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Dentists have been warned about the potential dangers of buying and using counterfeit dental equipment.
The warning followed the seizure of over 12,000 pieces of poor quality dental equipment imported into the UK from China and Pakistan and sold on auction websites eBay, Amazon and Alibaba in the past six months.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the UK’s regulator for medical devices and medicines – has six ongoing investigations involving the purchase of counterfeit and unapproved dental equipment such as high-speed hand-piece drills from auction websites by UK dentists.
The seized items include 24 dental X-ray machines that emit high levels of radiation, 384 hand-piece drills that could malfunction and disintegrate inside patients’ mouths and 3,242 poor quality root canal files that could break.
While there is no evidence to suggest that buying equipment from auction websites is a widespread or deliberate practice among dentists, the MHRA said it is worried about the growing range of dental equipment that is being advertised to dentists at cheap prices, both online and at dental trade fairs in China.
Dr Barry Cockcroft, NHS England’s chief dental officer, said: “This is important work by the MHRA. It is imperative for patient safety that dentists do not purchase equipment, from any source where they cannot be confident of the origin or quality.”
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*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.