Overseas Dental Laboratory Work

September 08 [Thu], 2011, 17:16
Last night Channel Seven exposed what most in the Dental Industry have been increasingly aware of for many years now.

Channel Seven showed the flaws in the regulation against Dentist sending their Laboratory Work offshore. Highlighted was the fact that the TGA (Theurapeutic Goods Adminsitration of Australia) has very little control over the foreign Dental work and setting a standard. The response from the TGA was that it is each individual Dentists' responsibility to ensure the Laboratory work is upto standard.

Channel Seven went further to estimate that 50% of Dentallab China work, including Porcelain crowns, Veneers, Dentures, Mouthguards are being made overseas in countries such as China.

For myself, there is a few issues at hand:

The precision of fit of Crown and Bridgework determines to a great extent how long it will last in the mouth

There are many different qualities of materials in the market

There are many different qualities of workmanship

Some rarely used metals can cause patient allergies

The cosmetic appearance of Crowns, Veneers, Dentures depends on communication with the Technician, and their artistic skills

I wrote an article on this last year.

We have found the most effective way to control precision of fit of Crowns and all Dentallab China Work was to have our Technicians on site. This way they are the very best handpicked Technicians who are able to meet and provide technical services in the surgery for our patients.

Likewise, we are able to invest in the very best technologies such as Emax Procelains, and CAD-CAM technologies to mill copings for crown work.

In my opinion the major driving force between Australian and Overseas Dental Work is price driven. Channel Seven claimed Crowns 'made in China' can cost only $30 to make. In response to this, I know that a crown made in our practice will include between $100-$200 of Gold. So where is that cost? Other metals are being used, and this will effect the properties, fit and strength of the crown.

Then, a distributor marks the Crown Price from $30 to $150. Wow.

A Dentallab China with good principles will charge anywhere from $400 to $900 to make a crown.

Therefore, a huge difference exists between $150 and $900. In this instance, it is no wonder some Dentists are able to offer crowns for under $1,000 to their patients. The difference is who is making the crown.

It was dissappointing that the ADA representative claimed it was up to the patient to ask the question.

I believe that if I choose to fly to China for cheap Dental Work, then Ill get what I pay for and that the Dental Laboratory work is made in China. Likewise I expect that any Dentist I attend in Australia would have the Dental Laboratory Work, eg. Crowns, Veneers and Dentures, made in Australia.

So, to a degree, I guess sometimes you get what you paid for. And I guess you need to ask the question, "Dentist, Where is my Crown going to be made? Onsite, in Brisbane?, In Australia? Overseas? China?"
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