Erie County Law Would Require Origin Disclosures with Dental Prosthetics

Dentistry Today

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Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo has introduced a law requiring the disclosure of the country of origin for any and all dental prosthetics placed into a patient’s mouth in Erie County, NY. The law applies both to manufacturers of dental prosthetic devices operating in Erie County and to dentists and others who might be handling the final placement and implementation. It covers dentures, veneers, crown/bridge materials, implants, and other items. Next, the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee will discuss the law. 

“Currently, there are no regulations requiring disclosure of the place of origin for dental prosthetics or their raw materials that could be implanted into people’s mouths. The United States has federal regulations requiring the disclosure of the fiber content, country of origin, manufacturer identity, and care instructions for clothing, but literally nothing for dental. This is shocking and disappointing, especially in light of the potential for the use of lead in some prosthetics manufactured overseas,” said Lorigo.

“In my 50 years of being a practicing prosthodontist, I have consistently put the safety of my patients first, never even considering using dental laboratories from third-world locations that use substandard materials,” said Ronald Jarvis, DDS, MSD, of Amherst, NY. “Legislator Lorigo’s law is the right thing to do for the dental community. Revealing the source of where the prosthetic was manufactured will go a long way for the welfare of all dental patients in Erie County.”

“Our biggest supplier for materials is based here in Amherst, New York. We know the exact makeup of the material, and we know what we are using is the best possible material, period. There is no gray area. It is not a clone or a knockoff of what should be going into a patient’s body,” said Joe Procopio, president of Pro-Esthetics Dental Lab of Williamsville, NY. “If you do not know where your product is coming from, there is no way to know what it is made with.”

“I look forward to discussing the proposal as we go through the process and hope that my colleagues in the Legislature and the County Executive will ultimately support this law for Erie County,” said Lorigo. “Our greater goal is to see this law imposed at the state or even federal level, but this at least starts the conversation and takes a step forward in protecting Erie County residents.”

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