Do you know where your dental crowns came from?

More and more dental offices are outsourcing their labwork these days. Cutting costs is a big factor as is convenience. But what does that mean to you?

Crowns, bridges, veneers, and even mouthguards are being sent overseas to China and surrounds to be fabricated for a much more economical fee. Some of these labs turn these crowns around in 24 hours and then have them back to be inserted by your dentist within a week. Why does that matter?

Australia has a very high standard of infection control as well as a very regulated industry as to what is safe to be used in the mouth. Unfortunately when you have products being fabricated OUTSIDE of Australia, it becomes an issue of not knowing what exactly you’re getting into. Or rather, what might be getting in to you.

Some of the downsides – certain metals that we would deem unsafe in Australia to use in the mouth may not necessarily get the same stamp of disapproval elsewhere. “The Australian Dental Association are now trying to push for disclosure from dentists using overseas crowns and bridges, which account for 50% of all crowns and bridges now made in Queensland, and stress the importance that the patient be told exactly where their crowns come from and any potential risks associated with them.”

We work so hard to avoid chemicals where we can, whether it be in our food, cleaning products hand creams etc…Why would we risk putting something in our mouths long-term that does not meet our level of safety in Australia?

As it stands now, there is no regulation regarding disclosure of where the crown and bridgework has been fabricated and Australian dentists are free to use labs from across the world.  Many dental practices, like ourselves choose to use local labs where they know the technicians and know where their materials are sourced from, but there are many more practices that don’t.

Fun fact: Ancient Egyptians were said to have used animal teeth and even bone pieces as a more primitive replacement. Nowadays though, with our advancement of technology, we have found and continue to improve on the quality of materials used to fabricate our crowns.

When it comes to quality and care it is important to ask your dentist where their crown, bridges and other labwork is made.  Not only to support your local economy, but to ensure you are getting a quality, Australian standard of safety approved fixture placed in your mouth.