BUYER BEWARE!!!! Don't ever use Dr Robert Chavez of Arch Orthodontics at any of his 7 offices listed below at the bottom of this report! He ripped me off and stole $6500 from me for orthodontic treatment on false pretences. He is a lying money grabbing profit motivated rip off/scammer who crams 3 patients in at a time, and a drill happy incompetent orthodontist who promised me false results with useless Invisalign.
In October 2005 I went to see Dr Chavez and several other orthodontists in the Boston area for consultations. All the orthodontists I saw with the exception of Dr Chavez told me that my teeth couldn't be corrected orthodontically with Invisalign as they needed a lot of intrusion and extrusion which the Invisalign method wasn't good at - they said that it would be hard enough to do this with metal braces, let alone Invisalign. Dr Chavez maintained that they could, however. He said he had a lot of experience with Invisalign and quoted me a price of $6500. I said this would be hard to afford as I was a student, but he was very persuasive and said he had a lot of experience both as an orthodontist and with Invisalign - in fact, he called me personally several times to convince me to go ahead and even gave me his pager number in case I had any questions, saying that it was a one-time cost for a lifetime of nice teeth.
I decided to proceed with Dr Chavez and went ahead with having the impressions to be sent off to Invisalign. At the next consultation I was told that the treatment would only take 6 months from start to finish and Dr Chavez showed me a very impressive clincheck (computer generated photos showing the movement of all the teeth from start to finish). I told him that I was happy to go ahead, but it was vital that the treatment did take around 6 months and no longer as I was a British citizen who was in America on a student visa and wouldn't be there for much longer than that. Dr Chavez assured me that it would and he told me that it would take a total of 12 aligners to be changed every 2 weeks = 24 weeks in total. In addition, he was very insistent that the $6500 had to be paid in full by the end of the 6 months and I had to make huge monthly payments to ensure this, which I struggled to afford as a student.
I started the treatment in January 2006. During the course of it there were several teeth that needed to be filed to make room for movement. To do this, Dr Chavez used a circular filing tool that terrified the life out of me and I could smell bone burning as he did it. During one filing episode he used the tool to file away 2 of my bottom teeth. I was in agony while he was doing this and said so, but he ignored me. Afterwards I looked in the mirror and saw that he had filed away way too much and damaged/compromised perfectly healthy teeth, leaving me looking like a female version of Dustin Hoffman from the Marathon Man, a nightmare that I have never forgotten and left me hysterical for days. Dr Chavez built the teeth back up with bonding material, but of course this is not the same or as good as the original enamel. I believe that the error was caused by lack of attention on his part as he always sees 3 patients at once, obviously for profit reasons and flits from one to the other, which is very disconcerting.
In June 2006 I had to return to England. Dr Chavez said that all the filing had been done and that I could go to the end of the aligners with no problems. I booked a flight back to Boston in September 2006. In theory I only needed to have the attachments removed from my teeth that held the Invisalign aligners in place, but in reality when I returned to Boston, the teeth were not where they should be (which I already sensed while I was in England) and I needed a whole new set of aligners. Dr Chavez took further impressions and I was faced with returning to Boston yet again in December. The September trip had already cost me around $1000 for the international return flight, rental car, hotel and food for the week I was there. I booked a week a) to allow for extra time in case of problems and b) to allow myself to recover from the jet lag is it was a 3000 mile trip - quite some way for a dental appointment and the prospect of having to return in December yet again with now no end in sight of having to fly back and forth was starting to border on the ridiculous and unaffordable. However, Invisalign is not available in England + I had already paid Dr Chavez from start to finish, so I wasn't sure what else I could do. I expressed my concerns to Dr Chavez, but his response was "do you want nice teeth or not?" which really had little to do with the reality of the cost and inconvenience.
