You only get one smile and it’s the first thing most people notice about you. It can define so much of your personality and even affect the way you carry yourself. The symmetry of your face can determine whether you are outgoing and speak up for yourself, how you position yourself in photographs and interviews, and for some people, asymmetry can actually cause pain in the jaw and head.
Here at Lincoln Orthodontics, we know that having an asymmetrical face, and smile, can affect your confidence as well as your oral and overall health and 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.
What are the side effects of facial asymmetry?
Studies have found that the symmetry of one’s face can affect how attractive they appear to others and that humans usually prefer a face that is more symmetrical. While nobody has perfect facial symmetry, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just an aesthetic issue. When it comes to functionality, facial asymmetry can disrupt the way you speak and eat, and even be a cause of jaw or head pains.
In some patients we see at our Lincoln office, 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 effect on your health than just a crooked smile. At Lincoln Orthodontics, our experienced team is able to provide specialized care for your unique needs to give you the smile you deserve.
What are the causes of facial asymmetry?
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 still growing, which can alter your facial symmetry as you age. But there are other reasons you may find yourself dealing with asymmetry that you may not have thought about in addition to genetics and aging, such as uneven muscles, accidents, and infections.
There are also very serious 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 usually only occurs in the womb and both of these conditions are usually 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. Well, luckily Dr. Willett and his skilled team have plenty of experience in correcting facial asymmetry with cutting-edge options. We are able to evaluate the relationship between your facial features and your oral health to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs! Let’s take a closer look at a few ways we can help.
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 the past, the most common and best-practiced solution to facial asymmetry was jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery. Now, that procedure is reserved for extreme cases and patients who are not likely to see adequate results from orthodontic treatments like braces or expanders. There are also some cases that will be best solved with replacement of missing teeth, such as through implants and dental bridges. Dr. Willett has years of experience working with the area’s best oral and maxillofacial surgeons to get the best result using the latest technology in surgical orthodontics.
For cases that are considered typical or mild, such as with an underbite or overbite, Dr. Willett is able to utilize traditional braces or even clear aligners like Invisalign to correct your symmetry. Don’t let the prospect of braces get you down, though. Modern technology has made metal braces much smaller and more comfortable to wear. They can even be personalized with colored elastic bands to make the process a little more fun. And for those looking for the benefits of traditional braces without the appearance of metal braces, clear and ceramic braces provide a clear or tooth-colored option that makes your orthodontic treatment a bit more inconspicuous.
In most cases, facial asymmetry can be resolved with non-invasive treatments. Utilizing modern orthodontics can help you get the smile you deserve efficiently and on your budget.
Visit Lincoln Orthodontics for an aesthetic AND functional smile
You only get one smile and you can trust Dr. Willett and our skilled team to give you the care you deserve. Our Lincoln Orthodontics team is knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic process.
Our dedication to our Lincoln area patients shines through our exceptional and individualized care. We pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies. Located right in the heart of the city, your orthodontic care is close to home, school, and work. When you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey to facial symmetry, Dr. Willett and her expert team are ready to help. Schedule your FREE consultation today!