It is firmly or loose, with glitter in the colour of your choice: dental braces are a part in many of the German families of everyday life. About half of the children and young people is dealt with by an orthodontist to move the teeth. However, it is completely unclear how strong the health benefits in the long term, of these therapies, as a recent survey shows.

The Federal Ministry of health had commissioned the report after the Federal court had denounced in April to considerable abuses in orthodontics. The former criticism: Despite the many treatments, neither the Federal Ministry of health, know the Statutory health insurance, what happens at the Doctors and how much the patients benefit from it. Was overwritten the paper with an appeal: “Benefits of orthodontic treatment must be explored.”

A billion euros of expenditure – and hardly Know

confirms The current opinion of criticism in many Parts. For the investigations of researchers of the independent IGES had worn-Institute of the information from all the studies together, you could find on the subject. They concentrated on three points:

what is the impact of orthodontic treatment on long-term dental health? How much are the financial expenditures of the statutory health insurance and self-pay for orthodontic services? What further research is needed?

The opinion States that, studies show, although successes in the correction of false teeth and a positive impact on the quality of life of the patients. Unclear however, is how strong the corrections make use of the patients in the long term. So about a lack of studies of how the adjustments have an impact later on the development of tooth loss, loosening of Teeth, inflammation or pain.

at the same time the sum has been increasing for years, the statutory health insurance funds in the field of orthodontics to invest. In 2017, they achieved more than one billion euros a record high. This was mainly due to an increased number of treatment cases, says the report. What makes one wonder: at the same time, the number of Insured persons fell for the orthodontic services eligible children and young people, for example.

the Ministry has no doubt in need of orthodontics

A spokesman for the Minister of health, Jens Spahn (CDU) stressed on Thursday that the Ministry doubt of the necessity of orthodontic services. That braces reduce problems such as tooth decay, periodontal disease or tooth loss, could not be occupied, is however not excluded according to the study, also, informed the Ministry.

“not rated, in Principle, the Use of a therapy to the legislators,” it said. What services will be reimbursed for the medical care of the statutory health insurance funds, the so-called Joint Federal Committee. Therein, Doctors, dentists, psychotherapists, hospitals and health insurance companies are represented. The Ministry will discuss with Stakeholders, “the need for further research and recommendations for action”.

the conclusion of The current opinion: remain open Although there are many studies and documents on the subject, important questions. The researchers call for, to explore more in the future, how the treatments affect long-term health. The results should then be used to develop Standards for the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions.

The two most important questions: when should malocclusions be really corrected? And what are the different method in which problems in the long term, the best?


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.