Ask Your Dentist



This deceptive practice exists only because nobody knows it’s happening, so tell your family and friends – once the tipping point of public awareness is reached, I believe the use of Asian lab work will collapse overnight! I mean honestly, would you continue going to your dentist if you discovered they were using cheap Asian lab work that was costing Australian’s jobs when for the same money you could get a superior product, keep Australians employed and have a true assurance that all materials used in the fabrication of your prosthesis were safe?

Patient impressions are bar coded and shipped overseas and the attending factory workers will produce the best crown/denture they can, given their skill base and the quality of the provided impression/crown prep.

The many workers involved know nothing of the dentist or the patient and everything is anonymous (the factories employ thousands of employees with different individuals being responsible for different stages of production not the job in its entirety as Australian techs are). The majority of the factory workers are not skilled technicians in the sense of the Australian tech but instead factory workers trained to complete a small process in the production line. These factories operate 24/7 and can exceed 5000 employees in number, many of whom are accommodated ‘out the back’ in dormitories.

More than 60% of Australian dentists now choosing to use cheap Asian laboratory work sourced largely from China (Taiwan and Korea are the other major players). I’d like you to reflect on that number 60%! and it is increasing.

The prime motivation for dentists to use Asian lab work is to reduce the lab fee without reducing the set fee normally charged to the patient and hence, make more profit – that’s it, end of story! For example instead of paying a $400 lab fee for an Australian made crown, the dentist may be paying as little as $88 to the intermediary ‘importer’ (who themselves are paying as little as $17 for the crown from the Asian lab). Of course the option for dentists to deal directly with the manufacturing Asian lab and pay the lesser fee (plus shipping) is also there!

A more recent development with some importers has been the use of ‘reward schemes’ for dentists who use their lab work, with participating dentists earning points based on expenditure much the same as the ‘Coles’ fly buy scheme!