In forty three of our fifty states, the person that said to you yesterday, “Would you like fries with that?” could become your dental technician tomorrow, without any training, verifiable competency, certification, or testing. My wife cannot get a pedicure or manicure done in any one of our United States without that nail technician having at least a base level technician certification, training or at least registration. This is not the right way to handle the manufacture of custom medical devices that will be placed permanently in patient’s mouths.
The National Association of Dental Laboratories (www.nadl.org) provides testing and certification of dental labs (CDL) and dental technicians (CDT) through its National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (www.nbccert.org). This non-profit national association has also partnered in the development of ISO standards for dental labs called DAMAS (Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit System).
The FDA is involved heavily now with regulating these custom manufactured medical devices because of the estimated 38% of restorations that are made offshore, often without disclosure. I have served for many years as the dental representative to the IdentAlloy council (www.identalloy.org). This non-profit organization provides certificates that manufactures distribute through dental laboratories to let you know the classification and content of the alloy and ceramic materials used in your restorations.
Today we have approximately 7,000 dental labs, 250 that are certified as CDLs, 40 that are also DAMAS certified and 6,500 CDTs nationwide. Let us do the right things for the right reasons and with the patient’s best interests in mind. Be proactive about health and safety and support certification of dental laboratories and technicians, licensure of dentists and hygienists and training for dental assistants.
Learn more about creating dentist and patient awareness about standards in dental laboratory technology by visiting www.whatsinyourmouth.us or by contacting NADL at (800) 950-1150 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark T Murphy DDS is the Lead Faculty for Microdental Laboratories, Visiting Faculty at the Pankey Institute, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy and former Board of Director of the Identalloy Council, the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology and the Pankey Institute. He is also the principal of Funktional Tracker, a practice enhancement application.