Dental Lab Work Being Sent to China?

Are an increasing number of labs sending implant and other dental work to China? A recent article by First Coast News claims that a growing number of labs are outsourcing labor to China unbeknownst to dentists and their patients.

According to the report, Chuck Dimaria has been making dental crowns in Missouri for 20 years. “There are laboratories sending implant work to China to be done. I believe that is happening. Do I have any record of it? No,” said Dimaria.

Dimaria says he has received offers to send his lab work to China. He’s resisting that fearing the Chinese dental work quality is too low and the crowns and implants may be tainted.

Faye Lewis is the first confirmed victim in the United States with lead contamination in imported dental crowns. She’s from Ohio but came to Florida to speak in Tallahassee to urge state lawmakers to enact protections for dental patients.

“The teeth that were cemented into my mouth were made in a Chinese Laboratory,” she said.

She also had a bridge in her mouth for 36 days. When she started having problems with it, the dentist took it out and sent it to a lab where it was discovered it had been made in China and was tainted.

Dimaria knows of another case where lab workers found that a Chinese implant was contaminated with fecal bacteria.

He says the Chinese prices are 80% of his and the U.S. labs using the Chinese goods aren’t cutting their prices, just increasing the profits and no one’s the wiser. “It’s the laboratories that are sending this stuff overseas. It’s the dentists that are sending it to the lab to get the work done and the labs are sending it overseas. The dentists don’t know it. I would say the majority don’t know,” said Dimaria.

There are no laws in place to force dental labs to disclose to dentists where a product was made and what materials were used but that could soon change in Florida. Representative Stan Jordan of Jacksonville is pushing to regulate Chinese dental products.

“It’s very easy for you today to get something made for your mouth that is made in Taiwan or India or the Philippines or wherever and we have no idea what’s in it,” said Jordan.

Both the House and Senate recently passed a measure which contains new consumer protections on dental products. It’s intended to avoid the use of foreign products that may be dangerous.

