In most states, a private home can become an unregulated, but completely legal, lab that uses questionable materials to make retainers, dentures, crowns, and more for your mouth.
The potential dangers of mercury dental fillings are well-known. However, the dental devices in your mouth may have other toxic substances – such as lead – that could be making you sick.
All because, in most states, a private home can become an unregulated, but completely legal, lab that uses questionable materials to make retainers, dentures, crowns, and more for your mouth.
MotherJones magazine covered the story after Ohio police found a man running a dental lab in his dusty, dirty, and cluttered basement. He sells his dental devices to local dental offices.
According to the National Association of Dental Laboratories, only 9 states have regulations, 4 are considering them, and the rest have none, which means anyone can run a lab anywhere without certifications, licenses, training, registration, or accountability.
A 2008 survey by the American Dental Association showed most dentists had no idea of federal or state lab regulation. The FDA has only evaluated 146 out of 10,000 U.S. labs in the last 10 years.
And nearly 40 percent of materials used by domestic labs come from overseas. But the FDA has only evaluated 113 of the foreign sources in the last 10 years even though lead was found in crowns imported from China in 2008.