Fluoride Action Network

Dentist allowed to criticize mercury-based fillings

Source: The Associated Press | July 14th, 2005

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut dentist who has been outspoken about what he contends are health risks in mercury-based dental fillings can continue to speak out.

Mark Breiner, who has offices in Orange, has reached a settlement with state public health officials who had threatened to pull his license.

The health department has said Breiner’s views on the potential harm of mercury-based fillings are not based on sufficient medical evidence.

The state Department of Public Health has agreed to amend an agreement made in 2001 under which Breiner agreed to stop recommending that his patients replace their amalgam fillings. The change permits Breiner to speak publicly and write commentary pieces about his beliefs concerning risks in amalgam fillings.

“I can say whatever I want in public and not have to worry,” Breiner said yesterday.

The health department had said that an opinion piece Breiner wrote for the Connecticut Post in 2002 violated the consent decree from a year earlier.

Breiner contacted the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and sued the department, claiming it was violating his free-speech rights.

“I could have said I won’t speak out any more on this topic. I could have capitulated,” Breiner said. “But that’s not my nature.

The modified consent decree now allows him to speak out or publish his opinion.

Breiner is still barred, however, from recommending that patients have amalgam fillings removed.

“I do not have free speech within the confines of my office,” Breiner said. “When you have a license, you forfeit certain freedoms.”