Thursday, February 28, 2008

Offshore labs and lead contamination

An Ohio CBS-TV affiliate yesterday (Feb. 27) aired an investigative report about outsourcing dental lab work offshore —a nd the story's hook is that one of the crowns received from a Chinese lab contained lead.

The reporter worked with a local dentist to order eight dental crowns (porcelain and full metal) from several labs in China, which were then sent to NSL Analytics in Cleveland for testing. One of the crowns tested positive for lead at 210 ppm. The story also will include information about a woman from Kent, Ohio, with a partial bridge that apparently tested positive for lead at 160 ppm. The woman apparently filed or will be filing a lawsuit, alleging that the bridge caused infection and swelling, which she attributes to the lead.

Of course, you and I know no dental prosthetic device should contain lead. Is this a problem with out-of-the-country labs? Should we be worried about things like this, or is it being blown out of proportion? Let me know your comments.

If you're interested, the ADA has a tip sheet on what you should know about working with dental labs and what questions you may be asked by your patients.


LabgirlUSA said...

I am a lab owner in the USA and I can tell you, the dentists are not all innocent in this. I have met so many dentists who are paying $39 for crowns, and don't want to pay me a reasonable price for a crown because these offshore labs offer them so inexpensively. My business is suffering, and so will the patients. 80% of dentists "price shop" dental prosthetics. They know when crowns are being shipped to China & Mexico. One client I had told me that "they fit, but they look like s**t" and started sending me only the front teeth because he told me the patients don't know how to tell if it is ugly, and "probably won't notice the back teeth not looking right anyway". These dentists know what is going on...they know if they are paying such cheap prices for these crowns, that there must be something inferior about them...just as consumers, we know something is not right when there is an itewm we are thinking about buying that should cost way more...and we think to ourselves...hhmmmmmnnnnn, whats wrong here? These are doctors, they went to medical school...they have brains...when the average price of a crown in the USA is $135-$175, and there are crowns for sale in China for $39...something HAS to click in their brains! Yes! It does, they are making more profit from the patient! I am not saying every dentist is this way...there are some incredible dentists out there...but I have also met some snakes...and some of the things that come out of their mouths simply amaze me. It's about time this happened..I am sorry for the patient who got lead poisoning, but am relieved that maybe dentists will start thinking twice, and start keeping some lab work in the USA so small labs like mine can make a living. I am a single woman lab, and fabricate all of my work in my lab in the USA by myself. I am very Anti-Outsourcing. To the patients out there...start asking questions! Where is my crown made? Who made it? Can I see a list of the materials in my crown? Can I have the labs phone number so I can call and verify that my crown is made in the USA? All of this information should be provided to you! Good luck all!

Mark Jackson said...

Oh yes, lead CAN be found in dental restorations. Lead is a common ingrediant in idustrial ceramics and ceramic glazes.

Just so you know....

dentallab victim said...

We are outsourcing lab overseas. This is unfair comment about contamination as outsourcing overseas work hard to meet the standards in the US. Our concern are these kangaroo dental labs who rip off many outsourcing labs overseas they lure us until they owe thousands of dollars and then they will stop paying us. We charge $23 per unit and these labs are very greedy. Rio dental in 5848 main st is one of these labs and this is operated by husband and wife Lori and Tony Zito
These are very evil people and should be avoided by any outsourcing company overseas.
How can you be so greedy that you are already making a huge profit and you are not contented but want 100% and don't share the poor people have worked hard for you, where is your heart Rio Dental?