Deanna Fene, First Coast News (

36 Comments on Dental Lab Work Being Sent to China?

New comments are currently closed for this post.
Ian Chalmers
All this pap about crowns from China being contaminated and implants with fecal matter is utterly false!The reality is that the chinese crowns are a better made crowns oftentimes.This Dimaria character needs to get it together and instead of whining like a girl, drop the price and improve the quality of the work.Turning to the state and the government to regulate the industry reeks of a loser non compete mentality.I personally believe it is time for these spoiled whiners to start creating a better crown for a better price and stop blaming China for their inability to adjust to the market!!!!!
Dr S
This sounds ridiculous and sensationalist Faecal matter and implants ..unless it was retreived after being swallowed and reused ..this is plain silly. China is good enough for Walmart and more than 50% of US goods now because one guy feels threatened it gets unfair and dirty. Its a global market Learn to compete the Chinese know how
J. Roberts
I am surprised at comments # 1 & 2. Contamination of medical devices by any manufacturer is possible and the charge should not be dismissed outright as "plain silly" or by a "whining girl". The medical device industry is heavily self and governmentally regulated here in the US to prevent such happenings. China on the other hand is marginally monitored by US standards. Let us not be so quick to dismiss this issue on emotional grounds. We aren't talking about toys here. It is a health concern.
Ian Chalmers
Why the surprise?Why is the dentist who seated the so called contaminated crown not the problem?Oh,the lab lied to the dentist!!!How many other dentists had problems with the crowns this lab was giving them..........I'm waiting..........Hello...................NONE.The article published was not entirely correct.The station breaking the story has been called for not being entirely truthfull(we real folk call it lying).There is lead in everything.As I said before,it is time for the whiners to pick up their panties and learn to compete.It is the American way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would like to say that I feel Dimaria is right on with his comments. the unfortunate part is tha the dental lab workers or owners that are knocking Dimaria are insecure peole that ar actually proud of under-cutting the whole industry. . IF you people with all the comments believe that China is not adding inferior elements to their crowns should get their heads examined. Just look at the toy industry and everything they have ever done to us. I know that the crap that they are sending id proven inferior wih lead and fecal contamination. You are all a disgrace to knock your fellow technician who is trying to keep his prices competitive. Roseann Coletti of NEWs 4 N.Y> did a story on MArch 6th.THis investigaton tried to find out why Dr's are sending their crowns to China and Costa Rica and Indonesia. They couldn't answer the questions and at the same time they were evading the fact that that were ripping off patients with high fees and paying 40.00 for the whole crown. doctors are chargeing 1,200.00 for a crown and we the technicians (eliminate me in that equation) are paying 23.00 to send it to China and then in turn charge the Dr's around 40-45.00 is insane. GEt a lifeTechnicians! there is a book on the market called " Secrets of the Dental industry they don't want you to know about". written by a dentl technician.
elizabeth curran
I googled that title and can't find the book to which you have refered. Do you have the authors name or publisher? e
Joe Coursey
One item being left out of this emotional discussion is industry standards. I operate a commercial laboratory in Kentucky and understand the economics of our industry. China is a problem. I do not outsource to China but I do outsource to Canada for an implant service I need and before Nobel Biocare built their plant in the US I sent work to Sweden. All this is said to remind you that these products met FDA approval to enter this country. The wicked Chinese crown in Ohio did not have to meet FDA standards but contrary to what everyone might want to believe it may have met ADA standards. According to news reports the crown contained 220 parts per million of lead and everyone screamed this was unacceptable, but if you check the ADA standards adopted in I believe in 1998 they say 300 ppm is an acceptable level. Who's standard are being used. China is a problem that US labs must deal with and it is not just labs creating the problem, dentist can send work directly. I am not whining, I have a successful lab that continues to grow but when I pay my employees more per hour than Chinese workers receive in a day quality is not the issue, economics is, and all the quality and speed in the world can not overcome those issues. I believe in free markets but we must have standards that are real and enforceable. Yes the time has come for Dental Laboratories to fall under FDA standards, standards that are reasonable and enforceable and help insure the integrity of the industry and the health and well being of the public. Not to protect the industry from competition but to protect us from ourselves.
R. Hughes
R. Hughes
Ian Chalmers
We are insecure people who are proud of undercutting the whole industry?So China is to blame for your financial woes.I can only presume that you are one of the people who bought a house you could not possibly afford and now you expect the government to bail you out! Look,I believe the blame lies with us.We need to fix the problem.China did not create our woes,we did.To turn around and blame the technicians who disagree with the whiny philosophy and then calling the Dentists thieves because they charge so much more and then telling technicians to get a life(not you of course).supply and demand my morally perfect friend.Also,this book "secrets they don't want you to know about",just concentrate on growing your business and stay away rom the grassy knoll conspiracy theories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
An overwhelming percentage of dentists nationwide are complaining that their practices are in decline. Their patients are not having recommended treatment done as they have in the past. These patients, for the most part, are the working middle class who are on the margin, just one serious event away from foreclosure or bankruptcy. The dental sector, like much of big business in this country, is looking overseas for labor pools to help maintain the profit margin. Dentists bemoan that their patients can't or won't pay the price and yet those same dentists are overwhelmingly in favor of "free trade" agreements, industry deregulation and in keeping the minimum wage low. In our shortsightedness, we are encouraging unemployment here at home for the sake of greed. When the workers of our country suffer we suffer, for they are our bread and butter.
