CDC Says Lead Levels in Dental Crowns Are a “Highly Unlikely” Health Risk to Adults

A sample of the crown and bridge work available from China Dental Outsourcing

From the American Dental Association:

When news of lead contamination in an outsourced dental crown hit the presses in late February, the ADA called on the nation’s leading health agencies to address safety concerns raised by the reports. Association leaders are gratified by their responses.

The CDC explained that the level of lead reported in the crown in the media reports —approximately 200 parts per million—is “highly unlikely” to be a health risk to an adult.

“Such small amounts of lead as reported, are extremely unlikely to cause adverse health effects in adults,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the ADA in its response. “Given the current information, CDC does not recommend that individuals defer needed oral procedures or have existing prostheses removed.”

That said, the CDC noted that it recommends against the unnecessary use of lead in consumer products, including dental crowns.

“I’m relieved that the CDC sees no threat to patients based upon the trace amount of lead reported,” said ADA President Mark Feldman. “We are still conducting our own test of dental prostheses and are gratified that CDC has offered to interpret any health impact of the results”.

So, patients will NOT need crowns which have been outsourced to China replaced. But, how would they ever know if their crowns or other prostheses have been made overseas in the first place – and to what standards.

Flap bets there will be state by state legislation requiring disclosure by dentists to their patients on where their prostheses are manufactured and the materials used.

In the meantime, outsourcing will continue but with increasing scrutiny by the feds and the protestations of American dental laboratories and patients alike.


  • Tomchik

    I think that dentists (good professionals who care about our health and teeth – sic) are mostly concerned about the size of their wallets before our teeth. They think they have a god given right to charge exorbitant amounts to look after us. Are their charges for dental work any cheaper than if they sent their lab work to a recognized dental laboratory at home?
    Why do they not tell us they send their work overseas?
    I for one will go to a dentist who has reasonable charges, has lab work made in THIS country or I will have work done on holiday where it is cheaper and as good quality.

  • Flap

    The laboratory work sent abroad is cheaper because the labor is cheaper. Same with going abroad to receive dental care.

    But, choose wisely because the standards and accountability will not be the same as your local dentist in the United States.

    Let the buyer beware.