Threat of Lead Contamination Highlights Importance of the Relationship Between Dentist and Dental Lab
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that there’s early evidence that some dental lab work from China may contain lead. So The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey on the topic. Read the full foreign dental lab survey results or Jim Du Molin’s most recent editorial.)
When we asked whose responsibility it should be to protect the public from tainted dental work, the most common answer was “dentists.” However, some feel the FDA should enforce regulations, while others think the dental labs should police themselves. Very few respondents suggested that patients who are concerned should be responsible for checking with their dentists.
We also asked respondents if the current fuss about possible lead contamination in dental crowns from China is the next big scandal or just a tempest in a teapot. One-third of dentists feels this will be the next big scandal, while the remaining two-thirds see it as nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.
Finally, we asked dentists if they know where their lab work comes from. Sixty percent are certain that all restorations are manufactured within the USA, and another 20% believe that to be the case. Only 10% acknowledge that they know they use products made overseas.
Here are just a few of the comments dentists had on the topic of alleged lead contamination…
- “My local lab is placing ‘made in America’ on all of the return cases for the patients to see.” (California dentist)
- “I expect that my US labs are not sending my work off shore and using the quality of material I specify, but how do I know for sure?” (Michigan dentist)
- “We don’t know if this is a crisis. The labs and FDA need to test a large number of prosthetics that are produced in USA with foreign materials and in foreign countries.” (Washington dentist)
- “The FDA should bear the responsibility, because the labs won’t and the dentists can’t.” (North Carolina dentist)
- “The last thing we need is more regulation. Let the labs police themselves.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
- “If dentists are communicating with their labs and specifying which type of metals to be used, they should be confident the lab is giving them that. If the lab is trying to cut costs by using metals that may contain hazardous materials and are not making dentists aware, the lab should be held responsible.” (Kentucky dentist)
- “I say the FDA should be in charge, but a big part of me does not like the idea of federal regulation, which already does not work particularly well.” (North Carolina dentist)
- “I don’t use labs that outsource to foreign countries. Those that choose to do so owe it to their patients to inform them of the practice.” (Arizona dentist)
Post your own comments or read the complete tainted dental lab work survey results