Back in England my health and mobility crashed and I suffered neurological/MS symptoms. I was racked with sensory symptoms - tightness, numbness, pulling, burning, tingling and reverberating in my hands and feet + my right leg wouldn't bend or lift properly, so I was unable to walk alone. I was also unable to work, so the prospect of going back to Boston yet again became untenable and impossible. For 18 months I was stuck in the UK trying different methods to recover to no avail. I wore the last set of aligners every single night without exception to keep my teeth in place, however. As a Canadian landed resident I was trying to get better to move to Vancouver Island and my intention was to go via Boston on the way. Eventually I booked my flight for January 2008, but as the time neared I was worrying more and more about how I was going to cope with my mobility problems. I called Dr Chavez and asked him how many more times I needed to go back to Boston once I picked up the aligners and had the new attachments fitted and he said 4 + regular checkups afterwards! This clinched it. How on earth was I going to cope and afford to do this? I went on to the Invisalign web site (www.invisalign.com) and found an orthdontist on Vancouver Island instead and all the records were transferred to Dr Kirk Bartlett. I'd already booked the flight to Boston though and it was non-refundable, so I lost this, although the taxes were refunded. However, it was more good money thrown down the drain.
In June 2008 Dr Bartlett's office fitted the new attachments at a further cost of $500, but after aligner 1 the top aligners stopped tracking properly and by the time I got to aligner 5 out of 8, they were extremely uncomfortable and not fitting properly and I couldn't continue with them. I went all the way back to aligner 2, which was still not tracking as well on the left side as the right, but was at least better than number 5. The main problem seemed to be the fact that the top canines were not being pulled down, ie extrusion, leaving huge gaps between the bottoms of the teeth and the aligners, also the 4 top teeth not being pushed up (intruded), but there were other problems as well including 1 tooth that had been pulled down at the wrong angle and needed twisting as it was too canine/V-shaped.
To cut a long story short, I have now seen 4 orthodontists on Vancouver Island and ALL have refused to take on my case as they do not believe that Invisalign is going to do the job that Dr Chavez said it would do. All maintain the same thing - that Invisalign is not the right method for the level of intrusion of the top 4 front teeth or extrusion of the top canines that I need and I have been quoted $4200 for the further 9 months of treatment I need with metal braces, which is insane as I have already paid $6500 for treatment that Dr Chavez said would take me to the final computer image of the Invisalign clinchek and which I simply cannot afford, especially as I have discovered since I returned to Canada that I have heavy metal poisoning (elevated levels of mercury, lead, aluminium and cadmium) which has been causing my neurological symptoms and I have been having to undergo intensive chelation therapy, which is very expensive and not covered by BC health care. In addition, the orthodontists I have seen here were absolutely horrified to hear that Dr Chavez used the circular tool to file my teeth and said this was totally inappropriate as sanding paper should have been used instead. They have also taken photos to show me that he filed teeth away prematurely and even the wrong teeth. I have been left with a gap in my bottom teeth as a result of his filing that is unsightly and also that I need to pay to get filled with bonding material again - that is one of the teeth that was damaged by the upsetting filing incident.
I have talked to and e-mailed Dr Chavez about all this and so far all he has done is blame me for being unable to return to Boston although I had serious health and mobility problems and even though this was beyond the 6 months I was promised the treatment would take, AND he has used this as a reason to disclaim responsibility even though I wore my aligners every single night since I last saw him. He has also left me rude and abusive messages on my cell phone voice mail and told me not to contact his office again. I accept that Dr Chavez has improved my teeth, but I didn't pay $6500 for an "improvement", I paid it to take me to the end of the treatment I needed within a 6-month period.
I have complained to Invisalign, especially as they give Dr Chavez a 2 star (the highest) rating on their site and asked them to remove this so that no other patients will be misled and suffer like I did, but they have refused or to help me and intervene in any way to try to resolve the situation. I have also complained to the American Association of Orthodontists and Massachusetts Dental Society to no avail.
Right now my teeth are in limbo and I don't have an orthodontist to turn to unless I can somehow come up with $4200. I am at my wits' end. Dr Chavez is completely ignoring me and refusing to refund me what it is now going to cost me to get to the final clinchek image, ie $4200 or any portion of this or cover my ongoing costs to fly back and forth to Boston for as long as is needed.
Arch Orthodontics is also located at....
1259 Hyde Park Avenue
Tel: (617) 364-2161
152 South Street
Tel: (508) 279-3101
800 Washington Street
Tel: (781) 575-1188
8 Pearl Street
Tel: (508) 584-1166
4 Frank Leary Way
Tel: (781) 963-4335 &
399 West Center Street
and other tel nos include 1 800 28-SMILE/1 800 287-6453
VICTORIA, British Columbia