SafeLink Consulting Blog

Dental Compliance - Preventing Unnecessary Liabilities

Mary Bartlett
Posted by Mary Bartlett on Feb 8, 2017 2:58:32 PM


By understanding and preventing unnecessary liabilities associated with patient chairside services your business can reduce risks and stay compliant. 

The services that the dental lab provides to the dental practice are increasing.  It’s not unusual for a dentist to request the services of a dental technician onsite at the dental practice.  These services can include dental shade taking, dental shade verifications, implant and conventional set-ups, scanning of C&B cases (provides a crown – same day concept), guidance on implants, consulting capacity, intraoral verification, dental immediate conversion (All-on-4 / All on Fours).

The business owner of the dental lab and the dentist need to consider the liabilities for both entities in regard to dental compliance, including safety compliance, insurance coverage, and patient demands. 

Safety Compliance

Dental laboratories maintain a health and safety program to cover hazards to which their employees may be exposed in their facility.  The dental lab must perform an assessment of the hazards and then develop and implement controls to protect its employees.  When the dental technician is working in the dental practice, the dental laboratory owner must also assess the hazards that their employee will encounter in the dental practice.  In particular, the exposure to potentially infectious items must be addressed.

State Law Verification

Dental laboratories for the most part are regulated state-by-state and unless specific regulations aren’t in place, then the dental laboratory is regulated by the State Board of Dentistry.  For the most part, these regulations don’t address the expanded duties being performed by dental technicians.  A dental laboratory owner must first check the State Board of Dentistry rules to determine if these expanded duties are allowed in the state where the dentist is located.  There can also be state requirements that may only allow the dental laboratory to manufacture devices in its main physical location.  Other requirements may be that the dental technician has to be licensed or qualified in some other way.

How to achieve Dental OSHA Compliance for your practice

Liability and Other Insurance

It’s typical for a dental laboratories and dental practices to maintain commercial liability insurance, professional liability, and/or product liability insurance.  Don’t get caught in a situation where you thought your insurance would cover an injury to your employee in another location or you thought that if you were sued due to a faulty device manufactured in another location.  Many times business owners don’t really know what insurance coverage they have until they need it and then find out the exceptions.  If you’re the dental practice what liability are you willing to assume for a dental technician who is working under your guidance in your dental practice?

How to achieve OSHA compliance for your dental laboratory

Contractual Agreements

Before providing onsite services, the dental laboratory owner and the dentist need to discuss these issues and agree in writing who assumes responsibility for the dental technician while on the dentist’s premises and for any work performed or product manufactured on the dentist’s premises.  The dental laboratory owner then needs to train the dental technician on the scope of services to be provided and explain that the dental technician must not perform any services outside the scope of that agreement.

Take online course Dental Compliance: Understanding the Liabilities Associated with Chairside Services to find out more about how to assess and minimize the liabilities of the dental laboratory and the dental practice.

Get this valuable Checklist and Standard Operating Procedures to assist the dental lab and dental practice.

Get a Dental Lab Checklist/SOP


Learn more about what SafeLink Consulting can do to help your business with compliance services, including safety compliance, to meet OSHA training requirements and quality system consulting to meet FDA compliance.  SafeLink Consulting assists businesses with workplace safety training, infection control training, HIPAA training online, quality systems, assessments, audits, due diligence, and more.

Industries include:

Dentistry compliance - assisting the dental practice with meeting requirements for OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, and CDC guidelines, patient safety and employee health & safety

Dental Laboratory compliance - assisting the dental lab with meeting requirements for OSHA, FDA, and CDC guidelines, employee health & safety, plus FDA requirements for lab manufacturing custom implant abutment /gmp for medical device manufacturers

Medical Device Manufacturers compliance - assisting with meeting OSHA compliance & FDA requirements, GMP - good manufacturing practices

General Industry compliance - assisting with OSHA compliance and FDA compliance as it pertains to the specific business

Beverage Industry compliance - assisting beverage businesses such as the craft brewery, winery, cidery, distillery, vintner with meeting OSHA compliance, health & safety, FDA requirements / GMP - Good Manufacturing Practices.

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