Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner
Your smile is one of the very first things people notice about you. It has a significant effect on your self-esteem and self-confidence and affects how 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. The asymmetry can cause pain in the jaw and head for some people.
Here at Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics, we know that having an asymmetrical face and smile can affect your confidence and oral and overall 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 face. 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 Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics, our experienced team is able to provide specialized care for your unique needs to give you a smile you deserve.
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, 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. Leaver, Dr. Gardner, and their 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 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 with an underbite or overbite, our orthodontists are able to utilize traditional 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 on 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 can be resolved with non-invasive treatments, and by utilizing modern orthodontics, you can get the smile you deserve efficiently.
LEAVER AND GARDNER ORTHODONTICS 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 Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics team is knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic process.
Our dedication to our Las Vegas Valley 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, request an appointment or contact us with any questions you have. We look forward to showing you why Leaver and Gardner is the leading Las Vegas Orthodontics office in the Las Vegas Valley.