Are you ready to take the next step to straighter teeth and a healthy-looking smile? The benefits of orthodontic treatment are many. But it’s important to know that not all orthodontic treatment is equal. Comprehensive orthodontic treatment, also known as “conventional” orthodontic treatment, has been the gold standard. Newer to the market is limited orthodontic treatment or “quick-fix” orthodontics. Let’s take a close look at these two approaches to orthodontics and explain the differences so you can make the best decision for you.
What Are the Differences Between Comprehensive and Limited Orthodontic Treatment?
When looking at comprehensive orthodontic treatment vs. limited orthodontic treatment, they differ in several ways:
Length of Treatment: Typical treatment time is approximately two years for comprehensive treatment. Many limited orthodontic treatments straighten teeth in six months or less.
What the Treatments Address: Comprehensive orthodontics covers the form and function of alignment – straightening your teeth and improving the way they bite together. Limited orthodontics typically addresses only your front six teeth (the “social six”) and does not correct jaw alignment.
Appearance: Limited or comprehensive orthodontics typically use either metal or tooth-colored brackets. However, orthodontists today have newer, more discreet appliances for comprehensive orthodontic care. These include removable clear aligners and even lingual (behind the teeth) orthodontic solutions.
Cost: The length of time and limited scope may be reflected in short-term orthodontic treatment prices. When comparing the costs of different providers and treatments, it’s important to understand the value, results, and what is included. Some comprehensive orthodontic providers may also be more affordable than you think. And often less expensive than many of the limited treatment options.
What Is Best for Me – Comprehensive or Limited Orthodontics?
More often, people need braces and comprehensive orthodontics to correct bite and straighten teeth. Research indicates that at least 70% of people have some form of malocclusion or a misaligned bite. But limited orthodontics certainly has a place. If you’re looking to make a few small corrections to straighten teeth and your bite is good, limited orthodontics can achieve a better cosmetic appearance.
One important caveat – some limited orthodontic providers might promise a level of care and results that may not achieve your best, long-term solution. If you have a misaligned bite, shifting only the front group of teeth may place the bite further off alignment. More extensive treatment could be necessary in the future, which can be costly and time-consuming. So, it’s best to consult with an orthodontist who will provide you with all of the options for your specific goals.
Smile with Confidence
It’s important to be aware of the limitations of quick-fix orthodontic treatment and have realistic expectations of the results it can produce. It’s important to consider all of the options and choose a long-term solution that will correct all of your concerns and issues.
Comprehensive orthodontic care provides a plan to straighten all teeth, correct your bite, and address any oral health issues. At ALTA SMILES locations, we offer a range of options for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. At some locations, a unique limited orthodontic treatment method is offered – C3 Hidden OrthodonticsTM (lingual or “behind the tooth” braces). This method is great for relatively minor corrections that can be accomplished in less time.