Second opinion

Is a treatment really necessary?

Second Opinion

In Germany patients presenting their child for orthodontic consultation often are told about severe orthodontic findings which – of course – are in need of treatment immediately. Immediate treatment need is obviously independent of the children‘s age, as there is a widespread tendency to treat even basic-school children in German orthodontics. Likewise, adults interested only in aesthetic correction of front teeth often are confronted by orthodontists to have severe jaw deviations in need of surgical correction. The confusion often gets even worse when a second opinion is asked for: orthodontist 1 wants to extract 4 teeth, orthodontist 2 recommends surgical replacement of the lower jaw, and orthodontist 3 threatens your child with a year-long treatment including a headgear with neckstrap, eventually again a surgical procedure – all these perspective enough to see a child in tears.

Knowledge based on the Research Results

In our office we do not trust in the concepts we accidentally learned during our professional training. Instead, we rely since 30 years on the intense study of the scientific literature. Therefore we are subscriber to virtually all important ortodontic journals, of course including those in English language, the lingua franca of today’s science. Such a broad base of knowledge may be present in some of  the better university departments of orthodontics in Germany, but in orthodontic offices this is absolutely uncommon. Thus we are able to deliver qualified second opinions free of accidental prejudices and personal beliefs.

Maximum Therapy or Rather Wait and See?

With this background it is no surprise that patients with a recommendation of a doomsday-therapy leave our office not rarely with the friendly advice to initiate orthodontic treatment only in case of a personal desire to improve tooth position. Likewise we often give relief to concerned parents, as in most cases orthodontic findings do neither constitute a disease nor promote any disease. For this reason the decision process for orthodontic treatment should normally be quite relaxed.

Our Approach

Our procedure for second opinions is highly standardized. We explain the orthodontic findings to our patients, followed by a presentation of treatment options and a brief discussion of risks and uncertainties of treatment vs. non-treatment. We abstain from excerting any pressure to patients seeking our advice, because orthodontics is the reign of freedom, not the reign of essential necessity.


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