ADA Passes Laboratory Registration Resolution

Posted on November 18, 2013

At the October 2013 ADA Annual Session, the ADA House of Delegates passed Resolution 52. This resolution states: “Resolved that in order to enhance dental patient health and safety, the ADA urges all state dental boards to register U.S. dental laboratories”. The culmination of ADA taking this step has been more than 10 years in the making. NADL President Elect Gary Iocco and Bill D’Aiuto, former Chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice and a current Trustee for the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology testified at ADA proceedings on this resolution.

“Doctors from around the country testified at Reference Committees Hearings and on the House of Delegates floor in favor of Resolution 52, commenting that this was a supportive measure to ensure the domestic dental laboratory industry would thrive in the future by ensuring basic standards of operation” says Gary Iocco, NADL president elect.

Dentistry is regulated at the state level through boards of dentistry. Due to its governance structure, the ADA relies on the actions of independent state associations/societies to foster policies at the state level. This is why in most cases to get something done on a nationwide basis takes a long time. However, if ADA policy recommends a certain path, it is generally widely adopted at the grassroots level.

During the course of the last 10 years, NADL and NBC have worked diligently with the staff and elected leadership of the ADA and other allied dental organizations to change the perspective of how regulations and best practices are looked at with respect to dental laboratories. For many years, ADA has maintained a high level of respect for the “Certified Dental Technician” credential. Within existing ADA policy, many references exist recommending dentists work with CDTs and speaking to the competency of the technician with formal education and verified skill and knowledge through national examinations.

In recent years, through the efforts of NADL, the ADA House of Delegates has passed additional policy resolutions that address both patient contact material disclosure and point of origin disclosure to enhance both dentist as well as patient transparency. What has been missing is a tie to enforcing such best practices. The fact that the new resolution addresses laboratory registration provides a platform where a political discussion within the states can take place on integrating a comprehensive set of standards.

NADL will continue to work collaboratively with the ADA, and with state dental laboratory associations to ensure that moving forward any new regulations that are considered at the state level are created in a manner that patient health and safety are the outcomes achieved while maintaining an eye towards minimizing the costs of compliance.

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