Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. There’s something more subtle about you that people notice: your facial symmetry. Asymmetry of the face can include uneven brow lines, offset nostrils, or even a misaligned jaw shape. That’s nothing to be ashamed of as most people have asymmetrical facial features. However, some facial asymmetry is more pronounced and may cause or be a cause of oral or general health concerns. Every face is unique, but when asymmetry leads to health issues, that’s when orthodontics offers solutions.
At Windy City Orthodontics, we want you to have full confidence in your smile and oral health. So when an asymmetrical face impacts your comfort, health, or just how you feel about yourself, we want to help get you back where you want. To help you understand how we can help you achieve better facial symmetry and a better smile, let’s examine the relationship between your facial symmetry and the ways orthodontic treatment can fix your smile.
What are the causes of facial asymmetry?
If you reach adulthood with a symmetrical face, you may think that it will stay symmetrical for the rest of your life. While your bones are no longer growing, your cartilage is still growing, and this can alter your facial symmetry as you age. There are other reasons you may find yourself dealing with asymmetry that you may not have thought about. For example, genetics and aging, such as uneven muscles, accidents, injuries, and infections can cause asymmetry. In certain rare cases, growths, tumors, or joint degeneration may affect facial asymmetry as well.
There are severe health complications 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. A less common condition is called Torticollis, also known as “twisted neck.” This condition 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 generally temporary. Other causes can include lifestyle choices such as smoking, sun damage from tanning or overexposure, and certain dental procedures.
What are the effects of facial asymmetry?
Studies have found that humans usually prefer a face that is more symmetrical. Beyond physical attractiveness, facial symmetry can reveal the state of your health. While very few people have perfect facial symmetry, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just a matter of how you look. Facial asymmetry can cause functional problems as well, such as disrupting the way you speak and eat and even causing jaw or head pains.
In some cases, facial asymmetry could be a sign of a much deeper medical issue. For some patients, it’s a symptom or side effect of underlying, and perhaps undiagnosed, issues like sleep apnea or a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. These conditions can have a much more drastic effect on your overall health, with far more severe consequences than lackluster aesthetics. That’s where we can help. At Windy City Orthodontics, our experienced team is able to provide specialized care as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for your specific needs to give you the smile you deserve.
How can orthodontics help?
If you want to seek treatment for facial asymmetry, Windy City Orthodontics offers a variety of different solutions. Dr. Pakravan is a well-trained orthodontist dedicated to helping people achieve the kind of smile they want. At our office, we have several treatments that can help align your face to your ideal standards:
Traditional metal braces are one of the most common and widely recognized types of orthodontic treatment. The brackets are made of a mix of stainless steel and other high-quality metals, giving them long-lasting durability. Modern metal braces are lighter and more comfortable compared to bulky, painful braces of the past. They also come with elastic bands that help with bite correction and come in multiple colors so you can add some fun personality to your treatment.
Custom clear braces
Also referred to as “ceramic braces,” clear braces work in the same way metal braces do but with a sleeker, more invisible appearance. Dr. Pakravan actually uses a computer-design process to customize your ceramic braces to the shape and desired position of your teeth before they are manufactured just for you. While clear braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re made with tooth-colored, polycrystalline ceramic material and elastic ties. The only downside to clear braces is that they are less durable and more prone to damage. This is a popular option for older teen and adult patients due to their discreet aesthetic!
Not everyone wants metal brackets or wires. Lucky for you, you don’t have to have them! Clear aligners like Spark or Invisalign have the discreet appearance of clear braces but without wires and metal. They are easily removable and made using photos and 3D video scans of your mouth taken by our team to make a custom fit for you. To be effective, they will have to be worn twenty-two hours a day. You will likely wear yours for twelve to eighteen months depending on your needs and go through several trays throughout your treatment.
Early Interceptive Treatment
Also known as “Interceptive treatment” or “Phase I treatment,” this option occurs when all of the permanent teeth erupt and usually involves a full set of braces. This treatment helps create facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth. It guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.
Also known as TADs (for Temporary Anchorage Device), these temporary orthodontic anchors can help in positioning the teeth to compensate for smaller asymmetries in the jaw bones. They can be used to help achieve dental symmetry when complex orthodontic tooth movement is needed.
In some cases, the asymmetries of the jaw bones are so large that a coordinated approach between an orthodontist like Dr. Pakravan and an oral surgeon that combines orthodontics and surgery is necessary to correct it. Dr. Pakravan coordinates with several different surgeons in the Chicago area as needed depending on the needs of each patient.
Get your best smile at Windy City Orthodontics
Your smile needs the right team to back it up, and we want to be there for you. Whether you’re just getting started on your orthodontic journey or looking for a new office to visit, Windy City Orthodontics is your home for orthodontic treatment. Patients across the Chicago area have improved their oral health and overall confidence thanks to our treatment. With extensive education and training, and experience as a former clinical instructor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Pakravan is up-to-date on the latest in orthodontic treatment and technology. If you are wondering if this might be the best path to your brightest smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation.