Ask the Dentist: Can Invisalign Change My Face Shape?
We know Invisalign can give us straight teeth, but word has it that the treatment may be able to alter our face shape, profile and appearance too. We dig deeper with Dr SK Boey.
For many of us, the pursuit of the ideal smile requires straight teeth. But can the pursuit of straight teeth give us the ideal face? We posed this question to i.Dental’s Dr SK Boey, an accredited Invisalign provider and an active practitioner of aesthetic and implant dentistry.
Straight to the point: can Invisalign change the shape of my face?
Yes and no. There are times when crooked teeth can influence the shape of your face — an overbite could force your upper lip to protrude, an underbite could make your lower jaw protrude, or a crossbite could cause your jaw to jut out sideways. Correcting the alignment of teeth can help resolve these issues and, in some cases, camouflage mild skeletal discrepancies to a certain degree. In my experience, these changes are often subtle but they can have a huge impact on your overall appearance.
But I’ve seen a number of post-Invisalign patients with more V-shaped faces!
It is highly unlikely that Invisalign made their faces sharper, especially in adults. Without seeing them in person, I’d have to guess that having straighter, well-spaced teeth, a more confident smile and a better profile created the illusion of a slimmer face. It could also be a matter of mild weight loss. While Invisalign gives patients the freedom to eat and drink whatever they want, the need to brush and floss after every meal can deter patients from snacking, which could then result in them shedding a couple of kilos.
Does that mean that it’s possible in teenagers?
With teenagers, we can capitalise on the adolescent growth spurt and elasticity of the bone to correct malalignment or mandibular (jaw) advancement. In that sense, there is definitely a slight advantage to get Invisalign Teen, rather than waiting until adulthood.
What if I like my profile now and don’t want it to change?
You should raise this with your Invisalign provider from the get-go, so it can be taken into consideration when they formulate a treatment plan for you. Communication is key. I encourage my patients to talk to me about what constitutes an ideal smile to them, what their concerns are, and if they have any inclinations such as maintaining their profile. Symmetry and harmony are very important in designing a smile but beauty can be subjective, after all.
How about braces?
Both Invisalign and traditional braces can be equally effective. The main difference is that it is more difficult to predict the outcome with traditional braces; tweaks and adjustments have to be made along the way. With Invisalign, however, we always start with the finish line in sight. We are able to create an accurate 3D computer simulation of how your teeth will move, agree on how they should look like at the end of the treatment, and work towards that ideal smile together.
Have more questions for Dr SK Boey? Meet her and see how your teeth will look, post-Invisalign!