There is no substantiation for the claims of this article. Like most sensational pieces, it is just anectdotal crap from a biased perspective. Ridiculous. The work from abroad is good or it wouldn't be seated. If there was real proof, the ada would shut it down.
Recently i started sending my lab work to China. i called up the local intermediary and told him i was upset. i said "Where the heck have you been for 20 years". the work is excellent . so much fewer adjustments . so much better contour (emergence profile). I practice in Israel the labs here frustrated me for years. I even get excellent color matches using digital photos. THe icing on it all is it's much cheaper
Dr Xavier Rodriguez
I have experience working on Mexican, American and Canadian patients and there is something I have learned from this: American standards are definitely NOT the best. I have found very bad quality American prosthetic work. As bad as any American dentist would think to find in Mexico. So, ADA seal of quality means nothing once you have broaden your practice and mind. I am not surprised China, Costa Rica or Mexico is capable of manufacturing state-of-the-art dental prosthetic work. It just requires training and commitment, just as any Chinese or Latin American dentist can perform "ADA Quality" dentistry without being trained in America. If this is not true, then why do thousands of American and Canadian patients are traveling to get their treatments done abroad? ADA is fine, but is not the last word. By the way, STERILIZATION will take care of ALL sanitary issues you are concerned of. That is how my lab delivers: SEALED & STERILIZED and my lab is Mexico
I agree somewhat with Dr. Rodriguez. I'd been trying to find dental labs that don't outsource to China for various reasons and ended up always getting disappointed for qualities of lab products that're made here. I'm sure all you guys experienced too. It's always wrong impressions whenever crowns, bridges don't fit. Then why do some fit just fine when done by others in China or wherever with the same technique for taking impressions. I understand some experienced lab techs can fix problematic parts of impressions if any and still come out with good works but with a lot of labs that do or don't outsource to china, their work could be very bad.
After reading these post, I can't believe the main factor in all this is being overlooked. THE PATIENT! I'm a dental tech (CDT for 29 yrs.)and do quality work for dentist that appreciate it. I'm reading alot about labs sending to China without the Dr.s knowledge. I'm sure this does happen, but in most cases I would bet the Dr. knows. If he doesn't, he's using the wrong lab.( I know of a midwest dental group with over 250 offices that all but require the lab work be sent to China. The Dr. and Dental Tech should have a good working relationship,crowns should not be made on an "assembly line". I'm guessing some of the pro China comments are made by Dentist or Labs that send to China. The big question is- Why aren't the patients being told, or given the option to have their work done in the states or over seas.(THEY are paying for a product that will be in their mouth) All the arguments about quality are subjective. I would bet however a large percentage of the patients that received crowns from China would opt not to. Ask around and you'll find this to be true.
P Thirani
What every body is overlooking is that pts have a choice. People are comming to India to have their work done. Is our standard the same? Yes! I am not talking about average dentist but good ones. Same goes for labs. One tecnician I spoke to told me he makes 1 all ceramic crown in 2 days my ceramist in India makes ten in one day!Is the quality same? almost. But hey I am competing with docters who charge lower then me. If you take quality out of picture then it is a bottemless pit. Let quality be the diffrentiator not price. There are and will always be patients who pay for quality.
Ian Chalmers
The Patient?I will never blame China for my losing business.Business is competitive.We as lab techs do not work for the patient but the dentist.Otherwise the patient would pay us directly.Unless,of course,we have the good fortune of working with the dentist and pt.Not so for most of us.Dentists are in Business to make a decent living,so are techs.Unless you cad-cam or outsource you are going to run into diffficulties!This crap about being a certified lab with CDT's and we are a higher quality and standard.Wrong.It is a Business.Integrity is the higher standard.Anyway,I digress.If outsourcing enhances my profits,so be it.But.....But.....only a complete and utter idiot will give dentists crappy products.Products that cause infections,products that do not fit,products that the dentist can get at another lab maybe for a better price and a better product.It is time for techs to pick up their loins and be the best you can be!!!!Stop blaming everyone,you sound like a democrat!!!!!!
Dental Lab Manager
The case that is mentioned above was dropped by the way. They could NEVER prove what cause the lady in Ohio's illness. Something else that should be kept in mind is I have researched and even visits Chinese Labs. I wonder if anyone is aware that they buy ALL thier restoration products in the US. Thats right. All thier metal, thier porcelain, etc etc. I find it somewhat amusing yet disturbing at the same time that people speak with such certainty on things they have NO CLUE about.
Andrew HF Tsang
Interesting follow up! Our dental clinic in Vietnam has years of experience working with an nearby international dental lab that does work for overseas dentists. We find the QC checks even more detailed because they can't afford to make a bad overseas shipment. And we can inquire about their lab materials anytime... they are always all foreign imported.
The problem is that many dentist love to save money when the crowns are cheaper, specially if they have a productive practice, so they really don't go far enough to visit the lab or make questions about the lab work, so the patient end up with poor quality materials that could be hazourd for their health.
China, Mexico, the phillipines ?? Who cares . Get with it .have you ever looked under the hood of a Ford and found all the parts to be made in the US ?? What a joke. Corporations have been outsourcing for years now and of course now that our profession which is always slow to catch on decides to do the same gets criticized ?? Who is forcind any dentist to cement something that isn't up to their standards ? Btw I send my work to a techin Mexico who used to work here for 25 years ! All his materials are from Europe or here . I second to stop the whihing !!!
