A Bold Move
Iocco testifies before state senate committee on dental laboratory regulation.
Gary Iocco, vice president of the Midwest Dental Laboratory Association (MDLA) and owner of Dimension Dental Design laboratory in Hastings, Minnesota, testified before the Minnesota Senate Committee on Finance and House of Representatives in May 2011. Iocco’s testimony was in support of legislation that would safeguard dental patients by making Minnesota the seventh state in the United States to require dental laboratories to register with the state in order to practice. Bill S.F. 288 will make it mandatory for any laboratory—regardless of location—that provides services to a dentist practicing in Minnesota to register with the Board of Dentistry every 2 years and pay a registration fee of up to $300. In addition to registering with the state, the bill also requires the laboratory provide clients with full documented disclosure of the materials used in the final restorative product that would be included with the patient’s records.
"This is a safety issue for patients and for dentists as well as their staffs and their technicians," said Iocco. "If a laboratory wants to outsource work to another laboratory in the United States or to other countries, that’s fine. But the laboratory must tell the dentist where that restoration was made."
With full support of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry and the Minnesota Dental Association, the bill also calls for laboratories to follow OSHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines pertaining to infectious disease control, to employ a certified dental technician, and have each technician complete 8 hours of continuing education every 2 years.
The bill passed the full Minnesota Senate with a vote of 62 to 2 and passed the House of Representatives Health & Human Services (HHS) committee but met with delay in the House Finance committee. It is now awaiting a special session of the Minnesota legislature for inclusion in the Omnibus HHS bill, a final budget vote, and the governor’s signature.
Currently, there are 11 states (Alabama, New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Maine, Kansas, North Carolina, California, Mississippi, and Virginia) working on legislation or administrative rules on regulating dental laboratories. Of those eleven legislative initiatives, seven would require laboratories to register with the state.