Cheap is cheap

Many dental patients come to our office for second opinions or to have us correct something that an unscrupulous dentist had done in the past. Recently I saw a patient, lets call her Ruth, who came to our office because she had a crown done by her previous dentist and the gum tissue around the crown was extremely itchy and red and she felt as if there was something caught between her teeth. I examined the Ruth and took an Xray and noticed immediately what she was concerned about. The gum surrounding the crown was horribly inflamed. In fact, the inflammation between her teeth was so severe that the gum was pushing the teeth apart. The rest of Ruth’s mouth looked perfectly healthy, only the area around this crown had this terrible reaction.

There are a few reasons for this type of gingival reaction following dental work, but more and more common, is the quality of metal used to fabricate the crown. Dentistry is a business where profit margins run extremely low believe it or not and many dentist are looking for ways to increase profit by using crowns made in China. The cost of sending a crown to China to be fabricated can be as little as 10 percent of what it would cost the dentist if he or she used a lab in the US. This is not an issue except that we now know that these crowns contain lead, which is poison. The first stage of reaction to these types of crowns will be inflammation and pain or discomfort of the gum tissue around the crown. If not replaced, it can do serious damage to the supporting structures of the tooth (the bone and gums).

Ruth had no idea that her dentist was using crowns made in China, which is unfortunate. Our office uses the highest quality materials and labs located right here in New Jersey, which is good for our patients and the local economy as well. Our office does pay a lot more for our crown restorations, but we think it is worth it and so do our patients. Below are two links for further reading. Both do a very good job of informing people of the hazards of exporting lab work to china, both from a health standpoint and an economic one. But my best advice is to tell you to ask your dentist what is in your crowns.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Consumer/story?id=4814193

http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-101/issue-4/in-every-issue/reader-responds-to-outsourcing-of-dental-crowns-to-china.html

3 Responses to Cheap is cheap

  1. Jessica Appello says:

    This is such a great example of how people will pay more for a car than they will for their health. It’s not supposed to be a bargain basement haggling experience. I’d rather have the work done right the first time then have to endure prolonged discomfort and further work later on. I had no idea that other dentists were using China-made products. I wouldn’t even give my dog a toy made in China because of all the media hype surrounding this issue. Very informative post.

  2. Eddie Lynch says:

    Dr. Devon Berry has expressed to me that his practice utilizes only the best quality dental practices for his patients. And I have seen this first hand. I have been seeing Dr. Berry for the last few months the to cure some older dental work that wasn’t done as properly as it should have. Dr. Berry and the dental assistants are nothing short of amazing. I would never visit another dental office again.

  3. Awesome article thank you for sharing.

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