Minn. may require dental labs to register

A Minnesota bill that would regulate the state's dental laboratories is nearing approval by state lawmakers.

HF 614 would require labs that make crowns, bridges, dentures, or other dental pieces to register with the state, according to a story in the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Labs also would have to disclose to dentists the materials involved and where the products were made, in whole or part.

Currently, when a dentist hires a dental lab to produce these products, the lab can outsource the work to other states or countries. The materials used are not always documented or the information shared.

HF 614 includes an optional level of certification with higher standards that includes additional training for staff and stricter facility standards.

The bill was passed by state representatives last week. Members of the House and Senate are meeting this week to merge two different versions of the legislation.

Only a few states currently require dental laboratories to disclose if they outsource work to foreign labs, Bennett Napier, co-executive director of the National Association of Dental Laboratories, told the Republican Eagle.

There are 300 to 400 dental labs in Minnesota.

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