OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate treatment of patients suffering from chronic ill health with a multitude of symptoms associated with metal exposure from dental amalgam and other metal alloys.
SETTING AND DESIGN: We included 796 patients in a retrospective study using a questionnaire about symptom changes, changes in quality of life as a consequence of treatment and assessment of care taking.
METHODS: Treatment of the patients by removal of offending dental metals and concomitant antioxidant therapy was implemented according to the Uppsala model based on a close co-operation between physicians and dentists.
RESULTS: More than 70% of the responders, remaining after exclusion of those who had not begun or completed removal, reported substantial recovery and increased quality of life. Comparison with similar studies showed accordance of the main results. Plasma concentrations of mercury before and after treatment supported the metal exposure to be causative for the ill health.
MAIN FINDINGS: Treatment according to the Uppsala model proved to be adequate for more than 70% of the patients. Patients with a high probability to respond successfully to current therapy might be detected by symptom profiles before treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that metal exposure from dental amalgam can cause ill health in a susceptible part of the exposed population was supported. Further research is warranted to develop laboratory tests to support identification of the group of patients responding to current therapy as well as to find out causes of problems in the group with no or negative results.