The Scientific Norm to the Present Day
The scientific norm today therefore is that most orthodontic treatment is generally carried out in a single phase using fixed braces. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Germany, because here the orthodontic treatment of children and adolescents, in particular, is usually carried out using mainly obsolete removable braces. One reason for this is the conservatism of many German lecturers who, in training new orthodontists, go against the latest scientific knowledge and still devote far too much time to teaching the students about treatment involving removable braces. Many of the older professors pay far more lip service to the old tradition of ‘functioning orthodontics’ than they do to the latest scientific knowledge.
However, another reason for this situation is the German fee reimbursement system, whereby orthodontists can charge more for lengthy, less effective treatment than they can for short intensive treatment. On top of this, almost every German orthodontist has their own laboratory where they make removable braces. So they naturally have a vested interest in treating more and more patients with removable appliances.
So, on the one hand, the high number of patients in Germany who are treated with removable braces is a result of a lack of training. On the other hand, it is a consequence of a ridiculous reimbursement system. One objective therefore of this information portal is to help to put a stop to this waste of limited health service resources. We would like every patient to have access to efficient and humane treatment at a reasonable cost. And a pre-requisite of this is free, objective information that is independent of any financial interests.