"Dental restorations are often permanent fixtures that are inserted into one of the most sensitive areas of the human body - the mouth. For this reason alone, it is imperative that consumers know the facts about their dental work," said Gary Iocco, National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) President and Co-Chair of NADL's Public Awareness Committee. "Unregulated restorations could contain materials that harm patients and cause numerous health issues."
Poorly-made dental restorations - whether made in America or abroad - can lead to a range of health consequences for patients and, in turn, legal consequences for dentists. Growing demand for dental work in America has created a market that features both high-end and economy-priced work. This has inspired some unqualified producers to set up shop almost anywhere, with a strong disregard for hygiene and sanitation standards, like the Ohio basement laboratory exposed in a news story in November 2013.
Most dentists currently are not required to tell patients where their dental restoration was made or what materials are in their restoration. As such, proposed standards include requiring registration, requiring a Certified Dental Technician in each laboratory, requiring minimum continuing education, disclosing what materials are present in the dental restoration and disclosing where the restoration was manufactured.
NADL is hoping to create patient awareness and dentist transparency through its "What's in Your Mouth?" campaign, designed to give patients, dentists and the dental laboratory community the information necessary to make informed decisions about their dental needs.
"In this information age, think of how much research the average American does before making a life-long purchase," said Iocco. "We just want patients to be informed about what materials are in their restorations, and it's as easy as talking to your dentist."
For more information, please visit the NADL website Public Awareness link at www.nadl.org.
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