PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS SEATTLE) — An orthodontist is accused of leaving braces on a patient for 11 years.
Devin Bost, 22, filed a lawsuit against orthodontist Brad Chvatal, D.M.D, complaining of permanent tooth, mouth and gum injuries sustained from having braces from age 7 all the way through to 18.
According to The Oregonian, the complaint was filed Friday in Multnomah County circuit court and seeks $150,000 for pain and suffering, plus $35,100 for what Bost’s attorney – David Hollander – says his client has paid in corrective oral surgery and similar expenses.
“What I’m told by the experts is, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t keep them on that long. It’s just not done,” Hollander told The Oregonian. “Some of Bost’s teeth will need to be yanked out and replaced with implants.”
Braces are typically worn for only 1 to 3 years, says Dr. John F. Buzzatto, president of the American Association of Othodontists, which, according to him, is the oldest and largest dental specialty organization in the world.
But according to Hollander, yanking Bost’s teeth is not possible in some areas of his mouth because the teeth have rotted through to the jaw. His client has racked up more than $35,000 in dental bills so far. He had to seek the expertise of one of the nation’s top dentists in Boston because the damage is so extensive.
Orthodontist Brad Chvatal has been licensed with the Oregon Board of Dentistry since 1997, according to his website.
Chvatal told The Oregonian on Monday that he couldn’t have treated Bost until 2002, which, he said, is when he became licensed as an orthodontist specialization. He said he is proud of the work he does for his patients.
“We have the utmost respect for them and empathy, and treat them — everybody — with the best quality care as we possibly can,” Chvatal told The Oregonian. He declined to comment further, citing patient privacy laws.
Much of the debate between the two parties deals with timing and visit consistency.
According to the suit, Bost started visiting Chvatal in August 1997, after another orthodontist installed his braces. Bost visited periodically, although probably not as often as he should have, Hollander said. Suddenly, in June 2008, Bost “received an urgent phone call from (Chvatal’s office) that he needed to have the braces removed immediately,” the lawsuit states.
As far as length of time, the lawsuit doesn’t fault Chvatal for treating Bost at such an early age.
Given the braces timeline stated in the lawsuit, Bost spent most of elementary, and all of middle school and high school with braces on.