Still No Verdict from Scientists on Metal Dental Restorations

Scientists specialising in the thermoelectric behavior of materials have been unable to determine whether or not the thermoelectric
potentials generated by metal dental restorations are large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads.
Experts in thermoelectricity attending the 13th International Forum On Thermoelectricity held in Kiev, February 2009, undertook to answer questions regarding the thermoelectric behavior of metal dental resorations.
However so far there has been no information forthcoming.
The latest developments in the debate can be followed at the website of the International Thermoelectric society at:
http://www.its.org/node/5713
- where the message attached below has just been posted.
Best regards to all,
Keith P Walsh
PS, The thermoelectric effect is a natural phenomenon whereby dissimilar metals in contact with each other are able to generatee an electric current whenever their points of contact are subjected to a temperature difference.
There is no electrolysis involved.
***********************************************
It looks like I was wrong.
It’s been more than a year now and it appears that the scientific community, including the International Thermoelectric Society, is still completely ignorant of the thermoelectric properties of metal dental restorations. (In any case, I still haven’t had any answers to the questions I put to Professor Anatychuk at last year’s International forum on the matter.)
Let me explain the issue again.
Metal amalgams are used for filling cavities in people’s (including children’s) teeth.
And there isn’t anyone anywhere in the world who knows what the thermoelectric properties or thermoelectric behaviour of these materials are.
An amalgam is not an alloy.
A dental amalgam is formed by mixing bits of a solid alloy with liquid mercury and allowing the mixture to harden, and the entire process normally takes place at room temperature.
Under these circumstances what you get is a material which is fundamentally different from metallic alloys in the respect that its internal microstructure displays a much greater degree of inhomogeneity than an alloy.
The solid amalgam may be accurately described as an inhomogeneous mixture of dissimilar metals.
For an illustration of the microstructure of a typical dental amalgam see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/setting.htm
And, as result of its material inhomogeneity you might expect the thermoelectric behaviour of a dental amalgam to be more pronounced than that of a true metal alloy (i.e. where the constituent metals are all raised to a temperature which is above the melting point of each one, and the mixture is then allowed to cool at a controlled rate to produce a solid with a much higher degree of material homogeneity than in amalgams).
The “cores” of unreacted solid alloy in the dental amalgam have a different composition to that of the solid amalgam matrix in which they are held. The cores have no mercury in them at all, whilst all of the mercury used to form the material is contained within the surrounding matrix.
If you were to subject this material to a thermal gradient you would expect the difference between the thermoelectric properties of the cores and the surrounding matrix to give rise to a thermoelectric eddy current around each of the cores.
For an illustration of this type of thermoelectric eddy current see:
http://www.hs-magdeburg.de/fachbereiche/f-iwid/ET/Personen/Hinken/forschung/N6.htm In NDT applications the local electromagnetic fields generated by these thermoelectric eddy currents are detected at the surfaces of the materials in which they are induced by very sensitive instruments.
The question arises; is it possible that the very sensitive neurological tissue in the vicinity of teeth with amalgam dental fillings may be excited by the local electromagnetic fields associated with the thermoelectric eddy currents induced in the amalgams whenever they are subjected to a temperature gradient (e.g. when eating ice- cream)?
And has anyone ever bothered to carry out experimental investigations in order to determine whether this effect can be detected with very sensitive instruments?
Apart from the fact that dental amalgams are inhomogeneous mixtures of dissimilar metals in their own right, dentists also sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of patients’ teeth and encase the heads of the pins in amalgam, thereby creating the conditions for generating further thermoelectric potentials along the contours of the interface between the retaining pins and the amalgam.
In this instance there can be no excuse for not recognising the thermoelectric potential of the arrangement. Metal dental restorations are continually subjected to thermal gradients. The question arises; are the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental restorations comprising several different metallic materials in contact with each other large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people’s heads?
And has anyone ever bothered to carry out experimental investigations in order to determine what is the largest thermoelectric potential that can be generated by metal dental restorations?
Normal levels of electrical potentials generated by metal dental restorations can be routinely measured, see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/potentials.htm
And researchers have measured these potentials with magnitudes of up to 350 millivolts, see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/dutch.htm
(The resting potential of the human neurological synapses only 70 millivolts.)
