August 14, 2013

Do Your Teeth Come From China?

For several years there has been a problem of some dentists using dental laboratories in India and China.  Why is this a problem?  Because overseas labs are not subject to meeting the requirements established by the American Dental Association.  What does this mean to American patients?  Dangerous levels of lead have been found in crowns, veneers, and dentures coming from China.  Although no one can be exactly sure of the health risks this presents, we all know that lead can be dangerous to our overall health and nervous system.

At Tavormina Dentistry we pride ourselves on using only local and American labs who are quality driven and who do not outsource their work overseas.  This is a choice we make to provide the best care to our patients and to be able to sleep at night.

Dentistry is not an inexpensive healthcare service, but at least let’s have there be integrity in the field and a good reason for the costs involved.  We do pay higher dental lab fees and reduce our profits to be sure that our patients are protected from the practice of outsourcing or directly working with Chinese and Indian dental labs.  Our dental lab costs are 7 – 8 times higher than that of a dentist who jeopardizes their patients’ safety to make a greater profit.

Substandard quality has been documented from some of the overseas labs, too.  Poor fitting crowns can lead to tooth decay under the crowns and eventual root canal therapy or tooth loss.  Some of the overseas work doesn’t look like teeth and the color matching is not up to the standard of good domestic laboratories.  Imports are not checked or required to reach ADA specifications. 

There are choices that dentists make, even if they are using domestic laboratories, that can keep their costs down and profits up.  For example, at Tavormna Dentistry we use precious metals for our crowns instead of nonprecious metals that tend to corrode in the mouth.  Precious metals such as gold and palladium are more expensive for us to use for our patients’ dentistry, but they are what’s best for our patients, so we choose them.  These metals may look the same, but they don’t deliver the same results.

We all want to be cost conscious, but dental care and healthcare are not the place to look for the lowest fee.  You most likely are not getting the same product as the patient who is paying more.  Protect yourself and make sure your dentist is using precious metal and using domestic dental laboratories that don’t outsourse their work overseas.

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  1. Thanks for the post! I had no idea that they didn't make ADA. I will make sure I find a good Lethbridge dental company that is ADA approved. I appreciate the thoughts.

  2. I need to find a dentist in Hamilton that is approved by the ADA. Then I wouldn't feel as bad going to the dentist.

  3. Thanks for posting this. It was really good. I heard some similar stuff from my dentist in Duluth, MN. Really good wisdom and advice.