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Is it dental malpractice to leave a patient's braces on for 11 years? Devin Bost and his lawyer surely think so. That's why they filed suit on Friday.
Bost claims he was just 7 when his orthodontist, Dr. Brad Chvatal, put braces on him for the first time. Those braces stayed in place until he was 18 years old. At that he got a 'frantic' call from the orthodontist office to come in and get the braces off, according to the complaint.
For his 11 years of trouble, Bost is asking for $150,000 for pain and suffering, plus $35,100 in dental expenses.
Wait, wasn't he a kid when he got the braces?
It's true that Bost probably didn't pay the expenses for his braces all those years. But he claims that he's needed corrective oral surgery and some related expenses since the braces were removed.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and often required highly technical evidence. If you've been wronged by a doctor or dentist, make sure you have a qualified attorney on your side.
Wearing braces for 11 years is unusual, Dr. John F. Buzzatto, president of the American Association of Orthodontists, told ABC News.
Kids generally wear them for one to three years, maybe as many as seven.
He also noted that wearing braces for a prolonged period can impact overall dental health. It's hard to maintain good oral hygiene while braces are in place and the longer they remain, the more risk of harm to your teeth.
The fact that Buzzatto considers this situation 'unusual' could work against Chvatal in court.
Medical malpractice requires that the professional deviated from the applicable standard of care and that caused the patient's injury. There must also be a doctor-patient relationship between the parties.
Dentists do have a duty to their patients and Dr. Chvatal has already admitted to a doctor-patient relationship in his refusal to take about the case, reports Time.
The applicable standard of care depends on what other medical practitioners in the field and the surrounding area would do. If other orthodontists do not leave braces on patients for so long in cases similar to Bost's Chvatal could have a harder time defending himself.
Devin Bost, now 22, is hoping to recover in his dental malpractice suit for the suffering his 11 years of braces caused. For a childhood without caramel, popcorn, or gum, we hope he gets some kind of compensation even if it's just a candy binge.