Titanium Implants Can Cause Cancer

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/08/Be-VERY-Careful-When-Replacing-Missing-Teeth.aspx

Be VERY Careful When Replacing Missing Teeth
By Dr. Lina Garcia

A dental implant is one option for replacing missing or badly diseased teeth. It is composed of an artificial root that looks like a post or screw and is covered with a dental crown.

Treatment involves the surgical placement of the implant into the jawbone, where it is allowed to fuse to the bone in a process called “osseointegration.”

Once healed, the implant acts as an anchor for an artificial replacement tooth, or crown. The crown is made to blend in with your other teeth and is permanently attached to the implant.

A typical dental implant is made of pure titanium and/or a titanium alloy.

In fact, titanium alloys are widely used in both medicine and dentistry, for dental implants, pacemakers, stents, orthodontal brackets, and orthopedic implants (e.g., hip, shoulder, knee, or elbow). Not only is titanium strong, but many consider it biocompatible: it forms an oxide layer when exposed to air, and this purportedly results in reduced corrosion and superior osseointegration.

So why should you reject the standard titanium metal implant?

Titanium is NOT Biologically Inert

Titanium implants release metal ions into your mouth 24 hours a day, and this chronic exposure may trigger inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune disease in susceptible individuals. They are a precursor to disease.

Cases of intolerance to metal implants have been reported over the years, and the removal of this incompatible dental material has resulted in reduced metal sensitivity and long-term health improvement in the majority of patients.

Titanium has the potential to induce hypersensitivity as well as other immunological dysfunctions.

One study investigated 56 patients who developed severe health problems after receiving titanium-based dental implants. These medical problems included muscle, joint, and nerve pain; chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological problems; depression; and skin inflammation.

Removal of the implants resulted in a dramatic improvement in the patients’ symptoms, as well as a decrease in many patients’ sensitivity to titanium.

For example, a 54-year-old man with a titanium dental implant and four titanium screws in his vertebra was so sick that he could not work. He suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, Parkinson-like trembling, and severe depression. Six months after the removal of the implants and screws, he was able to return to work.

In another case, a 14-year-old girl developed inflammatory lesions on her face six months after being fitted with titanium orthodontal brackets.

She was also mentally and physically exhausted, and her reactivity to titanium skyrocketed. Within nine months of replacing the brackets with a metal-free material, her facial lesions had almost completely healed, she was healthy and active, and her sensitivity to titanium returned to a normal level.

Titanium Implants Can Cause Cancer

Another complication of the use of implanted titanium is its potential to induce the abnormal proliferation of cells (neoplasia), which can lead to the development of malignant tumors and cancer. Through rare, it is a well-known complication of orthopedic surgery that involves the implantation of metallic hardware.

Furthermore, researchers recently uncovered the first reported case of a sarcoma arising in association with a dental implant.

As described in the August 2008 issue of JADA (The Journal of the American Dental Association), a 38-year-old woman developed bone cancer eleven months after receiving a titanium dental implant. Luckily, she was successfully treated with chemotherapy, but the authors recommended further research into the tumor-causing potential of dental implants in light of their increasing popularity and their ability to last for longer periods of time.

Why You Want to Avoid ANY Kind of Metal in Your Mouth

Finally, the presence of any metal in your mouth sets the stage for “galvanic toxicity,” because your mouth essentially becomes a charged battery when dissimilar metals sit in a bed of saliva.

All that is needed to make a battery is two or more different metals and a liquid medium that can conduct electricity (i.e., an electrolyte). Metal implants, fillings, crowns, partials, and orthodontics provide the dissimilar metals, and the saliva in your mouth serves as the electrolyte.

An electric current called a galvanic current is then generated by the transport of the metal ions from the metal-based dental restorations into the saliva. This phenomenon is called “oral galvanism,” and it literally means that your mouth is acting like a small car battery or a miniature electrical generator. The currents can actually be measured using an ammeter!

Oral galvanism creates two major concerns.

First, the electric currents increase the rate of corrosion (or dissolution) of metal-based dental restorations. Even precious metal alloys continuously release metal ions into your mouth due to corrosion, a process that gnaws away bits of metal from the metal’s surface.

These ions react with other components of your body, leading to sensitivity, inflammation, and, ultimately, autoimmune disease. Increasing the corrosion rate, therefore, increases the chance of developing immunologic or toxic reactions to the metals.

