Boy Sues His Orthodontist After Having Braces On for 11 Years

After being a brace-face for 11 years, an Oregon teen is suing his orthodontist

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For any kid, finding out you need braces is seriously bad news, but it’s news that parents try to temper by explaining that the orthodontics will only be on for a year or two. And think of the payoff: straight teeth! With that in mind, parents of kids with braces may want to burn this article after reading, because an Oregon teen is suing his orthodontist for leaving his braces on for eleven years.

Devin Bost of Oregon says his orthodontist, Brad Chvatal, D.M.D., put braces on him when he was just seven years old. The braces remained there through periodic check-ups until Bost reportedly got a frantic phone call from the orthodontist’s office when he was 18 and the braces were quickly removed.

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Dr. John F. Buzzatto, president of the American Association of Orthodontists, told ABC News that, “Kids typically wear braces for only 1 to 3 years.” For somebody to wear braces for 11 years would be “extremely unusual,” Buzzatto said, adding that, “[He] could not think of an instance where that would be the case.” Bost, now 22, is turning to the court to help get to the bottom of the mystery and hopefully get restitution for his pain, suffering, and what Bost believes are permanent injuries to his teeth, mouth and gums. According to the lawsuit, Bost suffered from serious tooth decay and periodontal disease because of his eleven-year battle with the alignment devices.

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When Chvatal was contacted by ABC News, he cited medical privacy rules when declining to discuss the details of the case. He did add that it was “very complicated.” He also claimed that Bost moved to another town while under his care, a claim Bost denies.

According to the report on ABC News, Bost’s complaint, filed Friday in Multnomah County circuit court, seeks $150,000 for pain and suffering, plus $35,100, which Bost’s attorney, David Hollander, said is what his client has had to pay for corrective oral surgery and related expenses. Anyone who has ever suffered trying to eat caramel or apples with braces recognizes that this requested payout might be a low.

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48 comments
diddlybop
diddlybop

good. i hope the kid got his braces off. dentists don't deserve to be called human beings.

Aquilagrande
Aquilagrande

I had orgodontics. I had it on for only 9 months, but it made great changes. Still I know that this should not have happend at all. I did not need those changes, and i whish it naver had been done. Orthodtitsts oversell their service many times and do more harm than good.

leahb.johnson44
leahb.johnson44

Did this guy win? because i have had my braces on for 11 years as well and have the same exact problems as this guy....premanant root damage and tooth decay. Even after everything i cant even fix my teeth because my orthodontist screwed them up so much. I have went to other orthdontists, oral surgeons, dentists, they all dont understand way my orthodontist kept them on for 11 years. I want to sue but i dont know how i go about it. :(

BillShields
BillShields

11 years?! Holy...I'm pretty sure I would have a problem with my

<a href="http://www.arapahoeorthodontics.com">orthodontist in Aurora</a> if he had tried something like that. That is just cruel and unusual punishment.

tommyjohnson1956
tommyjohnson1956

Wow, that is amazing! I only had my braces on for 3 years and I had enough.  I feel bad for someone who had them on longer than that.  Do you happen to know of any good orthodontists in edmonton canada?

http://www.drmar.ca

SamuelSatter
SamuelSatter

Funyn how a truck load of cash suddenly makes everything OK lol.

www.Overly-Anon.tk

orthodontic supplies
orthodontic supplies

Yes, i agree with you. It is also the responsibility of the patient to to keep some information about the treatment he is receiving.

thatwave
thatwave

Did he somehow forget that they had been on 11 years? Lose his ability to ask why? Get a second opinion? This "victim" needs to take some responsibility.

hankbask
hankbask

Perhaps the kids family couldnt affort to keep up with the payments. Knowing this, the orthodontist refused to adjust the braces, and others refused to remove them for fear of stepping on the original ortho's toes. Not every doctor knows his stuff. We had one who when was told that our sons teeth were going crooked again after the braces came off, refused to install a retainer. The old coot was about 86 years old and thought his old ways never had to be updated.

Dental Implants
Dental Implants

Wow 11 years! Just WOW! I'm wondering why the child didn't question this either? Most people will keep their braces on for 2-3 years max. This is undoubtedly a familial issue. 

Dental Implants
Dental Implants

Wow 11 years! that's insane! Most people will keep their braces on for a max of 2-3 years. I'm wondering why the child didn't question this either??

talicia
talicia

of course, it's always somebody else's fault.  no common sense.  blame god, blame society, blame the goverment...blah blah blah

Alastes
Alastes

Stupid parents are stupid

AmyLynn714
AmyLynn714

I can sympathize with this. I had my braces on for 7 years! I never would've thought to sue over it, but they definitely did permanent damage to two of my teeth. And we did ask the dentist why I still had to wear braces even though my teeth had straightened after the 3rd year, and his answer was that I had an over bite (I do, but it's very minor and the 4 extra years of braces did nothing to change it). I wound up taking the braces off myself and just stopped going to the dentist because I was so afraid he'd put them back on.