Dental materials scientists, and members of the dental profession in general, have a tendency to assume that these potentials are the result of “galvanic activity”, or electrolysis, and that they are only generated when the amalgam is in contact with an electrolyte, which is normally presumed to be saliva. So, when researchers William Schriever of the University of Oklahoma and Louis E. Diamond of the University School of Medicine, Oklahoma City measured amalgam potentials of comparable magnitude when they had taken care to ensure that they were not in contact with any saliva at all, they deduced that the electrolytic agent in the generation of the measured potentials must have been “bone fluid” in contact with the hidden surfaces of the amalgam under the fillings. See: http://jdr.iadrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/2/205 The questions arise; is there any such “bone fluid” with the necessary acidic properties to justify this presumption? Is there any evidence that the required degree of electrolysis can be produced by the action of “bone fluid” to explain these electrical potentials (dentists are sometimes keen to explain that under initial galvanic action the surfaces of newly placed amalgam fillings quickly form a protective coating of metal oxide which adheres to those surfaces and, once it has formed, effectively PREVENTS any further electrolysis from taking place – and yet the presence of the electrical potentials in the amalgams can still be measured)? And is it not possible that these potentials are more accurately explained by thermoelectric and/or associated electromagnetic effects which do not involve any electrolysis at all?
I first asked questions about the thermoelectric behaviour of metal dental restorations in this forum more than ten years ago. In response, I received a series of what I thought were rather unscientific and condescending replies from Cronin B Vining, a prominent member of the thermoelectric community at the time. Mr Vining freely admitted that the substance of his replies was based largely on guesswork, see:
http://www.its.org/node/1233
Guesswork is an important part of the scientific process but it must always be supported by, and be consistent with, scientific (i.e. experimental) evidence in order for it to be accepted as scientific fact. Guesswork on its own does not constitute science, no matter who makes the guess. This is because in the absence of any corroborative experimental evidence there is always a possibility that the guess is wrong. And if experimental evidence contradicts the guess then according to the established principles of scientific understanding, it is wrong. (The celebrated American physicist Richard P Feynman was a committed proponent of this important principal, see YouTube “1993 Horizon No Ordinary Genius Pt 1 - 1 of 5”, 5 minutes in.)
Cronin Vining’s judgements on the thermoelectric behaviour of dental amalgams were made after only taking into account the percentage composition of the constituent metals which he had found in his search. He had completely ignored any consideration of the inhomogeneous nature of how these constituents are arranged in the material, a factor which we have already seen is of major significance to its thermoelectric behaviour.
And on subsequent questioning he also failed to address the question of how the combination of an alloy retaining pin with amalgam might behave under thermal gradients.
Professor Anatychuk of the Institute of Thermoelectricity in the Ukraine believes that Alessandro Volta was the first person to demonstrate a thermoelectric effect when he re-produced Luigi Galvani’s experiments with the frog’s leg. (Presumably Galvani doesn’t warrant the credit for it because he had offered a spurious explanation based on “animal electricity”).
http://www.thermoelectricityjournal.com/product_info.php?cPath=40_42&products_id=248
If professor Anatychuk is correct, and a single thermoelectric junction acting at ordinary temperature differentials generates a thermoelectric potential which is large enough to excite neurological cells in animal tissue, then this above all demonstrates the unquestionable necessity for investigating and establishing the size and effect of the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental restorations.
In my experience it is at this point in the argument that the apologists for dental amalgam begin to put forward the excuse that “if dental amalgams were causing anyone any harm we would have recognised it”.
Would we?
How would we?
It is ironic that dental amalgams were first introduced as a treatment for tooth decay around about the time that Thomas Johann Seebeck became the first person to demonstrate that the application of a temperature gradient to dissimilar metals in contact with each other gives rise to a local electromagnetic effect (and that this happens in the absence of any electrolytic action).
It can be reasonably argued that the widespread adoption of metal amalgams for treating cavities in teeth was quickly followed by the rise to prominence of psychiatric “medicine” in our societies. And as far as I can tell no-one has any convincing scientific argument for concluding that the two things are not linked by the relationship of cause and effect.
If the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental fillings are large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people’s heads, then this would provide a perfectly plausible causal link between the two. And in the absence of any experimental evidence to indicate one way or the other, no-one has any idea whether the proposal of such a causal link is accurate or not.
Alternative valid explanations for the large rates of affliction from so-called “psychiatric disorders which still persist today do not exist. Those of us alive today have all grown up in an era where the presence of amalgam fillings in teeth is commonplace, and the high incidence mental illness is regarded as “natural”.
