Edition V14N05 | Year 2015 | Editorial Article | Pages 73 to 77
Introduction / Patients have had greater awareness of their rights, which results in increasing questioning whenever their expectations are not fulfilled. The orthodontist works with such aesthetic and functional expectations, and, for this reason, has been exposed to strong demands, in addition to having his obligation questioned due to the range of professional responsibilities he takes. / Objective / This study aimed at analyzing controversial issues that lead to litigation between orthodontists and patients, specifically as regards the nature of the obligation assumed, whether of means or results. / Methods / This article is a descriptive-analytical study with literature review and analysis of the Superior Court of Justice’s (STJ) position on judicial proceedings involving orthodontists and patients. / Results / The literature expressed disagreement about the position on the nature of the obligation assumed by the orthodontist: whether of means or result. Although not unanimous, the Superior Court of Justice holds a position which interprets the obligation attributed to the orthodontist as being of result, which plays a major role in future judicial decisions. / Conclusion / Therefore, it is understood that, when performing orthodontic treatment, dentists assume an obligation of result whenever they promise their patient aesthetic outcomes. Additionally, they assume an obligation of means whenever seeking outcomes, aesthetic or functional, while applying all their skill and care.