There are so many factors that encompass a person’s beauty or attractiveness. There’s no debate that an individual’s positivity, personality, and appearance are among the traits that can be beautiful! When it comes to facial appearance plastic surgeons, oral surgeons, and orthodontists are trained with many sets of proportions that are used as the standards of beauty. Most of these proportions are determined genetically and can’t be altered without surgery. However, an orthodontist has the opportunity to greatly affect how your lower face looks by changing the position of the upper and lower lips, which are supported by the position of the teeth in the jaw bones.
Orthodontists assess lip position from the facial photos taken before beginning treatment: your side profile picture, front picture (no smile), and front smiling picture. The side profile view and cephalometric x-ray is used to determine whether the front teeth are flared, pushed back, or in a good position. Here are just a few:
- Lip position from the E-Line: Using a cephalometric x-ray that shows your skeleton and soft tissue from a side profile, a line is drawn from the tip of the nose to the most forward point of the chin. From this line, the most forward points of the upper and lower lips are measured in millimeters. A standard used for caucasians is 2 mm behind this line for the lower lip and 6 mm behind the line for the upper lip. Lips that go too far back make the chin appear quite prominent and lips too far forward cause the chin to look small.
- Facial angle of convexity: Points are made on the soft tissue of the forehead, under the nose, and front of the chin to measure the curvature of a patient’s profile. An ideal profile is considered to be “straight”, although this doesn’t mean that these should line up in a straight line! In general, people with a small lower jaw (mandible) have convex profiles, while people with a large mandible have one that is more concave.
- The angulation of the teeth are measured in degrees and their protrusion or retrusion is measured in millimeters. Both angulation and position of the teeth and the size and position of the upper and lower jaws define what our lower faces look like! Bite problems can be of either skeletal or tooth position origin: these measurements allow orthodontists to determine what the cause of the problems are so that they can best be treated. Dr. Abdoney or Cronauer may suggest the removal of a few teeth and/or jaw surgery to improve a patient’s profile.