• Increased Risk of Mesothelioma for Dental Technicians
  • July 10, 2017
  • Throughout the twentieth century, asbestos was widely used throughout a number of industrial and commercial sectors, and in residential homes and commercial buildings due to its heat-resistant properties and malleable strength. As a result, countless workers within these industries and sectors were exposed to the substance, and consequently put at risk for developing mesothelioma later in life.

    While it is widely acknowledged that workers within the construction, manufacturing, shipyard and steel mill industries are at higher risk for developing mesothelioma, recent research suggests that those who worked as dental technicians may face risks of developing the deadly disease.

    Asbestos Use in The Dental Profession

    Work published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine suggests that cases of malignant mesothelioma have been discovered in individuals whose only occupational exposure to the mineral could have come through their work with dental prosthesis. Several of the diagnosed individuals worked as dental technicians, while one other worked to help manufacture the prosthetics.

    Asbestos has been used as both the binding and lining in components of dental prosthetics. As a result, individuals who used such products routinely over the course of a career in the dental or manufacturing field may be a risk for developing mesothelioma. While the number of cases of occupational mesothelioma linked to this profession are low, even the slightest exposure to asbestos can cause the rare but dangerous form of cancer to develop.

    The Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma

    When asbestos is inhaled or ingested, microscopic fibers can become lodged in the mesothelium—the tissue that surrounds much of the body’s internal organs—causing severe damage over the course of decades before symptoms occur. This not only makes the disease difficult to diagnose, but extremely difficult to treat.

    If you or your loved one previously worked as a dental technician, or manufactured dental prosthetics using products containing asbestos, and have experienced signs of symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma, speak with a medical professional. While these symptoms are not exclusive to this disease, anyone experiencing persistent signs or adverse effects should seek medical evaluation.