NADL Mission: NADL aggressively advances the dental laboratory technology industry and its members through advocacy, education, standards and services.
NADL Vision: NADL is the dental laboratory industry’s respected authority, delivering the highest standards to ensure our members are viewed as valued professionals on the dental health team.
The National Association of Dental Laboratories is a trade association with 43 affiliated state and regional commercial dental laboratory associations representing more than 1,600 dental laboratories and dental technicians. NADL is the unified voice of the dental laboratory industry supporting dentistry and serving the public interest by promoting high standards.
Based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data, $1.32 billion of dental laboratory sales are done offshore, which equates to 38% of actual dental restorations primarily dental crowns and bridges. The remaining $6 billion is manufactured in the United States, largely by family owned dental laboratories who employ less than 10 dental laboratory technicians.
According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics there are just under 7,000 dental laboratories operating in the United States employing nearly 45,000 dental technicians.
NADL supports federal and state regulation to assure patients their restorations are safe for use, regardless of where they are manufactured. Through public advocacy and outreach, NADL works with the state dental associations and state health officials to enact legislation to require:
- Certification and continuing education for dental technicians who manufacture restorations;
- Registration of all dental laboratories with the state board of dentistry or other appropriate state agencies;
- Mandatory disclosure of all patient contact materials in a restoration, as well as the point of origin (country and laboratory) where the restoration was manufactured; and
- Required documentation of these items in patient dental records.
NADL Executive Director, Bennett Napier, CAE, testified before the Presidential Interagency Working Group on Import Safety to urge the federal government to recognize the need for more stringent oversight, including promoting certification of dental technicians employed at both domestic and foreign laboratories.
To read NADL’s Guidelines for Establishing Statutory Regulations on the state level, click here.
To learn more about the National Association of Dental Laboratories, please visit our website at www.nadl.org.
What’s In Your Mouth was launched to highlight the role and value of a trained and educated dental technician as part of the dental restorative team.
Poorly-made dental restorations – whether made in America or abroad – can lead to a range of health consequences for patients, and in turn, legal consequences for dentists. Growing demand for dental work in America has created a market that features both high-end and economy-priced work. Dental restorations increasingly are being imported from countries like China, India and Vietnam.
Depending on the country, those dental laboratories may not be subject to the same scrutiny that domestic laboratories receive from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Domestic labs remain unregulated in more than 40 states. To ensure better outcomes for safe dental restorations, it is extremely important that dentists and patients have a full understanding of where their dental restorations are coming from and what materials are used in the process.
The campaign aims to educate dentists and patients on the following:
- The ability to deliver a high standard of care in restorative and cosmetic dentistry is enhanced by working with a formally educated, trained and/or Certified Dental Technician.
- Dental technicians bring considerable experience and subject matter expertise in the areas of dental materials; technology utilization; shade verification and implant dentistry.
- Dental technicians can be a true partner in helping dentists to grow their practice.
- Most state dental practice acts do not regulate or set standards for operation for dental laboratories or dental technicians. It is important to work with individuals and companies that have voluntarily achieved “third party verification” of their skills, knowledge and operating standards.
- Dental technicians, although generally operating behind the scenes in the oral health team, are a crucial part of ensuring delivery of quality dental care.
- Full disclosure of patient contact materials that are used in their restorations and also in what country such finished restorations are manufactured are important.
- Approximately 25 percent of domestic dental laboratory sales and 38 percent of actual restorations are manufactured overseas. There are 42 countries that currently have foreign dental laboratories registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Not sure about the requirements in your state? Visit our regulations page at https://dentallabs.org/state-regulation/.
The National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) and National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) continuously fight for and represents the best interests of the dental laboratory technology profession and the dental laboratory industry before allied organizations and the broader dental community.
NADL has mandated seats for a dental laboratory technician/owner or educator on the following bodies. NADL has the ability to appoint representatives based on a vote of the NADL board of directors:
- American Dental Association (ADA) Dental Products and Standards Review Committee
- Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Commissioner
- Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Dental Laboratory Technology Review Committee
- Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Appeals Committee
Further, NADL and NBC have voting seats on the eighteen member Prosthodontic Forum.
Each year, NADL, NBC and FDLT provide written reports and/or meet in person with the following allied organization to outline key initiatives and interest areas to advocate on the role of the dental laboratory technician.
NADL and NBC work with ADA on a regular basis and have a strong cooperative relationship. The ADA has one of its own member dentists that serves as a full participating member on the NBC Board of Trustees. Additionally, the CDT program is the only certification program for dental laboratory technicians recognized by the ADA.