Second, some individuals are very susceptible to these internal electrical currents. Dissimilar metals in your mouth can cause unexplained pain, nerve shocks, ulcerations, and inflammation, and many people also experience a constant metallic or salty taste, or a burning sensation in their mouth.

Moreover, there is the concern that oral galvanism directs electrical currents into brain tissue and can disrupt the natural electrical current in your brain.

New Alternatives to Titanium Implants

In recent years, high-strength ceramic implants have become attractive alternatives to titanium implants, and some current research has focused on the viability of materials such as zirconia (the dioxide of zirconium, a metal close to titanium on the periodic table).

Metal-free zirconia implants have been used in Europe and South America for years, but they have only recently become available in the U.S.

Zirconia implants are highly biocompatible to the human body and exhibit minimum ion release compared to metallic implants.

Studies have shown that the osseointegration of zirconia and titanium implants are very similar, and that zirconia implants have a comparable survival rate, thereby making them an excellent alternative to metal implants.

Moreover, zirconia ceramics have been successfully used in orthopedic surgery to manufacture ball heads for total hip replacements.

Therefore, given that titanium dental implants can induce metal sensitivity, inflammation, autoimmunity, and malignant tumors, while zirconia implants are metal-free but just as durable, why invite chronic metal exposure?

Your body would surely benefit from choosing the biocompatible, ceramic dental implant over the standard, titanium metal implant.

Dr. Lina Garcia, a committed holistic dentist for 25 years, has dedicated her practice to using dental materials that will support your health and not disease. In her practice, she offers only metal-free restorative materials, including zirconia implants.

References:

Chaturvedi TP. An overview of the corrosion aspect of dental implants (titanium and its alloys). Indian J Dent Res 2009; 20:91-8.

Depprich R, Zipprich H, Ommerborn M, Mahn E, Lammers L, Handschel J, Naujoks C, Wiesmann H, Kubler NR, Meyer U. Osseointegration of zirconia implants: an SEM observation of the bone-implant interface. Head & Face Medicine 2008, 4:25.

Huggins, H. It’s all in your head: the link between mercury amalgams and illness. 1993, Avery Publishing Group Inc., Garden City Park, New York.

Lambrich M, Iglhaut. Vergleich der Überlebensrate von Zirkondioxid- und Titanimplantaten. (“Comparison of the survival rates for zirconia and titanium implants.”) Zeitschrift für Zahnärztliche Implantologie (Journal of Dental Implantology) 2008; 24(3).

McGuff HS, Jeim-Hall J, Holsinger FC, Jones AA, O’Dell DS, Hafemeister AC. Maxillary osteosarcoma associated with a dental implant. JADA 2008; 139:1052-59.

Muller KE, Valentine-Thon E. Hypersensitivity to titanium: Clinical and laboratory evidence. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006; 27(Suppl1): 31–35.

Muris J, Feilzer AJ. Micro analysis of metals in dental restorations as part of a diagnostic approach in metal allergies. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006; 27(Suppl 1): 49–52.

Stejskal VD, Hudecek R, Stejskal J, Sterzl I. Diagnosis and treatment of metal-induced side-effects. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2006; 27 (Suppl 1): 7–16.

Stejskal J, Stejskal VD. The role of metals in autoimmunity and the link to neuroendocrinology. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 1999; 20(6): 351–364.

Ziff S, Ziff MF. Dentistry without mercury. 1995 ed. Bio-Probe, Inc., Orlando, Florida.


Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
First, I’d like to thank Dr. Garcia for this excellent review of the problems with metal dental implants, and the emergence of zirconium, which appears to be a far healthier alternative to traditional metal implants.

It goes without saying that your aim should be to avoid getting to the point where an implant is necessary, but if the damage is already done, or if you have an acute oral trauma, you now at least have some information that can help you make safer, healthier choices.

The impact your oral health has on the rest of your body is often overlooked, but that does not make it any less important. Likewise, any work you have done to your teeth can have a serious impact on your health, which I’ll go over shortly.

Having a healthy set of teeth is a powerful predictor of your overall health. In my experience, sick patients who display near cavity-free teeth tend to get well fairly quickly. If, on the other hand, their mouths are full of fillings and root canals, the prognosis is not nearly as good.

The Link Between Oral Health and Disease

He discovered that native tribes that still ate their traditional diet had nearly perfect teeth and were almost 100 percent free of tooth decay. Certain diseases were also nearly unheard of, such as chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, joints, and skin – the types of diseases currently plaguing our society.

