Avoiding Over-Diagnosis

What is important for us is to avoid any over-diagnosis that has no sense or purpose; so we no longer use any of the so-called articulators or jaw models which contribute nothing whatsoever to treatment planning, apart from the fact that they are expensive. Similarly, we have very good reasons for avoiding any MRT relating to the jaw, because this is just nonsense that is of no use to the patients. In spite of this, MRT is used regularly by some orthodontists to make it look as if they have some special kind of expertise – often just so they can offer some particularly expensive ‘therapy’ for some little thing that they have found, even though there is probably no medical reason for doing so.

The same applies to the three-dimensional X-rays of the skull which have recently come into fashion – the so-called volume-computed tomography (DVT). But the data produced by this process contribute very little to the planning of routine treatment which means that patients really have no need for such an expensive procedure. A DVT also gives the patient a much heavier dose of radiation than a normal panorama X-ray. This is why carrying out DVT without good reason counts as Actual Bodily Harm in legal terms and is therefore punishable by law.
The same thing applies to both MRT and DVT– not everything that is technically possible is actually of any use to the patient. As a general rule, neither one of these diagnostic procedures is necessary for orthodontic treatment.