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. Some people have uneven eyes. Some people have different-sized nostrils. Some people even have unproportionate jaw alignment. It’s more normal than not to have an asymmetrical face. Sometimes, though, our facial asymmetry is more pronounced and may even cause or be a cause of other oral or general health concerns.
Here at Hunter Family Orthodontics, 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 they appear to others and that humans usually prefer a more symmetrical look. This can lead some patients to seek orthodontic treatment to achieve their desired aesthetic. While nobody has perfect facial symmetry, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just aesthetically complicated. Facial asymmetry can disrupt the way you speak and eat and even cause jaw or head pains when it comes to functionality.
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 Hunter Family Orthodontics in The Woodlands, our experienced team can provide specialized care for your unique needs to give you a smile you deserve. We’ll treat you and your family like you’re our family!
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 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,” and 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. Well, luckily, Dr. Ross Hunter and his skilled team have plenty of experience in 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. There are also some cases that will be best solved with replacement, such as through implants and dental bridges.
For cases that are considered typical or mild, such as minor underbite or overbite, Dr. Hunter utilizes 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 patients 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 Hunter Family Orthodontics for an aesthetic AND functional smile
Your smile is in the best hands! Dr. Ross Hunter and his team at Hunter Family Orthodontics are dedicated to giving you the best-personalized care using the latest orthodontic technologies and treatments. Our care is based on the foundation of honesty, integrity, and excellence.
Schedule a FREE consultation with us when you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey to facial symmetry! Our convenient office is ideally positioned to best serve The Woodlands area. Excellent orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, work, or school. We can’t wait to help you discover your hidden smile!