Once these tribal populations were introduced to sugar and white flour, their health, and their perfect teeth, rapidly deteriorated.

His classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration details his fascinating findings and is well worth reading.

There’s no doubt that our modern diet has changed the inherent health of our teeth and our bodies, and is the cause of nearly all our modern health challenges.

Today it’s quite rare to find an adult with teeth that has not been marred by dental work of some kind, from mercury amalgams (silver fillings) to crowns, to root canals and bridges and implants.

If you eat properly and maintain optimal health, you’re highly unlikely to develop cavities. They really only occur when you’re eating the wrong foods, and growing up, I did not eat the right foods. As a result, I, as so many others, had a mouth full of mercury fillings.

For an excellent illustration of what these fillings do once in your mouth, take a look at this video.

I eventually had them replaced with gold fillings, only to later realize that gold fillings and crowns cause problems too. So after I’d already made an investment of several thousand dollars, I decided to replace them all again. This time with non-metal crowns, for the most part.

Conventional Versus Biological Dentistry

Unfortunately, conventional dentistry has generally only evaluated materials to be used for their mechanical characteristics, in large part ignoring the impact that particular material might have on the rest of your body.

Case in point: silver fillings, which are 50 percent mercury, an extremely potent neurotoxin, have been used for over 150 years. Likewise, the fact that various metals have been used for years to fashion tooth implants is by no means an indication of safety.

We are currently fighting to have mercury fillings banned completely in the U.S., as it has been in some other European countries, and hope to be able to get this toxic material off the market in the near future. Until then, it’s up to you to refuse them, or find a dentist who has switched to safer alternatives.

My own struggles with my teeth led me to learn about in the mid 1990s and embrace biological dentistry, also known as holistic or environmental dentistry.

In a nutshell, biological dentistry views your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, and any medical treatments performed takes this fact into account. The primary aim of this type of holistic dentistry is to resolve your dental problems while impacting the rest of your body as little as possible.

Unknowingly, your health can be significantly impacted by the treatments received at your conventional dentist’s office. Oftentimes the impact is just not immediately noticeable.

Implants Can Exacerbate Autoimmune Diseases

Currently, implants continue to be done without biocompatibility testing, and they are often used in extraction sites where cavitations (inflammation) are already developing.

Autoimmune diseases seem to be often aggravated or even initiated by metal implants.

Additionally, an event called oral galvanism occurs when you place two dissimilar metals in your mouth. You essentially create a battery that will serve to drive the ions of the metals out of the metal into your mouth and also generate electricity.

You may not realize it, but tiny electrical currents are foundational to the way your body operates biologically, and when you introduce a foreign source of electricity, especially one that is constantly there, you can introduce imbalances that can contribute to health problems.

This galvanic toxicity created when the metal in your mouth reacts with your saliva can over-stimulate your brain. This is true whether the metal in your mouth is a silver filling, a metal crown, or a metal dental implant.

Common signs and symptoms of galvanic toxicity include:

A metal taste in your mouth

A sensation of an electric charge when using metal utensils

Chronic insomnia

Finding suitable materials to replace the metals currently used is proving to be a challenge. However, based on Dr. Garcia’s review of zirconium, you may now have access to a far better option if you need to have an entire tooth replaced.

Hopefully, by implementing the strategies below, it will never get to that point.

Health Implications of Cavities and Root Canals

Dental caries (cavities) is a reflection of systemic illness in your body. And, if you let it go long enough to where the cavity gets into the nerve and blood vessels, bacteria can hide in the tiny tubules of the dentin, causing chronic inflammation and infection that is near impossible to eradicate. So, never ignore signs like a toothache or a cavity.

Also remember that they are major clues that your body is not optimally healthy and lifestyle changes are in order if you want to stop or reverse the damage that is already taking place.

As for root canals, nearly all contain colonies of bacteria that can cause major illnesses in your body. Even antibiotics won’t help in these cases, because the bacteria are protected inside of your dead tooth. And when these bacteria migrate, via your bloodstream to other areas of your body, they can contribute to or cause more serious ailments such as:

Heart and circulatory diseases

Arthritis and rheumatism

Brain and nervous system diseases

Attending to your dental health is just as important as eating right and exercising for physical health. The two are connected, not separate systems, and each affects the other.

Do You Know What Makes for Healthy Teeth?

