WHAT IS CHIN AUGMENTATION
Chin augmentation, also called genioplasty, improves contours of the chin, neck and jawline. Typically, surgery involves placement of an implant around a patient’s existing chin bone to augment the size and shape of the chin and achieve a more naturally attractive balance between facial features.
Chin augmentation using surgical implants can alter the underlying structure of the face, providing better balance to the facial features. The specific medical terms mentoplasty and genioplasty are used to refer to the reduction and addition of material to a patient’s chin. This can take the form of chin height reduction or chin rounding by osteotomy or chin augmentation using implants.
- The procedure can be done awake or asleep.
- A small incision is made either below the chin or inside the mouth. Patients may expect 5-7 days of swelling in the chin area.
- Other than a few stitches, no other dressings are required.
THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR CHIN AUGMENTATION
The best candidates for chin augmentation (genioplasty) surgery are those with good dentition and normal occlusion; meaning that their upper teeth meet their lower teeth appropriately.
Some patients have a weak chin because their jaw sits back too far compared to their mid-face.
These individuals may benefit first from an orthodontic evaluation as their greatest improvement may be from a repositioning of the jaw known as orthognathic surgery.
These patients may also benefit from a chin augmentation at the same time or after their jaw surgery.
ADVANTAGES OF A CHIN AUGMENTATION
- Produce a more attractive triangular shape to the jawline.
- Increase the height or width of the chin.
- Minimize the appearance of jowls or a double chin.
- Bring balance to the nose and chin.
- Change the appearance of chin dimplin.
TYPES OF PROCEDURES
Surgical chin augmentation- The most common type of surgical chin augmentation uses a chin implant. There are many types of chin implants and many are described in the previous section. Chin augmentation with a chin implant is usually a cosmetic procedure. An incision is made either under the chin or inside the lower lip, a pocket is made and the implant placed into the pocket. Some chin implants are fixed to the mandible, while others are held in place by the pocket itself.
Another surgical chin augmentation uses the lower prominence of the mandible as the “implant.” Known as a sliding genioplasty, the procedure involves cutting a horseshoe-shaped piece of bone from the lower border of the mandible known as an osteotomy. For chin augmentation, the piece of bone is advanced forward to increase to projection of the chin. The piece can also be recessed backward for a chin reduction. The new position is held in place with a titanium step plate using titanium screws. The bone segment can also be fixated with 26 or 27 gauge wires and IMF (wiring the jaw shut) for 3-4weeks.
More involved Orthognathic Surgery may be required in cases where the chin is small and a significant overbite co-exists. While the procedures above may improve the cosmetic appearance of the chin.
Non-surgical chin augmentation- Another method of chin augmentation uses injectable filler. Most filler are temporary, with results lasting months to years. Common temporary fillers include hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxyapatite preparations. Permanent fillers, like “free” silicone, have fallen out of favor due to the risk of migration, chronic inflammation and infection, which can permanently disfigure the chin.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Strengthen a weak, underdeveloped chin. - Produce a more attractive triangular shape to the jawline. - Increase the height or width of the chin. - Minimize the appearance of jowls or a double chin. - Bring balance to the nose and chin. - Change the appearance of chin dimplin
The procedure can be done awake or asleep. A small incision is made either below the chin, or inside the mouth. Patients may expect 5-7 days of swelling in the chin area. Other than a few stitches, no other dressings are required.
You can expect to resume regular activities in about one to two weeks, and can usually return to work within a week.
There is a chance of hematoma (blood pooling), seroma (build-up of fluid under the skin), numbness from nerve damage, hyperpigmentation (permanent discolorations), implant shifting, asymmetry, and general dissatisfaction with the final results. Some complications may require revision surgery.
The results are immediate. At first you may think the implant is too big due to the swelling, but give it time. You may also need to adjust to the overall look of your new chin.