CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tags on a sport jacket, neck tie, even your shoes, likely indicate where they’re made — and in most cases what they’re made of. It’s standard for most products used today.
But that’s not necessarily the standard for dental devices, implants and equipment — although some of them, like crowns, can be used for a decade or more.
Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo, C-West Seneca, is trying to change that, and he has the backing of the dental community.
But when it comes to dental implants or materials, that type of informative standard doesn’t exist.
“The FDA only certifies materials. They don’t say that everybody has to use them,” said Dr. Ronald Jarvis, a longtime dentist in Amherst. “The patients are not informed. They don’t know. And this is just a way of protecting them from materials that are substandard.”
Jarvis has been a dentist since 1963, and he says patients aren’t informed because they don’t have to be. Lorigo said that doesn’t have to be the case.
“What we’re trying to do is protect patients so they know where their materials were made and prevent any type of substandard materials, whether it’s lead or something else, from being placed in the patients’ mouth,” he said. “People have a right to know.”
Lorigo announced his proposal Tuesday afternoon at Evolution Dental Science in Cheektowaga, where dental implants are made locally, and most are shipped throughout Western New York.
The idea is supported by Evolution Dental owner and CEO Andy Jakson, who said patients should expect the same standards across the board, and for anything that comes across the border.
“We’re fighting for that disclosure that overseas laboratories have the same standards that we do,” Jakson said. “And they have the same origin of manufacturers that we do.”