Orthodontics require many dental treatments – but which fields of treatment does this area cover? When do you need to see an orthodontist? And how much an orthodontic treatment cost? Find out more here.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry. Orthodontists treat misalignments of the teeth and jaw.
These dental treatments can be necessary at any age. Initial treatment can take place with children if there are serious misalignments. Otherwise, it should be waited until adolescence with therapy. But even in adulthood, your teeth can still be straightened with the help of orthodontic measures.
Excursus: How do tooth movements work?
The teeth are not rigidly attached to the jawbone. We suspend them in the bone by very thin fibers. Bones can transform themselves when they are subjected to pressure and tension. An orthodontic appliance applies these loads to the bones. At the point where pressure is applied, the bone breaks down. It builds up under a tensile load. Therefore, the teeth in orthodontic treatment always shift in the direction in which the pressure is acting.
Orthodontists also take advantage of this property of the bone in initial treatment. The focus here is on stimulating the jawbone to grow. In this way, we can create enough space for the complete set of teeth and the upper and lower jaw are then in the correct relationship to one another.
The fields of treatment of an orthodontist
Fixed and removable braces
Depending on the findings, we use fixed or removable braces in orthodontics to straighten the teeth. Small tooth movements can usually be done with the help of a removable appliance. Tooth rotations or movements over a greater distance almost always require a firm brace.
After a detailed diagnosis, the orthodontist can decide which orthodontic therapy is suitable in your case. To do this, he creates x-rays and models of your jaw, which he then measures. Only then can he create an orthodontic treatment plan.
Treatment of misaligned teeth
Tooth misalignments are corrected with braces. The treatment lasts from a few months to three or four years, depending on the findings and the orthodontic measure. The correction usually takes place in adolescence.
Treatment of jaw misalignments
Jaw misalignments cannot be corrected with braces alone. Oral and maxillofacial surgery supports orthodontics with jaw misalignments. The treatment is therefore interdisciplinary.
First, we straighten the teeth with braces. Often the upper and lower jaw no longer fit together. After the orthodontics, the surgeons come to work. In one operation, the upper and lower jaws are aligned so that the teeth fit together again.
Orthodontic Treatment Costs
The costs for orthodontic treatment are often high. They are generally included as a service in the catalog of the statutory health insurance. However, there are also services in orthodontics that you as a patient must pay for privately. These include, for example, the use of white, ceramic brackets or a fixed brace that is attached to the inside of the teeth so that we cannot see them.
Treatment costs for adult patients
The costs of orthodontic treatment for adult patients are not reimbursed by the health insurance companies.
An exception is the correction of malposition, which must be treated interdisciplinary by orthodontics and maxillofacial surgery. In most cases, this therapy is reimbursed by statutory health insurance.
Treatment costs for children
Orthodontics for children and adolescents up to the age of 18 is reimbursed by the health insurance company if the treatment has a medical benefit. Parents must pay about 20% of the treatment costs. With adolescents with little need for treatment, it may not cover the costs at all.
The treatment costs, which the parents bear themselves, are reimbursed by the health insurance after successful completion. However, this is only if patients actively cooperate. If there is a lack of oral hygiene and the recurrence of tooth decay on fixed braces, the therapy may have be discontinued. Treatment will stop if patients do not wear loose braces regularly. Both lead to non-reimbursement of the treatment costs by the statutory health insurance.