Limited vs. Comprehensive

What do you mean by Limited vs. Comprehensive orthodontic treatment? Isn’t all orthodontic treatment equal?

  • The short answer is no. Not all orthodontic treatment is equal. In its simplest form, limited treatment would focus a single tooth or single group of teeth, whereas comprehensive treatment would involve idealizing the bite, smile, alignment of all teeth, and soft tissue esthetics.
  • For children, comprehensive treatment is the most common form of treatment. For adults looking to straighten only their lower front crowding, limited treatment may be an available option, depending on the findings from the initial exam.
  • Ultimately, every patient has the right to choose the type of treatment (limited vs. comprehensive) they are interested in, based on their main concerns and treatment goals.
  • It’s Dr. Bronsen’s belief that orthodontic practitioners have a duty to provide treatment options, including the option of no treatment. During that explanation, the patient should be informed of the risks and benefits of both comprehensive and limited treatment. Assuming that limited treatment would not cause undue health risks to the teeth, bones, or gum tissue, it is a viable option.

Our promise to you!

We look forward to providing you with a customized “smile plan”, whether that is comprehensive or limited orthodontic care. Our promise is to listen to you! We understand that everyone’s orthodontic needs are different, and we happily accommodate the preferences our wonderful children, teens, and adults!


Limited orthodontic treatment has a limited objective, not necessarily involving all the teeth present. It may be directed at the only existing problem, or at only one aspect of a larger problem in which a decision is made to defer or forego more comprehensive therapy.


Comprehensive orthodontic care includes a coordinated diagnosis and treatment leading to the improvement of a patient’s craniofacial dysfunction and/or dentofacial deformity which may include anatomical, functional and/or esthetic relationships.

Treatment may utilize fixed and/or removable orthodontic appliances and may also include functional and/or orthopedic appliances in growing and non-growing patients. Adjunctive procedures to facilitate care may be required. Comprehensive orthodontics may incorporate treatment phases focusing on specific objectives at various stages of dentofacial development.