Although many would like to believe that regular brushing and flossing is all that’s needed for healthy teeth, it’s by no means the most important factor determining your oral health. Others insist fluoride is the key. Don’t believe it! The most important aspect is actually your diet, sans fluoridated water.

Hygiene practices are simply preventive aids that help minimize the destructive effect of a modern, refined diet, and fluoride causes far more health problems than it’s believed to fix.

Another alternative to conventional dental fillings worth mentioning is tooth regeneration. The materials used for this procedure include solutions of chemicals that can actually rebuild decayed teeth. Enamel and dentin, the natural materials that make teeth the strongest pieces of your body, may some day replace conventional fillings.

Although this would certainly be a step up from using toxic substances like mercury to fill your teeth, it’s still a type of band aid.

If you want to have healthy teeth, and a similarly healthy body, you must start from the inside out, and that means cleaning up your diet.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Teeth

When Dr. Price studied native diets, he noticed certain similarities in the foods that were keeping them so healthy. Among them:

The foods were natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contained no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).

The people ate foods that grew in their native environment. In other words, they ate locally grown, seasonal foods.

Many of the cultures ate unpasteurized dairy products, and all of them ate fermented foods.

The people ate a significant portion of their food raw.

All of the cultures ate animal products, including animal fat and, often, full-fat butter and organ meats.

When Dr. Price analyzed his findings, he found that the native diets contained 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins, and at least four times the amount of calcium, other minerals, and water-soluble vitamins as that of Western diets at that time. Their diets were also rich in enzymes because they ate fermented and raw foods (enzymes help you to digest cooked foods).

The native diets also had at least 10 times more omega-3 fat than modern diets and FAR less omega-6 fats. And as some of you may know, a diet that is lacking in omega-3 fats, and heavy on omega-6 fats from vegetable oils (which are consumed so heavily today) is a recipe for disaster.

So, if you want to eat your way to healthy teeth, taking a lesson from these previous native generations is essential. You should:

Find out your nutritional type, and eat accordingly. This will tell you which foods are ideal for your unique biochemistry.

Eat at least one-third of your food raw.

Avoid processed foods, sugar, refined flour and all artificial flavorings, colorings, and artificial sweeteners. Instead, seek out locally grown foods that are in-season.

Enjoy fermented foods like natto, kefir and cultured veggies.

Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils.

All of the brushing and flossing in the world will not give you the healthy teeth that the above steps will, so if you value your pearly whites, get started eating a healthier diet today.

Find a Good Biological Dentist

Everyone needs a good dental consultant and, unfortunately, they are hard to find. There is no shortage of competent skilled caring dentists, but there is of ones who believe in the principles I outlined above.

There are several strategies you can use to locate one. Ideally you would ask a friend, relative or neighbor who knows of one. If that fails you can contact several good natural health food stores in your area and ask a number of the employees or even the owner. Once you obtain the same name a number of times that is typically a good sign.

Additionally there are organizations like D.A.M.S and International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology that have referral setups.

Do You Make These Mistakes with Your Hand Hygiene?

Find Out More

 
 Community Comments (26)
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

What a timely article!  My wife recently lost 3 front tetth in a softball accident (the balls aren’t so soft after all) and we were looking into implants.  What did they want to use?  Titanium.  I’ll have to see if there are even any dentists around that do ceramic or zirconia implants.

By the way, I can vouch it’s true what this article says about oral galvanism.  My dad was having problems and sores in his mouth years back, and realized all by himself that he could measure an electric current with an ammeter.  When he told his dentist that the dissimilar metals were causing the problems the dentist didn’t belive him.  Too many docs and dentists think they know everything and that you can’t teach them anything new.  To all the medical professionals out there reading… listen to your patients!

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TrainerBob
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samurai
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

Hi Trainer Bob,

If you are interested, my dentist in the Dallas area is such a doc for this type of work.  Let me know if you want his name. 

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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

great information. I have a teen with a mouthful of metal for braces. She is having oral surgery to "expose" 3 permanent teeth that are still in her gums.  They want to attach a metal bracket to her braces to pull them up and out slowly.  I am going to call them now to find out what kind of metal is used. Also if this procedure doesn’t work, she will need up to 3 implants. I just sent her a link to this article so she can take charge of her own health, now and in a few years.

