New York’s Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo recently introduced a law requiring the disclosure of the country of origin for all dental prosthetics placed into a patient’s mouth, including dentures, veneers, crown and bridge materials, and implants. Manufacturers of dental prosthetic devices as well as dentists handling their final placement and implantation would be required to disclose their places of origin.
The National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) supports this law and others drafted to enhance transparency in the industry. Through its “What’s in Your Mouth?” campaign, NADL is working toward increasing awareness of material disclosure nationwide and raising public awareness of regulations, standards, transparency, safety issues, and the roles played by the dental laboratory and dental technician as part of the oral healthcare team.
“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.
“Under this law, both manufacturers and retailers of dental prosthetics will be required to disclose the country of origin of the raw materials used in the devices, as well as the country where they were manufactured,” Lorigo said. “I sincerely hope that my colleagues will support this common sense legislation so that we can start a groundswell across the country. People have a right to know where dental devices are coming from before having them implanted in their mouth.”
Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia have material and/or point of origin disclosure standards. Also, NADL encourages all patients to look for dentists who partner with high-quality dental laboratories that disclose voluntarily and use the highest manufacturing standards. According to NADL, patients can learn more by asking their dentists 5 basic questions:
- Do you use a Certified Dental Technician for your laboratory work?
- Is the laboratory you work with certified, and by whom is it certified?
- Where is your dental laboratory located?
- What patient contact materials are in the restorations you are prescribing for the treatment plan?
- How does your dental practice ensure it is not using misbranded or gray market dental materials?
Furthermore, NADL advises dentists who want to ensure their patients are getting quality restorations to stay informed about legislative updates and verify that the laboratory they work with is a Certified Dental Laboratory or Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit System laboratory.