About Dr. Russ
Many people ask me what started my interest in dentistry. The fact is, my father, who grew up in Seattle, had an uncle that was a lab technician in downtown Seattle in the 1920s- 1930s, and gave him encouragement to study dentistry. My father started at the University of Washington, but it was after the great depression and he was unable to continue for financial reasons.
Since I’ve been young, it’s been instilled in me to study dentistry. I accepted the idea and decided to pursue it, unless something else came along that captured my interest. During high school, athletics and a busy social life interested me more than studies, and I remember a counselor telling me not to waste my time trying for dental school, that I wouldn’t make it. As it turned out, I had better grades in undergraduate school at the U of W than high school, and graduated a quarter early with a Bachelor of Science in zoology. Shortly after, I was accepted into the dental program.
I graduated from the University of Washington Dental School in 1976 with great idealism and toxicity. I decided to be a pioneer and move to Lopez Island, a small island in the San Juan Islands, opening the first dental clinic on the island. Over time, I created what I believed to be a healthy lifestyle, however, I had symptoms of disease that were continuing to worsen. Symptoms such as high blood pressure, intense allergy symptoms, disabling headaches, skin rashes so bad that they would break open and bleed, and even more disturbing to me, progressive mental and psychological compromises.
As I created friendships with some of my patients, I shared with some my health concerns. It was one day in 1979, when I was given Dr. Westin A. Price’s book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” This sparked my study of nutrition and my search for health. Not long after, I joined a nutrition study club, meeting in Seattle once a month with a mentor, Dr. Jeff Bland.
Over the years, I learned a lot. With this knowledge, my symptoms had started to improve, yet I was not satisfied, and the desire to find answers continued.
From 1980 to 1982, I attended seminars put on by Dr. Hal Huggins. Over a six-day study of nutrition and body chemistry balancing, Dr. Huggins talked about a trip he had taken. He talked about learning from a Dr. Olympio Pinto in Brazil, who had helped people recover from diseases by removing “silver” fillings from their teeth, which are 50% mercury.
Next thing we did in class changed my life!
We performed a mercury patch test on ourselves, which consisted of taking our blood pressure, temperature and heart rate prior to placing a small amount of mercuric chloride on our skin. The plan was to keep it on overnight and measure our response again in the morning.
Well, I started to react instantly! Within a couple minutes, I was getting lightheaded, my pulse started racing, and I started to sweat profusely. I immediately realized I was not only sensitive to mercury, but was hypersensitive to the compound that I had a mouth full of and I was using daily to place in patients.
When I returned home, I immediately stopped placing mercury fillings. That was the fall of 1982. It took me a couple of years to safely replace my own 13 mercury fillings, but when I did, my health changed dramatically. No longer did I have debilitating headaches at the end of my work days. No longer did I have to medicate myself with antihistamines to avoid a constant nasal drip 6 months out of the year. My skin condition cleared up and my mental confusion, bouts of anger, depression, and thoughts of despair and hopelessness became a distant memory.
It wasn’t long after that I joined the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) where I found other dentists and practitioners that shared my concerns, and later, the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM).
My commitment to continue learning and sharing my journey with my practice of dentistry continues. I designed and built a health clinic building with the goal of creating a safe, healthy environment. I have in place protocols for safe replacement of mercury and other toxic dental materials. I have chosen to include the study of homeopathy, herbal medicine, and integrate dental medicine to my practice of biological dentistry.