Millions, if not billions, of dollars have been spent on research attempting to “prove” that the causes of psychiatric disease are “genetic” (so far without success), whilst at the same time nothing at all has been spent on investigating the physiological effects of thermoelectric batteries (metal dental fillings) in people’s teeth.
The upper and lower mandibles where the teeth of human beings are set do not have any muscle tissue, but there are very sensitive organs nearby. The medical profession is also unable to explain the causes of a class of disorders affecting the area of the lower head which may be described as neurological rather than psychological, disorders such as tinnitus (ears), Meniere’s disease (balance) and facial neuralgia.
Developing drugs which are partially successful in treating the symptoms of disorders such as these does not mean that their causes are understood. (And it can be demonstrated that the complaint of a permanent “ringing in the ears” has a much longer history than that of loud rock music - many tinnitus sufferers apparently do not acknowledge that their condition has anything to do with listening to loud music – see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/courier.htm
Meanwhile dentists ignorant of the thermoelectric behaviour of metal amalgams continue to place amalgam fillings in people’s teeth.
Dentists don’t know what thermoelectricity is.
They are taught in dental schools to believe that metals can only generate electrical potentials when they are involved in electrolytic reactions, see,
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/brown.htm
The International Thermoelectric Society has a duty to point out that dentists are mistaken in this belief.
Many years ago I also contacted Professor Rowe in Cardiff about the question of the thermoelectric properties of dental amalgams, and he glibly replied that these properties would be easy to measure (it’s so long ago that I no longer have a copy of his e-mail, but I expect that he remembers it as well as I do). So come on someone at ITS, take up the challenge and measure these properties. And publish the results. Measure the largest thermoelectric potential that can be generated by a metal dental restoration (but don’t forget that dentists sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of patient’s teeth and encase the heads of the pins in dental amalgam).
Don’t wait for Professor Rowe to do it. He’s too busy posing by his car.
In recent postings I’ve made insinuations against Professor Anatychuk which were perhaps unfair. I know he’s not a young man, and if he has now retired or is perhaps ill then I wish him well and acknowledge the importance of his work in thermoelectricity. But it looks as though, for whatever reason, he will not now be able to do the experimental work necessary to answer my questions (for example, what would have been the minimum temperature differential necessary for Volta to have applied to his apparatus in order to make the frog’s leg jump, using only a single thermocouple junction?).
And from what I can gather Cronin B Vining is disillusioned with thermoelectricity altogether (can’t say I’m surprised).
What’s needed is a young scientist with integrity who understands thermoelectricity from a scientific point of view and does not lack the courage to tackle a potentially controversial scientific issue with honesty, intelligence and fortitude.
Remember no scientist ever made a name for himself simply by regurgitating what others had told him (or her). Anyone who ever established a lasting reputation as a scientist did so by pursuing answers to things that they DIDN’T understand.
Towards the end of 1992 I wrote a series of five letters enquiring about the electrical behaviour of metal amalgam dental fillings.
You can find them at:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/intro.htm
As a result of the response to these letters, and of my own personal experiences both before and after they were written, I have come to believe that the electrical potentials generated by metal amalgam dental fillings are able to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads and, in so doing, make people unhappy.
And in extreme though not uncommon cases they are also able to cause permanent neurological injury which cannot be repaired simply by the removal of the fillings.
Metal amalgams are used for filling cavities in children’s teeth.
And there isn’t anyone anywhere in the world who knows what the thermoelectric properties of these materials are.
It’s idiotic.
Keith P Walsh
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Scientists specialising in the thermoelectric behavior of materials have been unable to determine whether or not the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental restorations are large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads.
Experts in thermoelectricity attending the 13th International Forum On Thermoelectricity held in Kiev, February 2009, undertook to answer questions regarding the thermoelectric behavior of metal dental resorations.
However so far there has been no information forthcoming.
The latest developments in the debate can be followed at the website of the International Thermoelectric society at:
http://www.its.org/node/5713
- where the message attached below has just been posted.
Best regards to all,
Keith P Walsh
PS, The thermoelectric effect is a natural phenomenon whereby dissimilar metals in contact with each other are able to generatee an electric current whenever their points of contact are subjected to a temperature difference.
There is no electrolysis involved.
***********************************************
It looks like I was wrong.
It’s been more than a year now and it appears that the scientific community, including the International Thermoelectric Society, is still completely ignorant of the thermoelectric properties of metal dental restorations. (In any case, I still haven’t had any answers to the questions I put to Professor Anatychuk at last year’s International forum on the matter.)
