Some Outsourced Dental Implants Test Positive For Lead

If you’re getting dental implant work done, you may want to ask if they outsource to other countries. A KPHO investigation bought 13 crowns from labs in China, Thailand and the US. Ten of them came back positive for lead, with levels from 110 parts per million to 240 parts per million. The problem may be from the surface stain used to whiten and brighten the teeth. Throughout history, lead has been used in paints because it’s bright, cheap, and highly durable.

Some Dental Work May Contain Lead, Tests Show [KPHO] (Thanks to Nicole!) (Photo: dental ben)

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  1. JoseRZ says:

    Please change that picture.

  2. Zanorfes says:

    I’m not sure what scared me most, the article itself of the picture. I’m headed for the dentist in a few days and never thought twice about asking that question. Thanks!

  3. Seacub says:

    Seriously, please change the picture

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    ?

  5. I look at that picture and my baby teeth hurt … those came out 30 years ago!!

  6. MustyBuckets says:

    The posts in the picture don’t even look straight…

  7. drjayphd says:

    Naturally, the investiagation neglects to mention one key figure in this case:

  8. That picture is traumatizing…

  9. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    Oh god… my eyes.

  10. GC says:

    oh god please change the picture

  11. silver-bolt says:

    I am not exaggerating when I say I became sick at the sight of that picture :(

  12. SabyneWired says:

    That picture made my teeth cry. Seriously, that’s disturbing. :(

  13. starshard0 says:

    Sweet picture :)

  14. JayDeEm says:

    I just had a crown put on a couple of weeks ago. It looks like I’m going to have to go get me one of those lead testing kits ;)

    Oh… and a little part of me died when I saw that picture.

  15. bologna_wallet says:

    I think I just threw up a little bit

  16. no.no.notorious says:

    i’ve already for a fever and that picture just made me even sicker.

  17. 11hawkinst says:

    That picture… is just… blahhhhh!

    ewwwww….

  18. WEGGLES90 says:

    I had to adblock the image to read the article. :

  19. dakotad555 says:

    Where can I can I get some teeth like that? Those things rock.

  20. superlayne says:

    …What is wrong with that mouth? Are those LEAD PIPES in place of teeth?!

  21. FangDoc says:

    OK, people, those are not supposed to be the teeth. The “lead pipes” are what are called impression copings, that are screwed onto the implants for a few minutes while the impression is taken to send to the lab. Then those are removed and the healing caps, which look a little like watch batteries, are screwed back into place until the crowns, which look like normal teeth, come back from the lab.

    But this is not the actual issue. The actual issue is the lead in the outsourced crowns, which are independent from the implants. You don’t need an implant in order to potentially get a lead-contaminated restoration if your dentist is using an overseas lab. This is why I use a lab down the street from my office. I can visit it, I know everyone who works there, and I know they are following acceptable standards for fabricating restorations. Yes, they charge more than an overseas lab, which means I don’t make as much profit, but I’d much rather be able to sleep at night.

    • neilb says:

      @FangDoc: Thanks for giving us a real comment. I talked to a Korean friend who is oral surgeon about implants once and I was convinced that they were a great thing (assuming you need them–but I will keep my teeth, thanks).
      I cannot believe that anyone would put lead into anything that is only intended for oral use.
      Do you run a bigger risk of lead by getting the surgery overseas? I remember her saying that Seoul had some of the best oral surgeons in the world and that it makes sense to travel there for such surgery. Of course, she practiced there, so I can understand her bias.

  22. yankerosa says:

    Who do I have to punch in the taint to change that damn picture… sweet backstroking Christ.

  23. kendallcorner says:

    hmmm … anyone know what the lead content limit is? 240 ppm does seem a little high, but I also don’t think it’ll hurt you. like at all … of course if you often take in lead or other heavy metals … the implants could tip your scale to the poisoned end, but I think you were headed that way anyway.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @kendallcorner: According to the article, “The FDA has not established a limit for the amount of lead in dental work.”

      I don’t know how much lead it takes to poison someone but I’d think that for something that’s in your mouth it wouldn’t take as much as for something you’re just touching.

  24. loganmo says:

    WTF did you get that picture? Im glad you posted this-I am getting a crown placed on my back molar next week!

  25. Quilt says:

    I just want to comment on how disgusting that photo is. It’s REALLY disgusting.

  26. badhatharry says:

    Is that the “during” picture for Jaws from “Moonraker?”

  27. Marshfield says:

    Makin’ me think twice about getting an implant.. just have one tooth missing, nearly used to living without it….

    • FangDoc says:

      @Marshfield: The OP says it was the crowns, not the implants, that contained the lead. The implant is titanium, and unless you’re shipping your jaw overseas, that can’t be outsourced. However, any crown, whether it’s on an implant or on a natural tooth, could potentially contain lead if an unscrupulous lab is making it.

      Everybody, ASK YOUR DENTIST who will be fabricating your lab restoration. If it’s a local, domestic lab, you might even be able to visit the lab and put any worries to rest.

  28. gatewaytoheaven says:

    My teeth hurt. Picture be damned!

  29. Pretty sweet placement at #27, don’t ‘cha think? That’ll be an easy one to restore….

    Any thoughts on how/why the mandible’s all recsected?

    • FangDoc says:

      @Ichiro Death Glare: I’ve got an odontoblastoma patient who looks a lot like that. Managed to live into her late seventies with a complete set of her natural teeth, then a benign tumor knocks out 21-28. She’s doing a partial rather than implants, though.

      The one I love is the (apparent) angulation on #8. I realize they’re probably using an angled abutment, but still… “comin’ atcha!”

  30. KoW says:

    I love to be horrified by that picture. It’s beautiful in an evil, disturbing way.

    Oh, wait, there’s a story attached to it?

  31. Chocotanya says:

    Please!! I am a longtime reader and seldom comment but CHANGE the PICTURE!!!!

  32. dayron422 says:

    Lead? Doesn’t it bother anyone that “silver” fillings are made with mercury? I’m not convinced that the mercury in standard fillings doesn’t get absorbed into our bloodstream. I direct you to a BBC documentary on the subject.
    [video.google.com]
    Let’s worry about the mercury first.

  33. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    My biggest problem is with the last line of the article:

    Nevertheless, there is almost no regulation on these labs, whether they are in the U.S. or in another country.

    Well, that and the fact that the article doesn’t actually say that none of the domestic crowns had lead in them.

  34. utensil42 says:

    And that photo is why people need to take care of their damned teeth. Dudes, it’s called floss and it’s not hard to use.

  35. Mistrez_Mish says:

    Please change the picture.

  36. Burgandy says:

    I’d like to thank you now for the nightmares I will be having tonight due to seeing that picture.

  37. Nighthawke says:

    That’ll inspire more than a few folks to brush more often…

  38. HogwartsAlum says:

    That’s weird…every time I click to see the replies I get a white page that says “true”.

  39. bishophicks says:

    Love the picture!

    I had 10, count ‘em, 10 of these done earlier this year. I have pictures of myself during the procedure that look horrifying. It was awesome.

    The picture above looks photoshopped or something. The posts don’t look at all straight and I don’t see how the person could even close their mouth considering that their back teeth are already touching