Edition V19N04 | Year 2014 | Editorial Orthodontics Highlights | Pages 15 to 17
Asymmetries not greater than 5.6 mm go unnoticed by laypeople. The literature extensively reports the need for a certain degree of asymmetry between the right and left sides of the face, which give facial contour a natural form. Should both sides of the face be completely symmetrical, they give the person an artificial and unpleasant look. Nevertheless, what is the acceptable limit of normal asymmetry? With a view to answering this question, English researchers conducted a study1 in which they analyze frontal facial photographs of female and male patients (Fig 1) and develop different degrees of asymmetry in the chin area. The same images were analyzed by laypeople, students and professionals of Dentistry, as well as dental-surgeons and orthodontists in terms of perception of different degrees of facial asymmetry in male and female patients. Results revealed that the two major factors influencing perception of asymmetry were the evaluator and the degree of asymmetry. Orthodontists proved much more critical of asymmetry in comparison to laypeople. The more asymmetric was an image, the more noticeable asymmetry was. The research outcomes prove necessary to assess each case individually before referring a patient to surgery.