Let me explain the issue again.
Metal amalgams are used for filling cavities in people’s (including children’s) teeth.
And there isn’t anyone anywhere in the world who knows what the thermoelectric properties or thermoelectric behaviour of these materials are.
An amalgam is not an alloy.
A dental amalgam is formed by mixing bits of a solid alloy with liquid mercury and allowing the mixture to harden, and the entire process normally takes place at room temperature.
Under these circumstances what you get is a material which is fundamentally different from metallic alloys in the respect that its internal microstructure displays a much greater degree of inhomogeneity than an alloy.
The solid amalgam may be accurately described as an inhomogeneous mixture of dissimilar metals.
For an illustration of the microstructure of a typical dental amalgam see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/setting.htm
And, as result of its material inhomogeneity you might expect the thermoelectric behaviour of a dental amalgam to be more pronounced than that of a true metal alloy (i.e. where the constituent metals are all raised to a temperature which is above the melting point of each one, and the mixture is then allowed to cool at a controlled rate to produce a solid with a much higher degree of material homogeneity than in amalgams).
The “cores” of unreacted solid alloy in the dental amalgam have a different composition to that of the solid amalgam matrix in which they are held. The cores have no mercury in them at all, whilst all of the mercury used to form the material is contained within the surrounding matrix.
If you were to subject this material to a thermal gradient you would expect the difference between the thermoelectric properties of the cores and the surrounding matrix to give rise to a thermoelectric eddy current around each of the cores.
For an illustration of this type of thermoelectric eddy current see:
http://www.hs-magdeburg.de/fachbereiche/f-iwid/ET/Personen/Hinken/forschung/N6.htm In NDT applications the local electromagnetic fields generated by these thermoelectric eddy currents are detected at the surfaces of the materials in which they are induced by very sensitive instruments.
The question arises; is it possible that the very sensitive neurological tissue in the vicinity of teeth with amalgam dental fillings may be excited by the local electromagnetic fields associated with the thermoelectric eddy currents induced in the amalgams whenever they are subjected to a temperature gradient (e.g. when eating ice- cream)?
And has anyone ever bothered to carry out experimental investigations in order to determine whether this effect can be detected with very sensitive instruments?
Apart from the fact that dental amalgams are inhomogeneous mixtures of dissimilar metals in their own right, dentists also sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of patients’ teeth and encase the heads of the pins in amalgam, thereby creating the conditions for generating further thermoelectric potentials along the contours of the interface between the retaining pins and the amalgam.
In this instance there can be no excuse for not recognising the thermoelectric potential of the arrangement. Metal dental restorations are continually subjected to thermal gradients. The question arises; are the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental restorations comprising several different metallic materials in contact with each other large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people’s heads?
And has anyone ever bothered to carry out experimental investigations in order to determine what is the largest thermoelectric potential that can be generated by metal dental restorations?
Normal levels of electrical potentials generated by metal dental restorations can be routinely measured, see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/potentials.htm
And researchers have measured these potentials with magnitudes of up to 350 millivolts, see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/dutch.htm
(The resting potential of the human neurological synapses only 70 millivolts.)
Dental materials scientists, and members of the dental profession in general, have a tendency to assume that these potentials are the result of “galvanic activity”, or electrolysis, and that they are only generated when the amalgam is in contact with an electrolyte, which is normally presumed to be saliva. So, when researchers William Schriever of the University of Oklahoma and Louis E. Diamond of the University School of Medicine, Oklahoma City measured amalgam potentials of comparable magnitude when they had taken care to ensure that they were not in contact with any saliva at all, they deduced that the electrolytic agent in the generation of the measured potentials must have been “bone fluid” in contact with the hidden surfaces of the amalgam under the fillings. See: http://jdr.iadrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/2/205 The questions arise; is there any such “bone fluid” with the necessary acidic properties to justify this presumption? Is there any evidence that the required degree of electrolysis can be produced by the action of “bone fluid” to explain these electrical potentials (dentists are sometimes keen to explain that under initial galvanic action the surfaces of newly placed amalgam fillings quickly form a protective coating of metal oxide which adheres to those surfaces and, once it has formed, effectively PREVENTS any further electrolysis from taking place – and yet the presence of the electrical potentials in the amalgams can still be measured)? And is it not possible that these potentials are more accurately explained by thermoelectric and/or associated electromagnetic effects which do not involve any electrolysis at all?
