Devil is in the detail of lab slips for dentists


For immediate release: Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Dentists in Scotland who fail to complete laboratory slips accurately risk a loss of earnings and even allegations of fraud, says dental defence organisation MDDUS.

MDDUS are urging dentists to protect themselves by complying with the Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR) as practitioners can easily fall foul of the regulations.

“The devil is in the detail, particularly in Section XV which focuses on the conditions of their remuneration,” says MDDUS dental adviser Rachael Bell. “This section of the SDR clearly lays out the types of alloy permissible in NHS dentures, crowns and inlays.

“If dentists fail to observe the percentage alloys required in NHS work and are found to have provided or requested non-precious alloy to be used in precious restorations, then they are at danger of having to refund considerable amounts of money to the Scottish Dental Practice Board (SDPB)”.

Extra care should be taken completing the details on laboratory slips. “Dentists should be careful to state on all lab slips whether they require precious metal or non-precious metal in their restorations,” adds Bell.

“It is also important that the percentage of precious metal to be provided in any restorations is clearly stated on laboratory slips. This safeguards the general dental practitioner if the laboratory then fails to provide the correct percentage.”

Problems can arise when Practitioner Services request lab slips and bills for inspection and, upon comparing them to claims made to the SDPB, a mismatch between the type of alloy and the code claimed arises.

“Dentists should ensure that the SDR code they are using correlates to the type of alloy they are using in their work or risk an allegation of fraud,” says Bell.

“MDDUS advise dentists to retain all laboratory slips as part of the dental record for 11 years and not discard them.

“In a busy practice it can seem tedious to have to write more detailed instructions relating to the percentage of alloy required on a lab slip. However, the small amount of time applied when writing a lab slip can later protect both your practice finances and your registration.”

A copy of the current SDR can be downloaded here 


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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