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Dentists advised to do to their homework regarding offshore production

Pandemic highlights importance of disclosure for laboratories

June 08, 2020

By David Burger

As dental practices across the country begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADA and National Association of Dental Laboratories are encouraging dentists to conduct the necessary due diligence when sending work out in order to determine whether dental labs are offshoring production.

“ADA policy supports dental laboratories letting dentists know if the prescribed dental prostheses, components or materials are to be manufactured or provided by a foreign dental laboratory,” said Dr. Rudy Liddell, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. “It also notes that state registration of dental labs is one way to achieve this.”

According to Travis Zick, immediate past president of the National Association of Dental Laboratories and co-founder of Apex Dental Laboratory Group, offshore companies offering bargain-basement prices for cheap products and material has been a source of frustration for lab owners for years.

“Buyers should definitely beware,” Mr. Zick said. “If a lab is offering products at half the average cost you typically see, you should be very skeptical.”

Knowing the source of prosthetics is especially important as dentists returns to their practices after the COVID-19 pandemic as they consider using labs with discounted pricing as a way to cut operating expenses, Mr. Zisk said. In addition to knowing the materials used in the devices dentists provide to patients, he said, dentists also need assurance that the lab manufacturing those devices follow the appropriate infection control protocols.