I first asked questions about the thermoelectric behaviour of metal dental restorations in this forum more than ten years ago. In response, I received a series of what I thought were rather unscientific and condescending replies from Cronin B Vining, a prominent member of the thermoelectric community at the time. Mr Vining freely admitted that the substance of his replies was based largely on guesswork, see:
http://www.its.org/node/1233
Guesswork is an important part of the scientific process but it must always be supported by, and be consistent with, scientific (i.e. experimental) evidence in order for it to be accepted as scientific fact. Guesswork on its own does not constitute science, no matter who makes the guess. This is because in the absence of any corroborative experimental evidence there is always a possibility that the guess is wrong. And if experimental evidence contradicts the guess then according to the established principles of scientific understanding, it is wrong. (The celebrated American physicist Richard P Feynman was a committed proponent of this important principal, see YouTube “1993 Horizon No Ordinary Genius Pt 1 - 1 of 5”, 5 minutes in.)
Cronin Vining’s judgements on the thermoelectric behaviour of dental amalgams were made after only taking into account the percentage composition of the constituent metals which he had found in his search. He had completely ignored any consideration of the inhomogeneous nature of how these constituents are arranged in the material, a factor which we have already seen is of major significance to its thermoelectric behaviour.
And on subsequent questioning he also failed to address the question of how the combination of an alloy retaining pin with amalgam might behave under thermal gradients.
Professor Anatychuk of the Institute of Thermoelectricity in the Ukraine believes that Alessandro Volta was the first person to demonstrate a thermoelectric effect when he re-produced Luigi Galvani’s experiments with the frog’s leg. (Presumably Galvani doesn’t warrant the credit for it because he had offered a spurious explanation based on “animal electricity”).
http://www.thermoelectricityjournal.com/product_info.php?cPath=40_42&products_id=248
If professor Anatychuk is correct, and a single thermoelectric junction acting at ordinary temperature differentials generates a thermoelectric potential which is large enough to excite neurological cells in animal tissue, then this above all demonstrates the unquestionable necessity for investigating and establishing the size and effect of the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental restorations.
In my experience it is at this point in the argument that the apologists for dental amalgam begin to put forward the excuse that “if dental amalgams were causing anyone any harm we would have recognised it”.
Would we?
How would we?
It is ironic that dental amalgams were first introduced as a treatment for tooth decay around about the time that Thomas Johann Seebeck became the first person to demonstrate that the application of a temperature gradient to dissimilar metals in contact with each other gives rise to a local electromagnetic effect (and that this happens in the absence of any electrolytic action).
It can be reasonably argued that the widespread adoption of metal amalgams for treating cavities in teeth was quickly followed by the rise to prominence of psychiatric “medicine” in our societies. And as far as I can tell no-one has any convincing scientific argument for concluding that the two things are not linked by the relationship of cause and effect.
If the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental fillings are large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people’s heads, then this would provide a perfectly plausible causal link between the two. And in the absence of any experimental evidence to indicate one way or the other, no-one has any idea whether the proposal of such a causal link is accurate or not.
Alternative valid explanations for the large rates of affliction from so-called “psychiatric disorders which still persist today do not exist. Those of us alive today have all grown up in an era where the presence of amalgam fillings in teeth is commonplace, and the high incidence mental illness is regarded as “natural”.
Millions, if not billions, of dollars have been spent on research attempting to “prove” that the causes of psychiatric disease are “genetic” (so far without success), whilst at the same time nothing at all has been spent on investigating the physiological effects of thermoelectric batteries (metal dental fillings) in people’s teeth.
The upper and lower mandibles where the teeth of human beings are set do not have any muscle tissue, but there are very sensitive organs nearby. The medical profession is also unable to explain the causes of a class of disorders affecting the area of the lower head which may be described as neurological rather than psychological, disorders such as tinnitus (ears), Meniere’s disease (balance) and facial neuralgia.
Developing drugs which are partially successful in treating the symptoms of disorders such as these does not mean that their causes are understood. (And it can be demonstrated that the complaint of a permanent “ringing in the ears” has a much longer history than that of loud rock music - many tinnitus sufferers apparently do not acknowledge that their condition has anything to do with listening to loud music – see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/courier.htm
Meanwhile dentists ignorant of the thermoelectric behaviour of metal amalgams continue to place amalgam fillings in people’s teeth.
Dentists don’t know what thermoelectricity is.