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mama bear
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outpost
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Posted On Aug 08, 2009

Why did the dentist recommend braces before her permanent teeth were even in yet?  When I was a teen, I had a retainer that caused the one last permanent tooth to grow into the lingual (inside) side of the roof of my mouth.  That tooth became useless for the purpose of chewing and I had it removed just recently (30 years later).  Maybe all that metal and moving of her teeth is causing the teeth to not grow.  Just a thought.

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markus_mom
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Posted On Aug 08, 2009

I had a similar situation with 2 canines in my gums and I was able to resolve this only at the age of 28. I wish it was done in my teen years but I would definitely do it again if the need was. My 2 teeth did come down but chances of this to happen are pretty low.

You can’t put invisiline for this condition it had to be metal braces due to this additional movement of the teeth. I had 2 surgeries because the right tooth was slower than the left one and gums started to heal s we had to open the gum again. I was in braces for 3.5 years (teeth were coming down for about 2 of them in total) but now have perfect natural teeth and unfortunately I haven’t heard about non-metal alternative treatments for this condition – only a surgery (or two) and metal braces. 

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Posted On Jul 17, 2009

I don’t think bridges are the answer either, as they are VERY costly because you destroy TWO healthy adjacent teeth. 

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samurai
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Phantom OBanjo
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

It seems bubble gum and duct tape could be of some use here.   lol

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Aaltrude
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

Bubble gum would be better if it were not for the aspartame that just about all gum is sweetened with and the adverse effects caused by chewing without swallowing any food.

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beccasnow19952005
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Posted On Aug 08, 2009

I had a temporary bridge for years that held two teeth, which had never came developed in my mouth.  However, I accidentally kept breaking that bridge.  My (now deceased) dentist chose to drill out all of my front teeth after communicating with my husband (but not letting me know until it was too late –they were gone) and replaced this with a permanent bridge.  While, I haven’t had noticeable problems with it, considering all the other problems I’ve had with my mouth, it would not have been the choice I would have made. They did this before my dental insurance expired…insurance, which we had from my husband’s first employer.

Now, when molars have loosened because of periodontal disease or decay, I simply have them pulled. I have one set of molars on each side, which takes care of the chewing needs I have. I avoid foods that need more chewing.  This may not be the solution for everyone, but I’d rather be without than with, in my circumstances.

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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

First they said mercurry was safe – now we know better.  Then they said titatium implants were safe – now there are questions.  Who is to say in the future that these new ceramic implants are any safer?  There is currently research out of the University of Edmonton about regrowing your own teeth with ultrasound stimulation (. www.canada.com/…/story.html)   One of the promises of stem cell research is that we will be able to regrow teeth.( www.medicalnewstoday.com/…/7922.php  – do a search for other articles)  On another note they say that advanced yogis can regrow teeth.  After years of being exposed to toxic denitstry that never resolved the health of my teeth and continued to cause further dental aned health problems – I personnally have bowed out of the dental system (at least on my broken back teeth0 and wait for the day when my body will be able to regenerate its own teeth

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Cheryl Rounds
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Phantom OBanjo
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

Might consider using magnesium oil when brushing your teeth to strengthen what you got left……..

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HWealth
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Posted On Jul 20, 2009

I was waiting for years for someone to discover how to regenerate teeth. Thanks for the info…

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Phantom OBanjo
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Posted On Jul 21, 2009

I won’t  go that far HWealth but it will make them harder.  Do a search on here for tooth decay and licorice root.  I started using tincture of licorice root in my home made tooth paste.  Dentist said I had small cavity.  I blew off making appointment on my next cleaning.  He didn’t mention any cavity.  lol   Showed him!

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Naxossa
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Posted On Aug 08, 2009

you may also want to check this link. wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/…/dental%20health

apparently it is possible to regrow teeth and you don’t have to wait for stem cell research. raise the magnesium in your diet and reduce the grain. especially whole grain. oh irony, because the bran is high in phytic acid which prevents you from absorbing the necessary magnesium.

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Posted On Aug 08, 2009

Good health = Good Teeth just can’t be that simple.

My daughter, now 27, was the obsessive brusher and now has several cavities. Of course she wore braces because of a too small mouth and now has receding gums.

My son, now 25, is a Type I diabetic currently using an insulin pump. Growing up he had to be basically held down to get him to brush and now has one very minor cavity. He didn’t wear braces. When he knocked his front teeth in hitting a tree trunk as a child the dentist used a plastic appliance for about 6 months to fix it up.

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FairLilith
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