The Washington State Dental Laboratory Association And Patient Protection

WSDLA dental laboratory disclosure and point of origin legislation

WSDLA Dental Laboratory Registration & Disclosure Bills

The WSDLA promotes the principle that dental laboratories must be accountable for providing dentists with accurate information regarding the materials and point of origin of dental restorations. As it now stands, dental laboratories are not required to inform dentists where crowns and other dental restorations are made or what materials they’re made from. For this reason, the association is promoting House Bill 1782 & Senate Bill 5669 in Olympia.

According to the WSDLA, current lack of accountability creates an economic incentive for unscrupulous laboratories to profit through misrepresentation of material content. This presents potential risks and negative impacts for labs, dentist and their patients.

Patient safety is potentially compromised when something other than what was prescribed is placed in the mouth, particularly with respect to sensitivity to non-noble metals. Misrepresented cheaper dental materials put unfair competitive pressure on labs that use proper materials. Higher failure rates cost dentists lost chair time, additional liability, and possible reputational impact.

The Washington Dental Laboratory Association in collaboration with the Washington State Dental Association developed the bill language to implement the ADA policy to address this by establishing a simple dental lab registration and requiring labs to provide the dentist with a written material content and point of origin disclosure. Also, one person in each lab must obtain some continuing education.

WSDLA dental laboratory disclosure and point of origin legislation

The follow are the key elements of the dental laboratory bill:

  •  Disclosure: The WSDLA proposal would require dental laboratories to disclose, in writing, to the dentist, the materials content and point of origin for all restorations.
  •  Registration: Dental labs would be required to register their basic information with the Washington Dental Quality Assurance Commission. Dentists that have their own in-house dental laboratory doing work for their own  patients would be exempt.
  • Continuing Education Requirement – Beginning in 2018 at least one person in each dental laboratory is required to complete at least 15 hours of continuing education annually.
  • Certification:  Beginning in 2023 each dental laboratory must have at least one person who is a certified dental Laboratory technician (CDT). Grandfather Clause – Dental laboratories that have been in continuous operation since 1996 are “grandfathered” and not subject to the CDT requirement.
  • ADA policy – The WSDLA Dental Laboratory Registration & Disclosure bill implements current ADA policy and was developed in collaboration with WSDA. Increased lab accountability is good for dental laboratories and greatly benefits dentists and their patients.
Matthew Chapman dental laboratory disclosure

Matthew Chapman, president of the WSDLA