Amanda Moncelle
Amanda Moncelle

Why would you put braces on a child who still has some of their baby teeth?

chelseajohnn
chelseajohnn

I think that I would have had a serious talk with the orthodontist after the third and fourth year.  I only had my braces on for about two years.  I can't believe that this boy and his family would tolerate this.  It will be interesting to see what happens in this law suit.

Zitherbell
Zitherbell

This is a very common problem; the dentist will keep the braces on until the insurance money runs out, until the payment plan ends or until money is no longer coming in from the braces.  Everyone I know who had braces only got them off after repeatedly hassling the dentist to take them off.  Dentist have been pulling the teeth of children on Medicaid just to bill the hours.  In the time this kid had those braces Invisalign was invented; think of all the pain he could have been spared.  No one should ever get braces again; go with the Invisalign and force orthondists to upgrade their 75 year old business model.

PaoloBernasconi
PaoloBernasconi

ok, yes, the dentist is incompetent ... but the teen and his parent aren't much brighter either

Hiro
Hiro

Go to periodic appointments, and this wouldn't happen. 

When I had braces, I had to go in at least once every few months to get my bands changed, and since I was 8 when I first got them, there were adjustments every time new teeth came in (I believe I only had braces on adult teeth, so the newer teeth were slowly added in as my adult teeth came in the course of next 4 or 5 years).

If he had gone to his appointments periodically, something like "serious tooth decay and periodontal disease" would not have occurred, because the doctor would have told him to take care of his teeth better at the first signs, or have taken the braces off and sent him off to the dentist. 

Also, what was his dentist doing through all this time? Did he just not go to either?

RobertSF
RobertSF

Eleven years? Come on, the patient's family needs to assume some responsibility. Around the fifth year, someone should have asked questions or gotten second opinions. 

isis5632
isis5632

I was promnised I would have my braces off for high school prom,  the day of removal I was told six more months.  I went home took them off with pliers.   I get loads of compliments on how pretty, so whatever dentist was trying to accomplish over those six months did not matter

FLDMD51
FLDMD51

It appears that what might have happened was that this boy failed to keep his regular appointments.  No orthodontist I know deliberately leaves braces on for that length of time.  Treatment can certainly go on over a period of time, however, it would have been done in stages, where the braces would have been periodically removed while waiting for other permanent teeth to come in.  AND...at age 7 - this boy did NOT have all his permanent teeth. 

Braces do NOT cause someone's teeth to decay down to the gums, as was stated in another article.  Inadequate home care (lack of proper brushing and flossing) and a high sugar intake (Mountain Dew, Snickers, cookies, etc...) is responsible for the decay, and this boy's parents also have to assume a LOT of the responsibility for his problems.  Lack of attention, concern and failure to observe what was going on in this boy's mouth are the fault of the parents!

  I'm fairly confident that Dr. Chvatal's staff made every reasonable attempt to contact this boy and his parents to get them to continue treatment.  They should NOT be held responsible for trying to track down someone who has moved or changed their phone number.  Ultimately, I blame the parents for not being more involved in their son's health and welfare and making the effort to continue with his orthodontic care.

dm0
dm0

this story has no teeth

megmet90
megmet90

@thatwave Yeah, because that's really what a child is going to do. The kid got them on when he was 7, making him 18 when they were removed, not exactly at an age of responsibility. So in accordance with your theory this child would have been inquiring into his dental health at age 8? 10? 13? I remember when I was a kid dental hygiene wasn't exactly my first priority. I agree that maybe his parents should have looked into this more, however it says in the article that he had regular checkups with the orthodontist's office. So it's likely his parents were trusting that the MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL their child was seeing for years was doing his job correctly. Not everyone goes to a four year college, get's their degree in predental, then goes to graduate school for dental, and then further specializes in orthodontics. It's entirely likely that his parent's believed that the orthodontist was in control of the situation. I can see your point, but I also know due to my educational background that in a case such as this that orthodontist harbors most if not all of the responsibility due to the fact he is a medical professional and showed gross negligence in this case. 

Quinbyal
Quinbyal

As a dental hygienist practicing in the same neighborhood as Dr Chvatal, I can state that he is a very competent and highly respected ortodontist. I can also state that the success of orthodontia depends heavely on homecare and compliance of the patient to make appointments. If the procedure took eleven years, it is highly likely that the parents did not follow through and bring their child regularly to his appointments. Most orthodontist charge one fee at the beginning when the braces first go on that is paid for slowly over the year or two of treatment. To blame this on the ortodontist's greed shows a total  lack of understanding of how orthodontist procedures work. I suspect that this is a simple case of the the parents not following through and making sure their child showed for his appointments.

jesuguru
jesuguru

From the article: "The braces remained there ***through periodic check-ups***"

Ryan Wenzel
Ryan Wenzel

You really think they didn't ask questions?  I imagine the conversation went something like this.

