The Care that you Need...by People that you Trust.
J.Thomas Russell DDS
1030 Xenia Avenue,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Call: (937) 767-7731
How to Find the Right Dentist for You
Crowns Put to Test
It is the
Dental Patient's Right to Know
where their dental crown was made
and exactly what materials
The Dentist has made
a permanent part of the Patient's Mouth.
In light of recent revelations, dental laboratory crowns and bridges that have been outsourced to Third World countries must be considered to be sources of chronic lead poisoning either with or without
a Certificate of Alloy Content.
The only certain way to quell the fears
is by recalling each patient whose mouth harbors such a crown,
and definitively ruling out the possibility of Lead Contamination.
Last week (Feb. 27, 2008) our local Ohio newspaper, The Springfield News-Sun, reported that on lead-contaminated dental crowns that some Ohio dentists have imported from China.
Earlier this month Chinese contaminated Heparin was reported by the New York Times to have caused the deaths of four US patients.
Last summer, The Times identified China as the source of toothpaste and cold syrup containing antifreeze that killed patients in Panama and other countries in Latin America.
The New York Times also gave full coverage to the use of lead contaminated paint by Chinese toy manufacturers.
Chinese environmental standards are much looser and have not seen lead-contamination as a hazard. Indeed, Haile Gebrselassie, an Ethiopian olympian runner says he will not run in the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics over fears about the high pollution levels in the city. The Ethiopian marathon world record holder said, "The pollution in China is a threat to my health and it would be difficult for me to run 42km in my current condition," Gebrselassie said. "But I am not pulling out of the Olympic event in Beijing all together. I plan to participate in the 10,000m event."
Unfortunately, in search of reduced costs, products made under these dangerous loose standards are being imported under the noses of the US regulatory agencies like the (FDA, EPA).
Some dentists have outsourced their dental lab work to China, using DHL, FedEx, or UPS to ship round-trip to China in as little as four or five days.
It could be very injurious to your health to have a lead-containing-crown in your mouth.
"I guess that tells me I need to be a little bit more concerned about other potential sources of lead," said Dr. Marcel Casavant, who runs central Ohio's lead program and poison control center. "I never would have guessed somebody would have put lead into a piece or a part installed into a human being."
Casavant said adults can live with lead poisoning for years and not know it.
"The symptoms are what we call non-specific - a little ache or a pain - abnormal bowel function," Casavant said.
Even high blood pressure and kidney trouble could be symptoms, according to Casavant.
In addition to the physical damage to the body’s organ systems, there are a number of subtle neurological symptoms that are also associated with lead poisoning:
Behavioral symptoms in children
· Irritability or aggressiveness
· Hyperactivity, being easily distracted, impulsiveness
· Learning problems
· Lack of interest in play
· Loss of appetite
Behavioral symptoms in adults
· Unexplained changes in mood or personality
· Changes in sleep patterns
· Inability to concentrate
· Memory loss
Neurological symptoms (caused by effects of lead on the nervous system)
· Poor coordination
· Weakness in hands and feet
(as listed in WebMD)
Because the symptoms of lead poisoning are painless, until irreparable damage has occurred, it is important that all sources be identified and removed from the patient's environment to prevent further damage. If a lead-contaminated crown is otherwise functioning also without symptoms, its poisoning could continue for years.
It would be a signal public health service to have dentists identify which of their patients have received crowns imported from china. The patients would be empowered to evaluate the potential source of environmental pollution concealed inside their body. Early identification is a low-cost preventive-medicine step that could head off disaster before it occurs.
It is overdue to issue a Recall of Crowns that were outsourced to China or India to determine which crowns may be leaking poisonous lead contamination.
Consumer protections have long mandated recalls of automobiles to prevent engine fires, failing brakes, and other defective parts. In the medical field recalls have been issued for failing cardiac defibrillators and mislabeled medicines.
Here is some of the paperwork a foreign lab must successfully navigate to comply with the US Food and Drug Administration oversight process for imported medical and dental devices.
Lead poisoning does not present with the drama of an automobile fire or brake failure. Indeed, it takes a long time for the damage to become noticeable. But we all know we would want to know "yesterday" if we had a lead-contaminated crown in our mouths, (or a leak in our car's brake system.) It is time for Dentistry's first Nationwide Recall.
In Dentistry the regulatory powers are diluted among the Several States. The issue of the safety of imported dental devices does not reside in any single agency or authority. While the final arbiter of the safety of dental devices is an individual's dentist, the dental practitioner must be backed up by a rigorous State Dental Practice Act. Florida, with the help of a savvy Deparment of Medical
Quality Assurance and a progressive legislature is currently developing legislation to meet the threat of the importation of Third World lead contamination.
You can find a copy of the Florida legislation-in-progress here.
There may be solitary disasters occurring in afflicted individuals mouths and brains right now, in slow motion, as you are reading this. I feel that organized dentistry should not ignore this issue merely because we have yet to codify the needed internal-environment protections in our Health-Law. To this end the American Dental Association has started a broad investigation into the problem.
Yellow Springs Dental Care
has never sent dental lab work overseas.
We do not deal with dental laboratories that outsource dental labwork overseas.
As a further protection, we require that the labs we delegate crowns and partial dentures to furnish us with Certificates of Assay Content which state the entire composition of metals used in the various metal alloys. We make this certificate a part of the permanent dental record.
The Springfield News-Sun had an article on an investigation by Channel 10 WBNS-TV. http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/n/content/gen/ap/OH_Lead_Dental_Products.html