A leading dental technician is supporting a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about UK-produced crowns and bridges.
Luke Barnett, who runs a lab in Watford, Hertfordshire, has put his full support behind the recently launched British Bite Mark campaign.
The campaign, launched by the Dental Laboratories Association, aims to raise awareness among UK dental patients about where the crown or bridge they have fitted in their mouth was made and under what kind of regulation.
The British Bite Mark is now becoming recognised by patients who want to be sure what their dental appliance contains.
Luke said: ‘It has been a tough economic time for many UK laboratories with a downtown in the economy, over regulation from the GDC and now having to compete against unregulated operations from around the world.’
‘I really do feel that the UK dental technology industry is under threat from this lack of regulation. That is the key – I know that UK dental labs can compete with anyone but there must be a level playing field.
‘This isn’t about protection – my colleagues and I are proud of what we produce and want to ensure that standards are adhered to, wherever work may be manufactured. It is impossible to know what materials are included in crowns, bridges and dentures that are made in an unregulated environment, yet thousands of dentists use imported appliances.’
‘I appeal to those dentists that may be tempted to send work overseas, that for the sake of a few pence they are not only putting the future of the UK Dental Technology industry at risk, but potentially, also that of their patients’ safety.’
Richard Daniels, of the DLA , said: ‘The ultimate aim of British Bite Mark is to ensure that patients receive a transparent service from their dentist. In these turbulent economic times it is understandable that dental practices are looking to cut costs; however, by sourcing crowns, bridges, dentures and veneers from dental laboratories in the Far East just to save money, isn’t acceptable without making the patient aware.’