Parents: "Doctor, he's had his braces on for 5 years.  Is this really necessary?

Orthodontist: "Yes."

People trust experts.

FLGyant
FLGyant

Some?  I would say all.  The parents bare full responsibility as they are in the ultimate position to care for the child.  I would not give these people one cent.  We cannot have our judicial system compensate for stupidity.

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

Regarding your statement about decay, you are wrong.  I had braces on for too long and they are held by a bracket in the back attached to your molar.  That bracket covers most of the tooth and it is impossible regardless of mouth washing or brushing to clean that area of your tooth because it is resting on the tooth.  Think about it for a second.  What happens when you wrap a piece of plastic around a piece of wood with moisture trapped in it, it rots.  I had never had a cavity in my life until my braces were taken off and low and behold the tooth with the bracket on it was decayed so poorly I need a root canal.  Never a single cavity for 16 years and all of the sudden I need a root canal, oh yes it CAN happen.

KevininPHX
KevininPHX

I think this dentist better brace for a judgment.

Hiro
Hiro

Yes. I read the article. But clearly, that 'periodic' wasn't really 'periodic.' (Very vague wording in the first place. How often is 'periodic'? Every 3 months? Every half year? Every 3 years? In span of 11 years, even every 2 or 3 years can technically be considered 'periodic.')

Claudia Marcus
Claudia Marcus

This is why second opinions are good. This is why questioning "experts" is good.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

No, the judicial system has to step in to give a warning in the only language such greedy and dishonest dentists understand: huge monetary penalty.

Zitherbell
Zitherbell

I know way too many people who had braces for four to six years.  All due to the money scam; as long as the parent's insurance will pay, the braces will stay on.

FLDMD51
FLDMD51

 Hey Comment,  You need to realize that the bracket is BONDED onto the molar; that means that there is a chemical bond between the bracket and the tooth, that's what holds it on.  Now.....if your bracket came loose and you were not aware of it, yes...you could get decay as the bacteria would accumulate under the loose bracket and the plaque acid would demineralize the enamel causing a cavity if it was not found in time. 

Most likely what happened was that you were not brushing or flossing adequately AROUND the bracket (yes, it's more difficult) and the plaque built up over and around the bracket cement;  when the braces were removed, it was determined that you had decay AROUND the bracket, NOT UNDER the bracket. 

Believe me - I've been a dentist for  29 years and have seen this before .  Your analogy of plastic wrapped around a damp piece of wood is inaccurate.

One other thing, ....EVERY orthodontist I know tells their patients to maintain regular checkups with their general dentist in order to check for cavities, and every time you go for an orthodontist appointment, they would also be checking for loose brackets.  Trust me on this! 

It was unfortunate that you developed decay, but it was NOT the fault of the braces.

Ann
Ann

Me, too. Moved and couldn't find someone willing to take off someone else's bracket, and the teeth were rotted underneath, in the back. Lost 4 teeth that way, as an adult.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

No, that is not 'clear'. The other possible explanation is that the dentist was negligent at each and every one of these "periodic checkups".

Ann
Ann

With braces, other dentists won't TOUCH them, I had that problem myself.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

But doctors, dentists and lawyers all regard their co-practitioners as fellows of the same club, so they protect each other. So it is quite possible that even if he had gone to another 'expert', they would not have got the right answer.

asdkt4550
asdkt4550

 I had braces on for 5 1/2 years (16-21 years old). After the third year they discovered I had TMJ and decided they could cure it with a contraption that would only work if you soldered it to my braces, thus the extra 2 1/2 years.

Luckily my parents paid upfront so all those extra years were  costing the orthodontist - NOT my parents - more and more money. He was glad to be rid of me when I decided I was done with braces, screw my TMJ I'm fine with a sore jaw.

Sherri D. Graves Paxton
Sherri D. Graves Paxton

 I think he is referring to the metal band that goes all the way around the molar, they may not use this technique now, but that is how mine were put on, a metal band was put around the back molars and I had to bite down on it and it shoved it down over the tooth and into the gums. There is no way to brush inside of it. I had my braces on for 7 years because I was told that if I left them on I wouldn't have to wear a retainer. "There's no better retainer than the braces themselves." That's what my ortho told me. But yes, the brackets are bonded onto the teeth and I would have my rubber bands removed before going to my regular dentist so they could clean thoroughly then I would go back and have the little bands put back on.

jesuguru
jesuguru

Excellent comments - you all deserve a plaque.

That dentist might tell the kid: "bite me".