Made in the USA: Lancaster dentist Dr. Matthew Kingston supports American jobs and makes sure patients get high quality dental materials and dental lab work
Smiles and Your Health Topics: Made in the USA Dental Lab Work at Healthy Smiles Dental
Have you recently been told by your dentist that you need a crown? Is it time to replace your partial or full denture? Did your dentist recommend a custom night guard appliance because you are grinding your teeth? If so, you are like millions of others in the U.S. who need a dental "appliance."
In most cases, a dental lab will make that dental appliance for your dentist, and where that happens may be important to you. The NADL (National Association of Dental Labs) reported that between a quarter and a third of dental prostheses are made partially or completely overseas, where labor is cheaper.
Lancaster dentist Dr. Matthew Kingston and Healthy Smiles Dental are doing all they can to help support American jobs and ensure quality dental care by using local and U.S. dental labs exclusively. We're committed to "Made in the USA."
A significant number of dental procedures require the assistance of a qualified dental lab. Dr. Kingston's goal is to use only American labs to complete his dental lab work. In doing so, he feels he and Healthy Smiles Dental are doing their part to help employ local and U.S. workers.
Dental labs make the crowns, veneers, dentures, and oral appliances that are needed to complete complex dental cases. Often the dental lab can be just as important as the dentist in creating successful, well-fitting appliances. There are an abundant number of options when it comes to selecting a lab. Dr. Kingston frequently receives brochures and emails that advertise cheaper costs for lab work, but some of these labs are off-shore, in places like India and China. Dr. Kingston is not comfortable with that. Good communication is vital to getting the job done right, and Dr. Kingston prefers to know the person he is working with. He will often pick up the phone and call his lab partner directly to discuss complex cases.
Dentists also have many options for the materials used in crowns and other appliances. Dr. Kingston expects the labs he uses to keep current with developments in materials science. For crowns, he will often elect to use zirconia and porcelain. When he selects a metal core, he chooses only 24 karat gold or semi-precious metals. Aside from pure gold, platinum and titanium, other dental metals are alloys. Some alloys, especially the cheaper ones, contain base metals like nickel, which can cause chronic gum irritation and inflammation (many people are allergic to nickel), and Dr. Kingston does not want to use these materials.
There's a product safety issue, as well. In 2008, an investigative report in Ohio found instances of a partial bridge and a crown, both made in China, which contained toxic amounts of lead. The ADA responded emphatically that lead should never be used in dental prosthetic devices. While these were isolated cases, Dr. Kingston wants to be confident that his lab partners are using only FDA-approved materials and that they are compliant with ISO and ANSI standards.
How do you know what labs and materials your dentist is using? Ask. Dr. Kingston tries to inform his patients about the choices they have when it comes to dental materials. He chooses quality materials for all of his lab work and does not use less expensive alloys. Healthy Smiles Dental works with American dental labs that Dr. Kingston has checked out and trusts will complete the work according to his exact specifications. In the end, Dr. Kingston's commitment to "Made in the USA" is about using American workers to preserve American jobs and to help get the best result and healthiest smiles for his patients.