Braces: parents urged to make additional payments

Braces: parents urged to make additional payments

Orthodontists are pushing parents to make high dental co-payments
18.01.2015

According to media reports, orthodontists are increasingly pushing parents to make high private co-payments for fixed braces. According to the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" (F.A.S.), doctors repeatedly refuse to treat their patients without additional payment, although this is actually prohibited.


Orthodontists illegally refuse inexpensive treatment According to a report by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” (F.A.S.), orthodontists are increasingly pushing parents to make high private payments for fixed braces. As the news agency dts reports, the doctors advised against metal brackets, as this is said to damage the teeth. Or it is said that metal arches can cause pain, the newspaper continues. According to the research in the paper, other orthodontists even openly refuse inexpensive treatment. But that's forbidden!

In the event of medical necessity without additional payment Those orthodontists who have a health insurance license must also treat their patients without additional payment. At least when the correction of the malposition is "medically necessary", as the F.A.S. writes. According to experts, this is the case if the misaligned teeth and jaw, chewing, biting, speaking and breathing are significantly impaired or the misalignment could cause problems in the future. As the newspaper further reports, the amount of common private co-payments is between twenty and fifty euros per month, which the parents have to pay during the entire treatment period. This is usually three years.

Complaints about more than a fifth of orthodontists Orthodontists may use material that is more expensive than the health insurance fund provides, but they may only offer it to patients; the parents must have the choice and can freely choose a variant without additional payment. But that is not always the case and the health insurers know that. "But our hands are tied," according to F.A.S. at the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). As the paper further reports, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists in Hesse passed on 56 such complaints to orthodontists last year and asked them in writing to offer treatment without additional payment. In total there are around 260 orthodontists in Hessen, which means that more than one in five patients would have complained.

Black sheep are known The statutory health insurers pay between 2,500 and 3,500 euros for fixed braces, depending on the type and duration of the treatment. According to the newspaper, the association of orthodontists can use it to achieve “a reasonable result”. The association is aware of the black sheep in its own ranks. "We would like to take action against them," said Federal President Gundi Mindermann of the F.A.S. "Because we do not want some to put the reputation of our entire profession in a bad light." Unfortunately, the association could not do anything. Parents should already be ready to go to court.

“Homemade” misaligned teeth According to estimates, around 60 percent of all children and adolescents in Germany suffer from a misaligned tooth. The majority of them receive braces. And often in much too young years, as some experts think. Malpositions can be innate, but also "homemade". The latter are acquired through habits such as sucking the thumb, sucking on drinking bottles or chewing fingernails. In addition, the early loss of milk teeth can have a negative impact on the permanent dentition, as important placeholders are missing. (ad)

Photo credit: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

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