burden of mercury."
(For the complete article search newsgroup alt.support.mult-sclerosis for "Peter Sheridan")
Two things strike me about this statement. Firstly, the author appears to be suggesting that because scientists can't agree on the explanation for the measurements of electrical potentials taken from amalgams (remember that they can be measured in the complete absence of any contact with saliva), then we should just forget about them!
That's not scientific reasoning!
Amalgam dental fillings are placed in children's teeth! If it is possible to detect that they generate electrical potentials then these potentials should be measured again and again and again!, until there IS consensus as to what these measurements are telling us!
That is the scientific response!
And secondly, aside from the "body burden of mercury", it has not been established either whether or not electrical potentials in amalgams are a factor in increasing the body burden of ELECTRICAL CURRENT.
That's because it appears that the experimental investigations which would be necessary in order to do so have never been carried out.
It is the natural function of the human neurological system to transmit signals in the form of tiny electrical currents. However, it is NOT the natural function of the human neurological system to be constantly dissipating the electrical potentials generated by amalgam dental fillings.
(Remember that the widespread adoption of metal amalgam as a material for use in restorative dentistry was quickly followed by a rise to prominence of psychiatric "medicine" in our societies.)
In recent years technologists have developed extremely sensitive instruments which are able to measure neurological activity in the human body.
However, it appears that no attempt has yet been made to detect any difference between the neurological activity in the vicinity of teeth with amalgam fillings and the neurological activity in the vicinity of teeth without.
So when it comes to making up our minds whether or not to believe that amalgam fillings are "safe", we can only judge from a position of ignorance.
Keith P Walsh
PS, I suspect that the University of Sydney did award Peter Sheridan his master's degree.
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Keith P Walsh wrote, On 5/11/2008 4:21 PM:

And that is exactly why we need Keith Walsh to run the appropriate tests and take the required measurements. We simply can not trust this vital research to any other person.
Does anyone out their concur with my opinion?
--

Paul D Oosterhout
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wrote:

Oh gosh yes!
No doubt ONLY Keith P Walsh can make these measurements and determine once and for all whatever it is Keith P Walsh has been posting about the past 3-4 years.
Now watch, Keith P Walsh will post reams of detail on his myriad of posts from the past.
MA Sonjariv
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Well of course, back in 2002 I read the following statement on the website of the Canadian Dental Association:
"It should be noted that Health Canada has taken the position that "new amalgam fillings should not be placed in contact with existing metal devices in the mouth, such as braces.""
It's still there. You can find it at:
http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs_resources/faqs/dental_amalgam_faqs.asp#2
The CDA goes on to say:
"Health Canada's concern is related to galvanic effect, which occurs when two different metals are in close proximity and create the potential for electric current to be generated."
When I first read this six years ago I immediately wrote to Dr Philip Neufeld of Health Canada asking the question:
"Is this recommendation intended to apply to metal alloy retaining pins screwed into the root sockets of a patient's tooth?"
- and in his reply he "explained" the following:
"... it is unlikely that a metal retaining pin implanted into the tooth or the jaw bone would cause galvanic currents. In order for galvanic currents to be created, the pin would have to be in contact with an electrolyte such as saliva or extracellular fluids, ..."
But now we find that as long ago as 1952 it was discovered that amalgam dental fillings are still able to generate electrical potentials even when their outer surfaces (i.e those which are exposed to the environment of the oral cavity) are not in contact with saliva or any other electrolyte.
It's all in the Schriever and Diamond report entitled "ELECTROMOTIVE FORCES AND ELECTRIC CURRENTS CAUSED BY METALLIC DENTAL FILLINGS"
And in order to explain what they found, Schriever and Diamond said:
"Since the teeth were dry the potential difference V1 (Fig. 3) was the e.m.f. (e) caused by the action of the bone fluid on the two fillings, i.e., e = V1."
I think that there is an obvious contradiction here.
Can you offer any resolution for it?
Or do your "abilities" in scientific reasoning only allow you the option of ridiculing me again for pointing this contradiction out to you?
Keith P Walsh
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