Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance, or “AGGA” dental device, following a recent KFF Health News-CBS News investigation, according to a motion filed in federal court.
Multiple lawsuits allege the device has caused grievous harm to at least 20 patients and the FDA is now investigating its safety, KFF Health News and CBS News have reported.
The AGGA is a retainer-like device promoted by some dentists as an option for expanding adult patients’ jawbones, beautifying their faces, and curing common ailments like sleep apnea. The lawsuits have alleged patients suffered damaged gums, eroded bone, and, in some cases, lost teeth.
The criminal investigation of the use of the AGGA was revealed in a court motion that seeks to delay the largest of the lawsuits “pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings.” The motion was filed this month by attorneys for AGGA inventor Dr. Steve Galella, his company, the Facial Beauty Institute, and AGGA manufacturer Johns Dental Laboratories, who said the investigation is being conducted “for the purpose of potentially bringing criminal charges” against their clients.
The attorneys said in their court filing that there is “no doubt” the investigation arose from the KFF Health News-CBS News coverage of the AGGA.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Justice is currently conducting a criminal investigation which, it is anticipated, will ultimately result in the presentation of evidence to a grand jury relating to the facts in this case,” the attorneys state in the court filing in support of the …
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