Entries in Orthodontist (2)


Oregon Boy Wears Braces for 11 Years, Sues Orthodontist

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Why would an orthodontist leave braces on a kid's teeth for 11 years?  That's what Devin Bost of Oregon says his orthodontist did to him, from the time he was 7 until he was 18 years old.

Bost is suing Brad Chvatal, D.M.D., for what Bost's complaint says were permanent injuries to his teeth, mouth and gums.  The 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.

Kids typically wear braces for only one to three 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.

Buzzatto said there can be situations where a patient might need extended treatment: A patient might have impacted teeth, say, or an over-developed lower jaw, or might move away from his orthodontist and "disappear for five or six years."

Still, for somebody to wear braces 11 years would be "extremely unusual," Buzzatto said.

"I could not think of an instance where that would be the case," he said.

Chvatal, contacted by ABC News, said that privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and doctor-patient confidentiality prevent his discussing the details of the case, but that it was "very complicated."

He and Bost's previous orthodontist tried to give Bost "the best result we possibly could," he said.

"We had a great rapport," Chvatal said of his former patient.  He said there are extenuating circumstances, and that Bost did "a lot of moving."

Hollander said Bost did move, but stayed in the area around Eugene and Cottage Grove, where Chvatal has his offices, during the entire period.

Chvatal said he has submitted all relevant medical documents to his insurer, the American Association of Orthodontists Insurance Company, whose experts found nothing outside the scope of standard care.  A claims manager for the carrier said its investigation is not yet complete.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Andre the Sea Turtle Released Back into Ocean after Recovery

File photo. Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(JUNO BEACH, Fla.) -- They called him Andre -- an endangered green sea turtle that washed up in 2010 on a sandbar on Juno Beach in Florida, nearly dead after a boat ran him over with its propeller and tore huge gashes in his shell.

Healed by a team that included veterinarians, a biotech company and even an orthodontist, Andre was safely returned to the Atlantic on Wednesday.

It took a year to nurse him back to health. He now weighs 170 pounds, and the animal lovers who helped him say he's strong enough to survive again on the open water.

"We found it to be very rewarding," said Dr. Alberto Vargas, the orthodontist who was called in to help repair the turtle's shell. "I grew up here, and so did members of my team. The turtle, the ocean, the beach, they're part of our community."

Andre's body cavity was exposed to the elements by the propeller. He had three pounds of sand in his body, and infection had set in. He had a collapsed lung and pneumonia. There was even a live crab trapped beneath a corner of his broken shell.

The center exists to rescue such animals, and the staff brought in some big guns. They called a Texas company called Kinetic Concepts, which provides a high-tech system called V.A.C. therapy to cleanse wounds gently. It also helped make an artificial scaffold over Andre's shell while natural tissue was grown to fill the gaps.

And a particularly complex job went to Dr. Vargas and his staff, who donated time to stretch sections of shell to help cover Andre's wounds, using adhesive so the shell would be solid when the parts were brought back together.

"I usually do orthodontics on human beings, and I have no experience on animals," said Vargas. "It has helped us with our human patients because it taught us to think in new ways, to think outside the box. You can go out and discover new ways to solve problems."

Vargas said he found that the adhesives he usually uses -- designed for human beings -- were not very effective on a sea turtle's shell. Something he'd taken for granted for years had to be re-mixed until it worked.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio