Can Orthodontics Fix Facial Asymmetry?

The smile on our faces…it’s one of the first things many people notice about us. It can define our personality and even affect how we carry ourselves. The symmetry of our faces can determine whether we are outgoing and speak up for ourselves or how we position ourselves in photographs and interviews. For some people, asymmetry can cause pain in the jaw and head. 

Here at Jensen Orthodontic Arts, we know that having an asymmetrical face and smile can affect your confidence and oral and overall health. We are passionate about helping you get a symmetrical face and smile that will make you feel radiant and healthy. Let’s look at the relationship between your facial symmetry and how orthodontic treatment can fix your smile and confidence. 

What are the causes of facial asymmetry?

Genetics primarily dictates the symmetry of your face and other parts of your body. This is the biggest cause and the toughest to overcome, depending on how asymmetric the face is. A little asymmetry is typically not noticed by most people.  You might even be your worst critic. But if the asymmetry is major, this might warrant investigating the options.

You may think that you’re in the clear if you made it to adulthood with a pretty symmetrical face. While that is typically true, Even though you think you’re done growing, we are never really done growing–or changing, if you call “change” growth. 

Your bones may no longer get bigger, but they move a bit into another shape, which can lead to asymmetry.  Also, your cartilage is still growing, which can alter your facial symmetry as you age. But there are other reasons why you may find yourself dealing with asymmetry that you may not have thought about, in addition to genetics and aging, such as uneven muscle pull, accidents, and infections. 

There are also severe 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 conditions are typically temporary.

What are the side effects of facial asymmetry?

Studies have found that the symmetry of one’s face can affect how attractive one appears to others and that humans usually prefer a more symmetrical look. While nobody has perfect facial balance, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just an aesthetic issue. Regarding functionality, facial asymmetry can disrupt how you speak and eat and even cause jaw or head pain. 

In some patients at our McKinney office, facial asymmetry is 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 severe impact on your health than just a crooked smile. At Jensen Orthodontic Arts, our experienced team can provide specialized care for your unique needs to give you the smile you deserve. 

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. Luckily, Dr. Jensen and his skilled team have plenty of experience correcting facial asymmetry with advanced options. 

We can evaluate the relationship between your facial features and oral health to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs! In most cases, we can resolve facial asymmetry with non-invasive treatments, and modern orthodontics can help you get the smile you deserve efficiently and on budget. 

Let’s take a closer look at a few ways we can help.

Orthodontic treatment

For cases that are typical or mild, involving just malpositioned teeth, Dr. Jensen can use traditional braces or even clear aligners like Invisalign to correct your symmetry. Don’t let the prospect of braces be discouraging, though. Modern technology has made metal braces much smaller and more comfortable to wear. 

You can even personalize your braces with colored elastic bands to make the process a little more fun. And, if you want 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. 

Palatal expander

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 at Jensen Orthodontic Arts 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. 

Jaw surgery

The most common and best-practiced solution to facial asymmetry is still jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery. We reserve that procedure for extreme cases with patients who are not likely to see adequate results from orthodontic treatment like braces alone.  Now, most people will not go for a surgical correction if it’s just about correcting an overbite.  But,  if the surgery will correct the facial balance or proportion, recessive jaw, and skewed face along with better tooth alignment, then surgery in combination with orthodontics is hitting a home run for people. Also, know that jaw surgery is only done in combination with orthodontics, not instead of orthodontics.  

Some issues are best managed with a prosthodontic approach–that is, replacement or reshaping of teeth with veneers, crown, bridges, or by dental implant support.   Therefore, if there are restorative needs and a few teeth associated with your skewed face or canted bite, this may be Dr. Jensen’s recommendation as part of a comprehensive plan to make you look great.  After all, Dr Jensen is a Prosthodontist as well and can therefore perform these types of procedures at a specialty level along with the orthodontics.

Can Orthodontics Fix Facial Asymmetry?Visit Jensen Orthodontic Arts for a beautiful AND functional smile

Your smile is a big deal, and you can trust Dr. Jensen and his skilled team to give you the care you deserve. Our Jensen Orthodontic Arts team is knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic process.

Our dedication to people throughout McKinney and the surrounding communities to sincerely and honestly inform you of the issues and possible solutions shines through our exceptional and individualized care. We pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies. 

When you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey to facial symmetry, Dr. Jensen and his expert team are ready to help. Schedule your FREE consultation today!