CDT from La
Just a reminder to everyone on here reading and or complaining: Most US Dental labs are small, month to month operations. The products we use are certified to be sold and used in our restorations. Where there may be issues with products, is where US labs searching for the cheapest price, outsource to an overseas lab that is not certified to do business with our labs. This is the type of situation where inferrior product may be used. We are in a free market society where we need to make a profit of some sort, and if we can't raise our selling price, why can't we decrease our overhead? As far as the fecal contaminated implants crowns, please, the crowns are supposed to be disinfected at the dentists office prior to insertion in the mouth. Also, there is no way that bacteria can withstand the +1600F degree temperatures they are baked at for curing the porcelains. It could have been a unsanitary technician who sandblasted the crown before shipping or an unsanitary dental assistant unpacking the crown in the office before bringing it to the operatory. Don't be a lamb!
Hi, I am a dentist practising in a group practice in Auckland NZ for 18 years, few years ago we started using a dentalworkshk lab in hong kong and have never looked back. We pay half the price, get things back in 1 week. We later on found that some labs are even doing that here, sending it to China, it is big business here. I the latest edition of Dental Tribune the lead article says about 40% of Australian labs are doing so. Heck even the ipods are being made in China, just find yourself a reliable lab and do not go to the cheapest.....
I can not believe I am hearing a dentist talk about how he sends to China.... Greedy. Just greedy and cheap. You better have told your patients where you send. You are now the LAB and the Doctor. As a lab that does in house work and outsourcing I have told all of my doctors the truth. It was scary to tell them but they have either said...okay or keep my stuff at the regular in house price. They have the option. You better be allowing your patients to determine where you send and I am hoping at the very least you have two different prices for these options. What a greedy prctice you run.
Well yes... they send to China but they hopefully have turned the price around as well as where they send. You need to realize that Labs in your community need you to stay alive! As you need the patients! I am going to start a business... its going to be a field trip sort of thing. We are going to load a bus with people who need dental work from your community and go to Brazil and get all the work at the "40%" cheaper price. That way we can all utilize the cheaper side of things. If you find your practice diminishing before your eyes, just think.... its all about the price.
Shawn, I for one, do not use a lab outsources. having that said, I don't think it's about greed and the way you come about is very immature here. WE live in capitalistic society and it's all about competition whether it's on quality or price. I/ve used a lab in china before and I stopped because work quality wasn't good at all. The lab I use now make everything in house. I'm paying about 2.5 times more for a single PFM. IS quality way better? NOPE. I 'm still having to send things back because frames don't fit or crowns don't. Greedy practice? Is that why many labs here raise the fees almost every year because they are not greedy and it's all about serving patients?? ( Especially lately ). STop whining and get on with competition.
Any technician who calls a Dentist greedy because they make a decision to send work to China or wherever they deem fit,is a loser,whiney,second rate technician.I have a lab in Missouri,we do everything in house and work hand in hand with Dentists who also work with Chinese labs.
Richard Hughes, DDS, FAAI
Ian: I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with paying a lower price if the quality is in the product.
It is not the china lab that is the problem but the manufacture of the products,We have our own lab in china and we buy and use only USA products that are sent to china.
We do work for many USA labs that think very highly of our quality,service and price.
If you are interested in learning more contact
you wait when those giant warehouses get in the dental business and start dental practices in-store and start charging $400.00 a crown, then we all labs and dentist will be the losers, as far as Chinese crowns concern I have seen very good quality work from china ,most Chinese technician are educated and certified in contract to any body could come to the USA and open a lab. with no education or certification and sell there product at lower prices,1 am a US educated certified and 33 years in the dental lab. business it is getting a lot difficult to run a lab. and make some profit,good luck to everyone.
ian Chalmers
$400 for a crown.It has already started.So we adjust and fast.All i hear from the us techs is I only do high quality work.Well,o'kay.See you later cause your high quality is not!!!
Richard L F
A Good dentist will never ever send anything to China ,I have 32 years doing ceramics and what I know now is that most of the dentists do not care about their patient, their only interest is how much they are saving ,regardless of what they can say . GOOD for this dentists that really care not only about their patients but also care for AMERICA .Shame on the others. The only thing I can hope is that the laws will change for the better to protect the good AMERICAN LAB OWNER . It is also not legal for a dental lab to outsource their lab work to China or any other place . Good luck
Brenda Brown
The China connection is destroying the dental lab industry in the US. Our economy is already in trouble and the fact that our government is allowing the industry to fail because of cheaper crowns is outrageous. Yes I am a 30 year ceramist tech and I am angry. So many technicians out of work so many labs closing the doors is a huge problem.Those china techs work around the clock I am sure.This is yet another slave trade product.

Featured Products

OsteoGen Bone Grafting Plug
Combines bone graft with a collagen plug to yield the easiest and most affordable way to clinically deliver bone graft for socket preservation.
CevOss Bovine Bone Graft
Make the switch to a better xenograft! High volume of interconnected pores promotes new bone. Substantially equivalent to BioOss and NuOss.