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Tons of paperwork can make dental care more expensive. Technicians and dentists are sounding the alarm

Dental replacements can become significantly more expensive. Dental technicians warn against this. They criticize that because of the European regulation, they prepare all kinds of technical documentation or document that dental laboratories meet the latest standards. Criticism is also shared by dentists. According to ministry officials, the obligations apply to laboratories throughout the European Union.

Dental replacements can become significantly more expensive. Dental technicians warn against this

| Photo: Deník/Miroslav Kucei

New regulations based on European regulation on medical devices they emphasize the safety and quality of dental materials and technologies. However, the President of the Chamber of Dental Technicians Lukáš Seidl believes that for many dental laboratories they are liquidating.

Production of dental prostheses according to him, it is already an activity with a minimal margin in the Czech Republic. And patients pay thousands and even tens of thousands of crowns for crowns or bridges. “Difficult legislative requirements may threaten the ability to provide affordable dental restorations to patients and dentists,” Seidl warned.

According to him, laboratories find themselves under increased pressure to demonstrate that all materials used and production processes meet the latest standards and comply with patient safety requirements. This is currently being checked by the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL).

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President of the Czech Stomatological Chamber (ČSK) Roman Šmucler he responded to Deník that SÚKL had recently changed directors and employees several times. “There have been several inspections recently where the requirements were clearly excessive. It was clear that the worker in question was new to the issue,” he mentioned.

However, according to Greta Rakašová from the SÚKL press department, the institute employs highly educated staff with university degrees in health care, natural sciences or clinical engineering. “Inspections are always carried out by inspectors with knowledge of the relevant legislation and the requirements being checked,” she responded.

Is production from Asia overwhelming us?

However, Šmucler wants to negotiate with the institute’s management about the creation of a joint working group of the Czech Republic and SÚKL to resolve the details, which has already worked in the past. According to him, dentists and dental technicians strive for improvement at the European level as well. “The result is various complex trade-offs. We will push through some, some not,” he assessed.

According to him, the European Union is consciously approaching the price increase dental care. “And this under the pressure of strong lobbyists from multinational companies (this is legal and legitimate), who are bothered by a less regulated market in dentistry. A number of super-quality manufacturers end up with this, because they don’t supply tons of papers that no dentist studies anyway,” he said.

Dentists in the Czech Republic will not be able to treat teeth with amalgam:

A visit to the dentist seems to be expensive for many.  Amalgam fillings will end.

Amalgam fillings will end. Dentists are afraid that insurance companies will not pay compensation to people

The result, he says, will be manufacturing in Asia, stacks of expensive paperwork from multinational corporations, and higher prices, possibly with lower quality products. “The competition monitors quality better than the official,” he added.

Source: DiaryThe spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Ondřej Jakob, confirmed that the mentioned obligations follow directly from the European regulation. “Manufacturers of custom-made products are supposed to fulfill them as early as May 2021. All laboratories across the European Union must fulfill them in the same way,” he told Deník.

He added that the Czech Act on Medical Devices only entails reporting obligations to the information system and obligations that apply to them as providers of health services.

The President of the Czech Stomatological Chamber, Roman Šmucler, commented on the future of dental technicians for Deník:

President of the Czech Stomatological Chamber Roman Šmucler.President of the Czech Stomatological Chamber Roman Šmucler.Source: Diary/Vladimir ŠťastnýThe number of dental laboratories in the Czech Republic will decrease dramatically. We have many small companies that have been created in recent years by the spin-off of laboratories. The EU has allowed dentists to buy jobs across the EU. Czech doctors therefore buy legally in Germany (often cheaper and of high quality), Poland and Slovakia. It is no longer so common for a dentist to have “his technician”. Digital prints and work circulate in the Czech Republic and the EU. In time, probably also outside the EU (like in Germany). And most importantly, there is robotization. One skilled dental technician replaces several with classic procedures.

The number of dental laboratories and technicians is decreasing worldwide, and what has already happened in the USA and is happening in Germany awaits us. That is, consolidation into larger companies with larger investments in equipment. We are trying to arrange with the Ministry to retrain dental technicians to remain in the field as “Dental Assistants”. We proposed changes in study and competencies, which has already happened in Germany and Slovakia. They are great professionals and it would be a shame if they left dentistry. Personally, I have already transferred several technicians from the laboratory to the doctor’s office in this way in my laboratory.

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