They are taught in dental schools to believe that metals can only generate electrical potentials when they are involved in electrolytic reactions, see,
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/brown.htm
The International Thermoelectric Society has a duty to point out that dentists are mistaken in this belief.
Many years ago I also contacted Professor Rowe in Cardiff about the question of the thermoelectric properties of dental amalgams, and he glibly replied that these properties would be easy to measure (it’s so long ago that I no longer have a copy of his e-mail, but I expect that he remembers it as well as I do). So come on someone at ITS, take up the challenge and measure these properties. And publish the results. Measure the largest thermoelectric potential that can be generated by a metal dental restoration (but don’t forget that dentists sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of patient’s teeth and encase the heads of the pins in dental amalgam).
Don’t wait for Professor Rowe to do it. He’s too busy posing by his car.
In recent postings I’ve made insinuations against Professor Anatychuk which were perhaps unfair. I know he’s not a young man, and if he has now retired or is perhaps ill then I wish him well and acknowledge the importance of his work in thermoelectricity. But it looks as though, for whatever reason, he will not now be able to do the experimental work necessary to answer my questions (for example, what would have been the minimum temperature differential necessary for Volta to have applied to his apparatus in order to make the frog’s leg jump, using only a single thermocouple junction?).
And from what I can gather Cronin B Vining is disillusioned with thermoelectricity altogether (can’t say I’m surprised).
What’s needed is a young scientist with integrity who understands thermoelectricity from a scientific point of view and does not lack the courage to tackle a potentially controversial scientific issue with honesty, intelligence and fortitude.
Remember no scientist ever made a name for himself simply by regurgitating what others had told him (or her). Anyone who ever established a lasting reputation as a scientist did so by pursuing answers to things that they DIDN’T understand.
Towards the end of 1992 I wrote a series of five letters enquiring about the electrical behaviour of metal amalgam dental fillings.
You can find them at:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/intro.htm
As a result of the response to these letters, and of my own personal experiences both before and after they were written, I have come to believe that the electrical potentials generated by metal amalgam dental fillings are able to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads and, in so doing, make people unhappy.
And in extreme though not uncommon cases they are also able to cause permanent neurological injury which cannot be repaired simply by the removal of the fillings.
Metal amalgams are used for filling cavities in children’s teeth.
And there isn’t anyone anywhere in the world who knows what the thermoelectric properties of these materials are.
It’s idiotic.
Keith P Walsh
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On Sun, 21 Feb 2010 11:20:53 -0800 (PST), Keith P Walsh

That is bloody nonsense.
.
--
Die volle Härte: http://www.kindersprechstunde.at
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Are you suggesting that scientists HAVE been able to determine whether or not the thermoelectric potentials generated by metal dental fillings are able to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads?
Or that they SHOULD be able to?
Or that metal dental fillings don't generate ANY thermoelectric potential?
Or WHAT?
See if you can put into some kind of coherent argument just exactly what it is that I've written that you think is "bloody nonsense", and why.
Keith P Walsh
PS, the materials used in restorative dentistry are not exempt from the laws of nature.
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Keith P Walsh wrote:

I sometimes believe that Keith P Walsh is just a recording that plays slightly randomized versions of the same message at random times.
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Probably triggered by random fluctuations in the electrical potential of someone's tooth fillings.
--
Peter Bowditch aa #2243
The Millenium Project http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles
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wrote:

OH NOOOOOOOOOooooo! It all just became so CLEAR TO ME! It is FREAKING ME OUT!
THE GUY IS RIGHT!
All these years Jan was on the hot ticket of merc fillings and all, we all laughed and had a great time at her expense, but after all these years we can now see the correlation between her and the gentleman who wrote the request for into DOG GONE IT!
She and him are both Looney as a BAT! Common cause got to be fillings, merc fillings in combo with bridge amplifiers and the like!
So there IS a reason for her MADNESS!
I hereby apologize to the crazy broad for acting crazy. You have good reason! Too bad the discovery was made AFTER you suffered your irreversible effects. Sorry. ;(
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You wouldn't have a clue if I was right or not.
You don't know enough about it.
All materials generate thermoelectric emf (that's "electro-motive force"), just ask a thermoelectrician.
In particular, metals, and especially inhomogeneous mixtures of metals and dissimilar metals in contact with each other, display prominent thermoelectric behavior (there is no electrolysis involved).
