Braces: Orthodontic treatment improves the patient's quality of life
Teeth are not only beautiful, they are also important for health. Braces are often used to correct misaligned teeth. But how useful is this orthodontic treatment? The Federal Ministry of Health now reports on this.
Different reasons for crooked teeth
"There are a number of reasons why teeth don't grow straight and require orthodontics in a child," says DAK-Gesundheit on its website. According to the health insurance company, it is usually a mixture of hereditary disposition and unfavorable habits. "For example, children who have been on the pacifier for many years develop a frontally open bite more often than their pacifier-free peers," said the experts. The basis for successful treatment of crooked teeth is the regular wearing of braces. However, how useful this orthodontic treatment really is is controversial. A current meta-analysis by the IGES Institute on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health has now shown that the study situation on the use of braces is unsatisfactory.
Improve quality of life
According to a message from the ministry, the study authors came to the conclusion in the "Orthodontic treatment measures" report that the data base is currently not sufficient to finally assess the benefits of orthodontic treatments.
Although it cannot be proven that braces reduce morbidity (caries, periodontitis, tooth loss, etc.), it is also not excluded, according to IGES.
The study authors state that orthodontic treatment improves tooth misalignments and the quality of life of the patients.
In principle, the benefits of therapy are not assessed by the legislature, but by the Federal Joint Committee.
The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) will discuss further research needs and further recommendations for action with the organizations involved.
A final assessment is not yet possible
The BMG lists relevant passages from the study in the communication, which show:
1. A final assessment is not possible
"Since only a few oral health examinations could be identified, which are mainly based on surrogate endpoints, no final assessment can be made as to whether and which long-term effects the applied orthodontic therapy regimes have on oral health."
2. The study situation is incomplete
"Although a large number of studies and documents could be found in the research, the identified material is only of limited use to answer the underlying questions."
3. A patient-relevant benefit (based on morbidity, ie caries, tooth loss, etc.) is not proven. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist ...
“Overall, the identified studies with regard to the diagnostic and therapeutic orthodontic measures do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about a patient-relevant benefit. This is due in particular to the heterogeneity of the studies in relation to the considered populations, the interventions used and the study designs and to the fact that end points relevant to morbidity such as tooth loss, tooth decay or periodontitis and periodontitis i. d. Usually occur only several years after treatment and therefore require very long observation times. "
4. The quality of life improves after completing orthodontic treatment
"This showed that patients with completed orthodontic treatment reported a higher quality of life than untreated study participants or patients who are currently undergoing orthodontic measures."
5. Misaligned teeth are improved by the treatment
"Regardless of the indices used, improvements were shown here through the use of orthodontic appliances."
This means that orthodontics is not even necessary in children
Certain measures can help prevent orthodontics from being necessary in the child.
According to experts, care should be taken to ensure that children do not suck on something permanently or stick between their teeth. "Regardless of whether it is a thumb, a pacifier or the tip of a bed - permanent sucking is harmful to the development of the jaw and teeth," writes DAK-Gesundheit.
“Even a constantly open mouth can cause many dental and general medical problems. Children should try to keep their mouths shut, apart from eating and speaking, ”said the experts.
In addition, care should be taken to ensure thorough care of the milk teeth and interdental spaces in the offspring.
"Premature loss of milk teeth can lead to misaligned teeth because jaw growth is inhibited and the placeholder function for the permanent teeth that lie under the milk teeth in the jaw is lost," reports the health insurance company.
The little ones should get used to brushing their teeth early, preferably from the first milk tooth.
Children can only brush their teeth properly at the end of primary school. Until then, parents should check or clean.
“But even if you do everything you can to prevent orthodontics in your child, your child may still need braces. The genes play a major role and cannot be influenced, ”said the health insurance company. (ad)