What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them? For most people, it’s the person’s smile. That smile says a lot about a person.
Are they confident and outgoing, or are they more reserved and shy?
Beyond your smile, people typically notice the symmetry of your face next. Most people have some degree of asymmetry, depending on uneven brow lines, offset nostrils, or even unaligned jaw shape. It’s more normal than not to have an asymmetrical face. Sometimes, though, our facial asymmetry is more pronounced and may cause other oral or general health concerns.
Here at Designer Smiles by Benton, we know that having an asymmetrical face and smile can affect your confidence and overall oral health. We are passionate about helping you achieve the symmetry that will give you a radiant and healthy smile. Let’s take a look at the relationship between your facial symmetry and the ways orthodontic treatment can fix your smile and your confidence.
Effects of Facial Asymmetry
Studies have found that the symmetry of one’s face can affect how attractive one appears to others and that humans usually prefer a more symmetrical look. This can lead some patients to seek orthodontic treatment to achieve the desired aesthetic. While nobody has perfect facial symmetry, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just aesthetically complicated. When it comes to functionality, facial asymmetry can disrupt the way you speak and eat and even cause jaw or head pains.
In some patients, facial asymmetry is actually a symptom or side effect of an underlying and undiagnosed issue like sleep apnea or a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. These conditions can have a much more drastic impact on your health than just a crooked smile. At Designer Smiles by Benton in Oxford or Pell City, AL, our experienced team can provide specialized care for your unique needs to give you the smile you deserve.
Causes of Facial Asymmetry
The most common culprit of facial asymmetry is your jaw alignment or bite. For ideal symmetry and function, you should have a very slight overbite to allow for talking and chewing and prevent excess wear and strain on your teeth and gums. Patients with severe overbites or other bite issues like a crossbite or underbite notice more disruption in the uniformity of their facial structure.
You may think that if you managed to make it to adulthood with a pretty symmetrical face, you’re in the clear. While that is typically true, and while your bones are no longer growing, your cartilage is, and it can alter your facial symmetry as you age. But there are other reasons you may find yourself facing asymmetry that you may not have thought about besides genetics and aging, such as uneven muscles, accidents, and infections.
There are also severe health concerns that can cause facial asymmetry. Bell’s Palsy is a viral infection that causes facial paralysis of the muscles on one side of your face. Another less common condition is called Torticollis, or “twisted neck,” which causes your neck muscles to rest in an abnormal position and result in facial asymmetry. This condition usually only occurs in the womb. Both of these conditions are generally temporary.
How can Orthodontics help?
If you have issues with facial asymmetry, there’s a good chance you already know about it and have wondered what could be done. Luckily, Dr. John Benton, Dr. Barry Benton, Dr. Tate Chauncey, and our skilled teams have plenty of experience correcting facial asymmetry with cutting-edge options. We can evaluate the relationship between your facial features and your oral health to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs! Let’s look at a few ways we can help.
In the past, the most common and best-practiced solution to facial asymmetry was jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery. That procedure is now reserved for extreme cases and patients who are not likely to see adequate results from orthodontic treatments like braces. We will best solve some issues with replacement, such as through implants and dental bridges.
For cases that are considered typical or mild, such as mild underbite or overbite, our doctors utilize metal braces or even clear aligners like Invisalign to correct your symmetry. Don’t let the prospect of braces deter you from looking in the face of your dreams. Modern technology has made metal braces much smaller and more of a comfortable process, which you can even personalize with colored elastic bands to make the process that much more fun. And for those looking for the bang of traditional braces without the buck of an adolescent appearance, clear and ceramic braces swap that metal for a clear or tooth-colored ceramic that makes your orthodontic treatment a bit more inconspicuous.
In certain situations where the facial asymmetry is caused by an upper jaw that is too small, a palatal expander is another orthodontic treatment option that uses high-grade metal bands attached to corresponding molars and joined high in the center of the roof of the mouth by a screw. This appliance is tightened at the screw with a special key daily to slowly and carefully expand the upper palate to create the desired symmetry.
In most cases, a patient’s facial asymmetry is resolved with non-invasive treatments and by pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement and growth of the teeth and jaws.
Trust Designer Smiles by Benton for an aesthetic AND functional smile.
Your smile is in the best hands – our expert doctors have the training and caring attitude you’re looking for in your orthodontic treatment process. Our Designer Smiles by Benton team is knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic procedure.
Our dedication to our Central Alabama patients shines through our exceptional and individualized care. We pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies. Schedule a FREE consultation with us when you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey to facial symmetry. Our team is proud to offer you a beautiful new smile in an office that feels like home!