A typical dental amalgam may be accurately described as an inhomogeneous mixture of dissimilar metals in its own right. Not only that, but dentists sometimes also screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of patients' teeth and encase the heads of the pins in metal amalgams.
The materials used in restorative dentistry are not exempt from the laws of nature. You'd have to be completely silly to believe otherwise.
However, in spite of the fact that metal amalgam dental restorations are placed in children's teeth, it appears that experimental investigations to determine the thermoelectric properties of these materials have never been carried out.
It's idiotic.
And it sounds to me like you're one of the idiots.
Keith P Walsh
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Once again, Keith - when are you going to start doing the tests?
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Peter Bowditch aa #2243
The Millenium Project http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles
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I thought of a better idea. I decided to ask an expert. (No, not at dentist - dentists don't know anything about thermoelectricity.)
Here's what happened.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ hello! type your message here [12/02/2009 12:08:10] Keith P Walsh says: Are metallic dental restorations which consist of dissimilar metals in contact with each other able to generate thermoelectric potentials? [12/02/2009 12:08:54] Keith P Walsh says: And are these potentials large enough to dissipate electrical energy through the nerves in people's heads. [12/02/2009 12:10:58] Keith P Walsh says: Remember that dentists sometimes screw a metal alloy retaining pin into the root socket of a patient's tooth and encase the head of the pin in metal amalgam. And dental restorations are subjected to thermal gradients all the time. [12/02/2009 12:11:28] XIII Forum of Thermoelectricity says: who do you want to address the question? [12/02/2009 12:11:44] Keith P Walsh says: Professor Anatychuk [12/02/2009 12:16:58] Keith P Walsh says: Volta's frog's leg experiment - for two dissimilar conductors in contact with the frog's leg - how big does the temperature differential have to be to make the frog's leg jump? how many degree K - to Prof. Anatychuk [12/02/2009 12:17:05] XIII Forum of Thermoelectricity says: Introduce yourself, please. Your question is accepted. Professor will answer, when will be in a position. [12/02/2009 12:18:56] Keith P Walsh says: My name is Keith Walsh, I am in the UK. I have read that metal dental fillings generate electrical potentials up to 350 milliviolts - is this a thermoelectric potential? [12/02/2009 12:19:41] Keith P Walsh says: my e-mail address is snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Professor L I Anatychuk is perhaps the greatest living authority on the science of thermoelectric phenomena and thermoelectric materials.
He has written a paper explaining his own belief that the well-known "Volta's frog's leg experiment" demonstrated that a thermoelectric potential generated by a single thermocouple junction acting at ordinary temperature differentials is sufficient to stimulate neurological activity in animal tissue.
You would have thought that the Amarican Dental Association, or the British Dental Association, or the Ukrainian Dental Association (assuming that there is one), or any one of dozens of dental associations around the world might have asked him whether the same principle is likely to apply to the inhomogeneous mixtures of dissimilar metals used in restorative dentistry.
Or maybe if they don't trust Professor Anatychuk's opinion on the matter they could carry out the necessary experimental investigations themselves.
(And publish the results of course!)
Keith P Walsh
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Which doesn't answer my question. You have been whining about this for years. When are you going to go to a nearby university and ask them to put a graduate student onto the job?
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Peter Bowditch aa #2243
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Keith P Walsh wrote, On 3/8/2010 4:09 PM:

Come'on Keith, everyone knows that you are the world's leading expert on this subject. Do your own tests.
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Paul D Oosterhout
I work for SAIC (but I don't speak for SAIC)
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You're wrong. Professor Anatychuk knows more about this stuff than anybody.
He thinks that Volta's frog's leg experiment was evidence of the fact that thermoelectric effects at ordinary temperature differences are large enough to stimulate neurological function in animal tissue, see:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/Anatychuk_papers.html
- although I must admit I have no reason to disagree with him.
Remember there is NO ELECTROLYSIS involved.
And of course it would be silly to suggest that the materials used in restorative dentistry are exempt from the laws of nature.
Keith P Walsh
PS, Remember also that there is no muscle tissue in the upper or lower mandibles of the human head, although there are some very sensitive organs nearby which are linked to the teeth by nerves.
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On Mon, 5 Apr 2010 22:24:47 -0700 (PDT), Keith P Walsh

"thermoelectric" ???
.
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Yes, "thermoelectric".
For an elementary description of the thermoelectric effect go to:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/thermo2.htm
The general principle is that if you place two dissimilar metals in contact with each other and establish a temperature difference between the points of contact then an electrical current will flow, and it will continue to flow for as long as the temperature difference is maintained.
