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Brace Yourself…

Posted Oct 08 2012 10:26am

Your dentist recommends braces, so you get them.

You make your ortho appointments every once in a while but not as often as you should.

A year goes by. You still have braces.

Another year. You still have braces.

How long before you’d ask your dentist, “Hey, when do I get these off?”

Meet the man who waited…and waited…and waited…until his dentist called him, Daniel Bost, 11 years later.

Now, of course, says the Eugene Daily News , Bost is suing – four years after the braces finally came off.

Due to wearing the braces too long, Bost allegedly suffered serious tooth decay and periodontal disease. Some of his rotten teeth have to be pulled out and replaced with implants, but others cannot be replaced because they have rotted to the jaw according to Bost’s attorney.

He’s asking $35,100 for medical expenses plus $150,000 pain and suffering.

You know, there’s a reason why dentists make a big deal about showing up for all your ortho appointments. And there’s a reason why it’s important for patients or their parents (Bost was just 7 when the braces were placed) to ask questions and make sure they understand their treatment plan.

According to the lawsuit, reports The Oregonian,

Bost started visiting [Dr. Brad] Chvatal in August 1997, after another orthodontist installed his braces. Bost visited periodically, although probably not as often as he should have, [Bost's attorney] 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.

The lawsuit doesn’t fault Chvatal for treating Bost at such an early age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist by age 7. And in recent years, an increasing number of children have been getting braces at younger and younger ages.

As for how Bost could spend most of elementary school and all of middle school and high school years with braces, [Bost's attorney] is still trying to sort the details out. Bost’s mother is a medical doctor.

“We aren’t really sure what happened,” [he] said.

As for Dr. Chvatal, The Wealthy Dentist reports that he’s “asserted that he couldn’t have treated Bost the entire time because he only became licensed as an orthodontist in 2002. The orthodontist really can’t divulge any more than this fact due to patient/doctor privacy laws.”

The truth, as they say, is probably somewhere in the middle.

And as we’ve said before – and will no doubt say again, because it matters just that much – clear, open and honest communication is the foundation for a positive dental experience.

Image by marcus_jb1973 , via Flickr


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