In a world where contaminants from imports are a concern, a recent story about an Ohio woman who received lead contamination from crowns and a partial made overseas has caused alarm in the dental world. The ADA is working on a protocol to ensure public safety, particularly where lead contamination is found in dental prosthesis.
Some dental labs outsource within the U.S. as well as internationally. Most of the outsourcing to foreign labs is crown and bridge. Foreign lab importing must be regulated by the FDA. Ultimately, labs should stand behind the material content of work outsourced or done on the premises. Labs should provide a detailed written statement of assurance.
For the dental patient it is important to have trust in your dentist and the laboratory he or she uses to create the crown and bridge delivered. The best material for dental treatment is gold. In dentistry, it is called the “Gold Standard”. If porcelain crowns are created with a metal substructure, it should be high noble gold. There are many non precious metals used that are cheaper but not as biocompatible as gold. Porcelains and stain should also be of the highest quality. It is suspected the Ohio case had lab contaminants in the porcelain stains used.
Many patients go overseas or to discount dental offices to save money. It is important for the dental patient to have full confidence in the materials used and of the safety precautions enforced. You often get what you pay for.
Dentistry is not inexpensive, but making an investment in quality can be a long lasting healthy investment.