According to research by the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL), only four states in the U.S. require dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of the lack of standards in the dental industry, NADL created the “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack the skills and knowledge they should have when creating restorations that may be permanently placed in the mouths of dental patients.
“Every good team includes good partners. For dentists, dental technicians are true partners in helping grow an oral health practice,” said Gary Iocco, co-chair of the NADL Public Awareness Committee. “Although operating behind the scenes, dental technicians are a crucial part of ensuring delivery of quality dental care to the dental patient.”
The dental industry is constantly implementing new technology and materials; however, continuing education for dental technicians is not mandatory. According to this report, the U.S. is the only non-third-world country that doesn’t have some form of requirements for dental technicians and laboratories.
“It is important that dentists seek to work with individuals and laboratories that have voluntarily achieved ‘third-party verification’ of their skills, knowledge and operating standards. There are many dental technicians and dental laboratories committed to quality standards and we want dentists and patients to know about them.” said Iocco.
NADL’s “What’s In Your Mouth?” initiative suggests the following ways dentists can help ensure they are using technicians who will provide quality restorations for their patients. Dentists can find a Certified Dental Technician to work with here (click on the CDT logo under “Show”); dentists can stay up-to-date on legislative updates here; if dentists are working with a Certified Dental Technician, they should inform their patients that they are receiving quality dental restorations.