A 22-year-old Oregon man is suing his orthodontist for allegedly leaving braces on him for 11 years. Over the years many of the man's teeth have rotted through and he says he has needed much corrective surgery.
Devin Bost began orthodontic treatment with braces at the age of 7. Ordinarily, with this type of orthodontic treatment, braces are left on for approximately 2-3 years. Several orthodontist websites in the U.S. note the national average length of time for wearing braces is 27 months.
Bost's orthodontist, however, allegedly treated his patient with braces for 11 years. The time frame of treatment with braces covered the period throughout elementary, middle and high school. The braces are being reported to have been removed when he was 18.
Now Bost is suing his former orthodontist, Brad Chvatal, D.M.D., of Eugene, Oregon.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, Bost is filing a lawsuit for approximately $185,000 in damages; $31,500 for corrective oral surgery and the rest for pain and suffering.
Portland-based David Hollander, Bost's attorney, says his client suffered serious tooth decay and periodontal disease. Additionally, some teeth could not be saved and were pulled out, others cannot be replaced because the rot reached his client's jaw.
"What I'm told by the experts is, 'You can't do this. You can't keep them [braces] on that long. It's just not done," said Hollander, reported the Oregonian.
Reportedly, Chvatal did not put the braces in, but had been the doctor treating Bost after he'd gotten the braces.
There is also some question on when Chvatal actually started treating Bost. Chvatal said he was licensed with the Oregon Board of Dentistry in 1997, but the orthodontist said he could not have treated Bost until 2002 when he became licensed as an orthodontist, according to the Oregonian.
Bost's braces were removed by Chvatal in 2008.
The lawsuit states Bost received an "urgent" call from Chvatal's office in 2008 that he needed to have the braces removed "immediately." It is not clear why Bost had the braces on for so many years.
"We aren't really sure what happened," Hollander said.
Hollander seems to indicate his client did not visit his orthodontist on a routine schedule. The Oregonian reported the attorney said Bost "visited periodically, although probably not as often as he should have."
Typically, orthodontists have a schedule established that decreases the number of visits over time, usually following a timetable. During the course of treatment sometimes braces are adjusted, need repair or are tightened.
Media reports do not note whether or not Bost continued to see his regular dentist during his orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists encourage patients to see their regular dentist for cleanings during treatment with braces. Orthodontists may even recommend seeing the dentist beyond the routine six-month intervals for cleanings when undergoing orthodontic treatment.
"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, opting not to comment any further due to patient privacy laws.
CBS News reported the conflict between Bost and Chvatal "deals with timing and visit consistency."
The lawsuit has been filed in Multnomah County circuit court in Oregon.