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FDA Revisiting Mercury Dental Fillings Safety Threats

As an Atlanta dental malpractice lawyer, the risks from the widespread use of dental fillings containing mercury have been a particular subject of interest to me. This week, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it would be revisiting this safety issue. An FDA advisory panel has convened a professional review to analyze the risks from mercury amalgam dental fillings.

The announcement of this review comes just about 18 months after the FDA declared that the fillings were safe. Over the past couple of decades, the FDA has found that dental amalgam fillings containing mercury are safe to use.

Dental fillings containing mercury have been used for decades now. The American Dental Association has always held that the fillings are completely safe. However, the fact that these fillings contain mercury, a known toxin, has always been a source of concern especially to Atlanta dental malpractice attorneys.

The FDA in 2009 released new evidence that states that dental fillings containing mercury are safe for people aged six and above. However, the FDA also cautioned that very young children and developing fetuses may have health risks from the mercury in their fillings. However, there have always been critics of amalgam fillings who believe that the FDA has purposely chosen to misread evidence pointing to the risks of mercury-containing amalgam fillings.

Part of the problem is that the FDA has failed to conduct in-depth analysis and studies of the amount of mercury vapor that can actually cause risks to human health. For instance, we need to know exactly how much mercury you can affect the brain or trigger kidney disorders. A dental malpractice claim in Georgia must be based on an act of dental negligence that causes or substantially contributes to an injury. Since the amalgam fillings have been used by the vast majority of dentists in the U.S. over the past few decades, it is doubtful that a dental malpractice claim can be brought based on the use of amalgam fillings. This does not make this practice any less dangerous.

No doubt, the number of amalgam fillings that are being inserted these days are much lower than in the past, but these are still the cheapest fixes for dental problems. That makes it important that we understand more about the risks involved here.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured by dental malpractice and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.