When a dental patient goes to a dentist to get a dental crown, the dentist prepares the tooth, takes the impression and gives the patient a temporary crown that is made in the dental office chair side. Then the impression is sent to a dental lab where the permanent crown is manufactured within 2 weeks. In our days, dental labs are big manufacturing facilities with hundreds of qualified dental technicians, lots of equipment and technology. But, like most of the manufacturing sector in US, even dental labs are considering outsourcing some of their work to China. Big corporate dental labs were the first ones doing this. Now, you can hear about smaller labs doing the same thing. The reason? Of course, cutting costs and increase profits.
But, like in any other industry, the customers need to be informed where the product they are using is manufactured. In dentistry though, the dental labs try to hide that detail about their product. They do not disclose that information from their own initiative unless they are asked. Because of that, the dentists do not know and the patients do not know it either.
The only problem with manufacturing dental work in China is that the Chinese industry is not as regulated as the US industry and it is very easy for them to replace the standard materials used in manufacturing with “less standard” materials. Few years ago, there was a big scandal about finding lead in the composition of dental crowns manufactured in China. If it happened once, there is high probability it is going to happen again or it happened elsewhere without being noticed.
My recommendation is to ask your dentist to ask his lab if the dental work that he orders is manufactured in US or another country. If asked specifically, dental labs have to disclose that information. As the ultimate consumer, you have the right to know.