Here at Innovative Orthodontics, we’re committed to giving every patient the best bite possible by improving the upper and lower arch relationship. This allows the teeth to come together properly, brings the teeth and jaws into alignment, and positively impacts the face shape and features. Orthodontists like Dr. Waters and Dr. Clayton are experts in balancing the function and appearance of a patient’s smile, which is an essential skill if you’re dealing with facial asymmetry caused by a jaw imbalance or misaligned bite!
While most of us have some sort of facial asymmetry happening, it tends to be pretty subtle. But some facial asymmetries are far more apparent, including those caused by orthodontic issues. If this is something you’ve been dealing with, you already know that asymmetry can affect the appearance of your smile and your face in general. Untreated orthodontic problems can also lead to other symptoms, such as jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and more. That’s where we come in!
Our expert team has the education and experience necessary to identify the type of orthodontic issues that may lead to facial asymmetry. Once we’ve found the root cause, we can help balance out your facial symmetry and improve the overall appearance of your smile! Keep reading below to learn more about what can cause asymmetries and how we can treat them!
What 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, crossbites, and open bites. Here’s a closer look at what’s behind these conditions 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 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, often affecting 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 like the ones above shift your teeth over time. In turn, this can move your jaw bone and affect the overall appearance of your face. Our personalized treatment plans for each patient help produce a more natural bite and a more symmetrical facial appearance. We use a range of affordable treatment options to achieve this.
Traditional metal braces are the most widely used orthodontic appliance for a reason—they have a proven track record of successfully correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. Though they’ve been around for a long time now, braces have seen some serious upgrades in recent years. They’re far more comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing than previous designs were! Metal braces are one of our most cost-efficient options and can be particularly useful in cases that are complex or severe.
Sometimes called ceramic braces, these function in the same way metal braces do but come with the added benefit of clear brackets. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored bands, they’re an incredibly subtle way to straighten the teeth! Because they are far less visible than their metal counterparts, clear braces are popular with image-conscious teens and adults. The ceramic brackets are slightly larger and a bit more brittle than the metal ones, so we tend to use them on the upper front teeth more often than the lower teeth.
Invisalign clear aligners
Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth over time. These aligners offer an extra measure of freedom and flexibility that patients love! Invisalign aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks for the system to work. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. When worn as directed, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.
What about severe cases of facial asymmetry?
Patients with severe facial asymmetry can still benefit from orthodontic treatment, but it will often need to be combined with surgery for the best results. 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, you can trust that your orthodontist will work closely with your surgeon to give you a stress-free experience with superior results!
Give your smile the best with treatment from Innovative Orthodontics
Have you been struggling with facial asymmetry due to orthodontic issues? Dr. Waters and Dr. Clayton can help you achieve a balanced smile and a more symmetrical facial appearance! We’d love to meet you and walk you through all of your options, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our Savannah, Rincon, or Pooler office.