And there is NO ELECTROLYSIS involved.
The stageering thing is that for more than a century and a half AFTER the discovery of the thermoelectric effect, dental students in dental schools were taught to believe that dissimilar metals in contact with each other are only able to generate an electrical current if they become involved in an electrolytic reaction! See:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/brown.htm
This might explain why the dental profession is full of dozy dim- witted dunces. (I'm referring to the ones who were fooled into believing that dissimilar metals in contact with each other are only able to generate an electrical current if they become involved in an electrolytic reaction.)
Keith P Walsh
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What are the "dissimilar metals in contact with each other" in dental amalgam? Please remember that it is an alloy, not two metals side by side.
Assuming that in your ignorance you do mean amalgam, please explain how the different metals in the alloy manage to be at different temperatures.
Thank you.
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On Tue, 06 Apr 2010 21:13:33 GMT, in misc.health.alternative, Peter

I read this and had to read the OP article, again. He made his 1st mistake in Confusing and Amalgam with two separate and distinct metal pieces.
As in zinc and copper strips in a thermocouple.

The metals are at the same temps and not in separate pieces, how is any potential generated.

I am curious, too.
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Dental amalgam differs from true alloys in its material structure. The microstructure of the amalgam has a much greater degree of material inhomogeneity than any true alloy, and this difference is due to the difference in the ways that the two types of material are formed.
In he case of alloys, ALL of the component metals are raised to a temperature which is greater than their melting points. After that they are mixed together thoroughly in their molten state and the mixture is then allowed to solidify by cooling at a controlled rate.
In the case of amalgams, a liquid metal (mercury for dental amalgams) is mixed together with bits of solid alloy at a temperature which is well below the temperature of the solid component(s). When this mixture hardens what you get is a material which consists of large (i.e., large in comparison to any variations in the composition of the microstructure of a true alloy) lumps of the original solid component which have no mercury in them at all, each surrounded and held together by a solid matrix of a dissimilar material which does have mercury in it.
You can see a graphical representation of a typical example of this "much more inhomogeneous" microstructure at:
http://book.boot.users.btopenworld.com/setting.htm
So you should be able to see right there that the amalgam consisists of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other".
This arrangement of "dissimilar metals metals in contact with each other" does not look like the fimiliar arrangement of thermocouple wires which we are perhaps more familiar with and which utilises the thermoelectric effect to measure temperatures. However it is still an arrangement of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other", it's just that the bits of the first dissimilar metal are held within a solid matrix of the other.
Now, it is an established scientific fact that this type of inhomogeneous arrangement gives rise to a much more prominent degree of thermoelectric behavior than in the less inhomogeneous material structures found in true alloys.
If you go to:
http://www.hs-magdeburg.de/fachbereiche/f-iwid/ET/Personen/Hinken/forschung/N6.htm
- you will see a graphical representation of the thermoelectric eddy current and associated local electromagnetic effect which are generated whenever a temperature difference applies across a volume of one electrically conductive material which is completely encased within another (Fig.d is particularly instructive).
This effect is used to identify the presence of inclusions of dissimilar materials within material samples by using sensitive instruments which can detect the electromagnetic effect at the surface of the sample.
And of course the temperature difference across the inclusion can be easily induced by applying a temperature difference across the host sample.
Amalgam dental fillings are subjected to temperature differences all the time (ever heard of an ice-cream headache?).
And I think you would agree that it would be stupid to suggest that the materials used in restorative dentistry are exempt from the laws of nature.
So, my question to you is, do you think that it would be possible to detect the thermoelectric and/or electromagnetic activity induced in metal amalgam dental fillings by the application of temperature differences across them?
Thank you.
Keith P Walsh
PS, dentists sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of their patients' teeth and encase the heads of the pins in metal amalgam.
I think that even you would have to agree that what you have there is an example of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other" - wouldn't you?
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Probably not, as mercury and silver are both very good conductors of heat, so there won't be a lot of little temperature gradients inside a filling.
Why don't you do the experiment to find out?
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Peter Bowditch aa #2243
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On Tue, 6 Apr 2010 10:23:21 -0700 (PDT), Keith P Walsh

That is plain bullshit and proves that during the last years - despite so many discussions in the net - you did not learn even the slightest thing about dental amalgam.
Why are you so eager to again and again prove that your are damned stupid!?
.
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