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Dental Services: Aluminium

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment has been made of the extent of use of yellow-coloured copper aluminium alloy in place of dental gold in dental treatments; (308145)

(2) how many patients are estimated to have had yellow-coloured copper aluminium alloy fitted instead of dental gold in dental treatment without being informed of the material being used; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not held centrally on which we could base these assessments. The use of this alloy is not permitted in the manufacture of dental appliances prescribed for national health service patients under schedule 3 (a) of the NHS (Dental Charges) Regulations 2005. From April 2008 dentists have been required to provide information on the range of dental appliances they prescribe for NHS patients. If this suggests that there are abuses of the regulations, we will consult the NHS Counter Fraud Service on how to improve compliance.