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SFDA to report on teeth link to disease

THE State Food and Drug Administration has conducted safety tests of an artificial tooth primarily used in dental inlays and will release its results soon.

The administration had convened dental experts to evaluate the safety of nickel-chromium porcelain teeth, which have been the subject of some suspicion as to whether they cause kidney disease, according to SFDA spokeswoman Yan Jiangying.

These teeth are similar to a denture and contain a core of nickel and chromium covered by porcelain. They are the most commonly used artificial teeth in China as they are relatively cheap: about 500 yuan (US$73) each.

Other artificial teeth that contain precious metals or made solely of porcelain can cost 2,000 yuan to 3,000 yuan, and even as much as 4,500 yuan to 5,000 yuan, Thursday's Shanghai-based Wenhui Daily reported.

Suspicions about the teeth were aroused on March 13, when the Fujian-based Southeast Express newspaper reported that a Beijing resident surnamed Liu developed nephritis (a kidney inflammation) after getting such teeth.

Liu posted his story on the online forum and received many responses from other dental patients claiming they had the same symptoms.

Liu said he also wrote an open letter to the Ministry of Health asking that it organize physical exams for patients who had received the teeth, but he did not receive a response. Many worried patients went to hospitals for exams on their own.

The SFDA office in Zhejiang Province even opened a hotline on March 16 for patients to report possible cases, the Zhejiang-based City Express reported on Tuesday.


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