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Answer

Generally speaking, an orthodontist is a dentist which has studied 10 semester dentistry and graduated with the state examination.

Afterwards the dentist can specify to become an orthodontist.

The dentist undertakes a three year, full-time post-graduate study in orthodontics of which at least one year takes place in a clinical university practice and further two years at a qualified orthodontical practice.

Before an applicant becomes entitled to call himself orthodontist, the candidat has to pass a further examination. Up to that point the orthodontist has studied at least 9 1/2 years and is now able to start his own business.

Afterwards it is constantly necessary to study further with the help of professional journals, specialist books, visting congresses and attending advanced traingings in order to be up to date.

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What is orthodontics? <

Answer

The optimal time period to begin the treatment is ideally in pre teens age (girls at around 9 years and boys with 10 years).

It is recommended that children first visit an orthodontist when the central and lateral incisiors in the upper jaw have broken through. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that there is an deviation from orthodontogensis and the physical delvelopment.

It is the best for the orthodontist to see the children by the age 4 - 5 to advice if orthodontic treatment is required and aditionally, first problems can be evaluated.

Early treatment and preventative measures can help to simplify later treatment as for e.g. crossbites or overbites.

Additionally, corrections due to thumb-sucking should be undertaken in order to eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

Early orthodontic examination can be a valuable preventive measure in controlling dental and skeletal irregularities in a growing child. This may involve early treatment and management of a patient's skeletal growth before most of the permanent teeth have erupted or simple interceptive treatment to control harmful habits. Due to this a later costly orthodontical treatment can be avoided.

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When should orthodontic treatment be started? <

Answer

Patients being classiefied as KIG (kieferorthopädische Indikationsgruppe) and where the treatment can start before reaching 18 the statutory health insurance generally bears all costs.

Patients that are classfied as KIG (kieferorthopädische Indikationsgruppe) and treatment starts before reaching eighteen years, the health insurance is covering all costs. During the treatment patients need to pay 20% of each quarter's invoice which gets refunded after finishing the treatment successfully. If the treatment gets terminated due to the lack of patients cooperation the health insurance retaince the amount of 20% of each quarter's invoice.

For adults being older than 18 years the costs will be accepted from the insurance only if a surgical-orthodontic-therapy is necessary.

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How much does my insurance pay? <

Answer

The correction of an orthodontic problem can be undertaken at any age. Healthy teeth can be moved as they are an independent unit and not connected to the alveolar bone.

Teeth are connected to the alveolar bone through so called Sharpey fibers. Between the surface of the root and the alveolar bone there is a slight gap which is completed through fibers.

Tooth movement in not age dependent and can appear spontaneously or through the help of an orthodontic treatment.

During the change of teeth and the eruption of the permanent molars children are accompanied by natural depletion and catabolic proccesses in the alveolar bone due to the pressure of growth. During the change of the alveolar bone, the root stays undamaged and stable in its shape. The biological chatacteristic of the alveolar bone is that there is atrophy when there is pressure and traction leads to restructuring of the bone.

Strong forces during chewing do not have influence to the position of the teeth due to a short exposure time. But if there is a long-lasting pressure teeth will start moving.

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Are there any age limits to move teeth? <

Answer

Some malpositions of teeth/jaws can be prevented. It is necessary that parents follow bite-, breath- and sucking habits during babyhood. It is often helpful that parents introduce their children to an orthodontist before the dentist recommends it because malpositions are not yet that developed.

We recommend to follow some guidlines in order to avoid misalignment of teeth and jaws:

  1. It is adviced to give the baby a baby-soother before sucking one's thumb. You can take away the baby-soother eventually but not the thumb.
  2. Observe your childs bite-, breath-, swallow and sucking habits. Harmful habits as for example bite or suck one's lip, malfunctions of the tongue and wrong swallowing habits can tempt to abnormality of the jawbone and furthermore, lead to speech defects.
  3. Recently control the development of the dentition. Malposition of decidiuous teeth can easily be recognised: due to sucking an open bite can occure i.e. the anterior teeth do not touch the lower anterior teeth but instead are some millimeters apart.
  4. Keep a close watch on the bite of your child. If the upper anteriors are far away from the lower ones there exists an overjet which should be treated soon. The reasons for an overjet can be a too narrow jaw resulting from sucking one's thumb. If the upper anteriors bite below the lower anteriors there exists a negative overbite. An early treatment and preventative measures can help to simplify later treatment or even avoid a surgical procedure. If the mouth is crooked while biting there exists a so called crossbite of the posterior teeth. This can evoke jaw joint problems.
  5. Please note that it is recommended to undergo with your child an orthodontical medical check at the age of 4. The orthodontist can judge the general direction of growth and development even in a young child with only decidiuous teeth.

A general information on one's own responsibility:

The preterm loss of a single decidiuous molar can convey to a malposition of the jaw. The posterior teeth which have not yet erupted push forward and constrict the space for the permanent teeth. Especially between the age of 9 to 11 the posterior teeth of the decidiuous teeth have to leave enough space for the permanent teeth.

A constant mouth care already during childhood is absolutely necessary. An exposure of fluorid of the amelodentinal through tablets or toothpaste is helpful. We support a dentally fit and balanced nutrition without sugary snacks. Furthermore, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for a regular check-up.

When treatment is begun early and decidiuous teeth are still present, the growth and development of the dentition and face can prophylactically be influenced.

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What should parents watch for? <