There are very few people in the world with perfectly symmetrical faces. Most of us have some sort of asymmetry happening, and in many cases, it just makes our faces more interesting! However, some facial asymmetries are far from subtle, including those caused by orthodontic issues. That’s where we come in! The expert team here at Howard Orthodontics can identify misalignments and other problems that may lead to asymmetry. If this is something you’ve been dealing with, we can help balance out your facial symmetry and improve the overall appearance of your smile. Keep reading below to learn more!
What types of orthodontic issues can cause facial asymmetry?
Some of the most common issues we see in our practice are also responsible for facial asymmetries, including overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Here’s a closer look at what these entail and how they can affect your facial symmetry!
With an overbite, the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth. Slight overbites are incredibly common, but a more significant case can be detrimental to the teeth and health of the jaw joints. It can also impact the shape of the patient’s face, producing a “weak” chin and sunken appearance. Orthodontic treatment can relieve these symptoms and more, helping the patient’s face to look more full and even.
The opposite of an overbite, an underbite describes lower teeth that protrude in front of the upper teeth. This can make the jaw appear much more prominent and may also result in uncomfortable pressure on the teeth, difficulty eating, or a negative impact on speech. Treatment will help shift the jaw into the proper placement, giving the face a more natural appearance.
With a crossbite, some of the upper teeth are behind the lower teeth instead of in front of them. This puts pressure on the teeth and makes them more vulnerable to chipping. It may also affect facial symmetry. Orthodontic treatment can realign the teeth, giving patients a straighter smile and a more symmetrical facial appearance.
An open bite describes a condition where the upper and lower teeth do not touch when the jaw is closed. This can interfere with chewing and biting properly. It is also a fairly obvious orthodontic issue that impacts a patient’s facial appearance, which can affect self-confidence. Correcting an open bite with orthodontic treatment will help resolve physical symptoms while improving the patient’s cosmetic appearance as well.
How can orthodontic treatment help correct facial asymmetry?
Orthodontic issues can shift your teeth, move your jaw bone, and affect the overall appearance of your face. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Howard has been trained to get to the root of problems the ones described above. He is able to create personalized treatment plans for every patient that will give them a more natural bite and produce a more symmetrical facial appearance. Our practice uses a range of affordable treatment options to achieve this, including the following.
Metal braces are one of the most common types of orthodontic treatment. The brackets are made of a mix of stainless steel and other high-quality metals, making them very durable and long-lasting. Modern metal braces are also much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be! They deliver excellent results and can be especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Also known as ceramic braces, clear braces work in the same way metal braces do but have the added benefit of semi-translucent ceramic brackets. While clear braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re able to better blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option. This is especially true when they’re paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties! While ceramic braces are strong, metal braces can tolerate more pressure and may be a better option for younger patients.
Invisalign clear aligners
Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear removable aligners to move teeth into the desired positions over time. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system. Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than other treatment options do, thanks to the removability of the aligners! This means no food restrictions and an easier time brushing and flossing. We offer both Invisalign and Invisalign Teen systems.
We sometimes encounter cases of severe facial asymmetry. These patients will still benefit from orthodontic treatment, but it will often need to be combined with surgery in order to effectively treat the underlying issues and achieve a more symmetrical face. As with any orthodontic treatment, this will be customized to each patient’s unique needs and goals. Orthodontics may be involved before or after surgery. Occasionally, patients will need treatment both before and after surgery. If this is recommended for you, Dr. Howard will work hand in hand with your surgeon to give you a rewarding experience and beautiful results!
Even out your smile with Howard Orthodontics
If you’re struggling with facial asymmetry from orthodontic issues, you can still achieve a balanced smile and a more symmetrical appearance! Our expert team would love to meet you and walk you through all of your options. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Howard in our Willow Street office!