Cosmetic and restorative dentists always invest in the appearances of their patients, and one aspect of how aesthetics are measured is through the amount of dentofacial deformities a patient presents when they first visit the office. When measuring the portions of the face, they are weighed in by a set of guidelines based on aspects such as jaw positioning, nasal obstruction, traumatic injury, and tooth positioning. By looking at these aspects, cosmetic dentists can diagnose and treat dentofacial deformities to create perfect symmetry for the patient and improve their dental health.
What Are Dentofacial Deformities?
Dentofacial deformities are conditions that affect the relationship of the oral structures to the facial structures and vice versa. When the teeth are at rest, taking measurements of how these structures function is the primary goal of cosmetic dentists looking to improve the aesthetic value of their patient’s treatment. It’s important to note that dentofacial deformities aren’t inherently bad or flawed but, in some cases, can present unwanted dental consequences if not treated.
In order to detect dentofacial deformities, cosmetic dentists will be measuring the effects of the facial and oral structures in relation to their speech, ability to swallow, chewing ability, respiration, and jawline function. By observing these signs with the frontal and profile appearances of the patient, dentists can detect signs of dentofacial deformities, which include:
- Gummy Smiles: Gummy smiles typically occur due to the overgrowth of the maxillary alveolus or the skeletal ridge along the interior of the face where the gums are supported. These smiles are typically the result of malocclusion or misaligned teeth.
- Open Bites: Open bites are skeletal deformities that cause changes in speech patterns, tongue thrust, and the inability to seal the lips close and can typically cause dry mouth.
- Alveolar Clefts: This condition usually occurs with either cleft palates or cleft lips and occurs in those who have not had lip or palate surgery. While surgery is recommended at ages 8 through 10, it can be surgically repaired at any age.
- Macrogenia: Macrogenia is the overgrowth of the chin in a vertical direction and is often associated with jaw deformities.
- Microgenia: Similarly to Macrogenia, it is the undergrowth of the chin in a vertical direction due to jaw deformities.
- Mandibular Asymmetry: Jawline asymmetry typically results from misaligned teeth and typically affects the chin and mandibular areas.
- Long Face Syndrome: Long face syndrome is a combination of oral and facial deformities creating elongated features in the face, but through treatment can be corrected at the same time.
How Are Dentofacial Conditions Treated Through Cosmetic Dentistry?
While orthodontists typically address most dentofacial deformities, cosmetic dentists have specific treatments that enhance the face’s aesthetics without interfering with health. These include treatments such as gum contouring, Invisalign, veneers, adjunctive orchestrated orthodontic therapy, and more. If you’ve been finding that your facial structures are impacting your quality of life, then your local cosmetic dentist for extensive treatment options is the best resource to go to for treatment.