When the chin is out of proportion with the rest of the face it may detract
from the attractiveness of the other features. In the extreme, a jaw that
is too large or small affects dental occlusion and requires the attention of
orthodontists and oral surgeons.
Even though the dental occlusion is normal, the chin may be out of balance
with the rest of the face. It may be recessed or too small, too pointed or
crooked, too short or long, or it may protrude too much.
The disproportionate chin may be corrected in two ways (if no dental
Chin augmentation, which
reshapes the chin by inserting a silicone implant under the skin, and
Chin reductions, which involve
bone reduction with power bone instruments.
In chin augmentation surgery, implants are used to change the underlying
structure, which affects the overall balance of
facial features. Often chin
implants are used together with other facial implants, particularly cheek
implants, however, they can be used alone. This operation is often performed in
conjunction with nose surgery as well as a facelift and/or
liposuction of the
face and neck.
The purpose of chin implant is to create a distinguished,
more prominent chin, improve the neckline, enhance the balance of the face
and diminish the prominence of the nose
Chin implants are usually made of a silastic (silicone) material and are
available in two forms: as a gel within a bag, or as a solid block which is
either preformed or contoured to each individual need.
may also be used.
Before your surgery, routine laboratory tests may be requested including
blood counts and blood chemistries.
Implant surgery usually takes approximately 30 minutes, and is performed
under a local anesthetic, along with intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia
depending on your health, the extent of the procedure and whether you are having
other procedures at the same time.
After rinsing the mouth with an antiseptic
mouthwash, an incision is made in the depression between the lower lip and the
external gums of the lower teeth.
A pocket is then created between the
lining of the bone and the muscle and fat covering the chin.
The size of
the pocket is determined by the structure of the face and the esthetic goals.
An implant to fit the pocket is then put in place, along the lower lip, directly
over the jawbone or in the skin just under the chin area and the incision is closed.
The advantage to this procedure is that there is no external scar.
In the past, the incision was made in the natural crease under the chin.
Although the scar was somewhat
hidden in the crease, it was still visible.
This is why entering through the mouth is now preferred.
procedure is complete, a light pressure dressing is applied to control swelling
Incisions inside the mouth (intra-oral incision) are closed
with sutures (stitches) that dissolve. Removable sutures are used for incisions
under the chin and are taken out after five to seven days. To minimize swelling
and discomfort, the chin is usually taped for about a week.
The dressing is removed with in 2 days.
In chin reduction surgery, incisions are made either in the
mouth or under the chin. The surgeon sculpts the bone to a more pleasing
surgery, the surgeon will make an
incision inside the mouth and reposition the facial bones. The procedure,
depending on the extent of the work, takes from less than an hour to
approximately three hours.
For comfort, a soft diet is recommended until the dressings are removed.
Hot foods should also be avoided because the area tends to be numb for some time
after the surgery and there is a risk of scalding the lower lip.
Am I a good candidate?
As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are
prerequisites, but if you want to change your profile or are having nose
surgery, a facelift or facial liposuction, then chin surgery may be
Make sure that you are free of known allergies to the implant
Make sure you are not prone to scarring problems such as
Inform your surgeon about any and all medical conditions and any
allergies you may have and whether you are a
smoker or have dental or gum
problems. Also, tell your surgeon about any medications, herbal
supplements or natural supplements you are taking (both prescription and
Preparing for surgery
Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for surgery but
here are some general guidelines:
Avoid aspirin, any aspirin containing medication or any other
non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID),
for two weeks prior to
treatment. Because aspirin thins the blood, it can interfere with normal blood
clotting and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Smoking inhibits the healing process, so stop smoking before your
procedure and if you start again, make sure it is after you are completely
Avoid drinking alcohol a few days before your surgery.
Make sure to follow any fasting instructions the night before and morning
of your surgery. Your doctor may insist on an empty stomach depending on the
type of anesthesia.
Make sure that you arrange for someone to bring you home and to help you
out for 24 hours after surgery.
Will there be any pain after surgery?
Only mild discomfort is felt for the first few days after surgery because of
the pressure the implant and swelling exert in the area of the chin.
the swelling subsides, so does the discomfort.
The incision within the mouth is irritating for the first few days, just as
with any sore in that area.
A mild painkiller helps to minimize the
discomfort until the swelling subsides, usually within 7 to 10 days.
When can normal activities be resumed?
Normal activities can be resumed within 2 days, once the pressure dressing
has been removed.
After approximately six weeks, most swelling will be gone, and you can enjoy
the results of your procedure. Rigorous activity may be prohibited for the first
few weeks after surgery. Normal activity can be resumed after approximately ten
Are there any potential
The most common complication is a loss of sensation in the lower lip and chin
Due to swelling, pressure is exerted on the nerve supply to the
This loss of sensation is usually temporary and will return to
normal in several weeks.
Other complications with this procedure are rare but may include:
Extrusion or expulsion of the implant, usually as a result of infection or
a pocket that is too tight.
Erosion of the jawbone at the site of the implant occurs if the implant is
placed directly on the bone rather than on the lining of the bone.
the implant is placed too high, erosion of the bone above the implant may
cause damage to the dental roots.
A poorly positioned implant will create an unsatisfactory cosmetic result.
Implants may easily be replaced or removed through the original incision in
the event of any of these complications or if the results are disappointing.
Can chin implants be combined with other procedures?
A chin implant is often combined with a rhinoplasty.
also commonly done in conjunction with chin implants: fat in sucked from jowls,
and under the chin, the cheeks, and the neck.
This contouring provides the
finishing touch to the proportional changes that are accomplished with
rhinoplasty and chin implants.
Are there alternatives to this procedure?
An alternative to chin augmentation is
liposuction, in which excess fatty
tissue is removed to redefine the chin or neckline. Orthodontistry can treat a
malocclusion and misaligned teeth, which are often at the root of a protruding
or recessed jaw.
Who inserts chin implants and what do they cost?
Plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists, and oral surgeons trained in cosmetic
surgery of the face are specialists who would perform this procedure.
cost of the procedure varies from $500 to $2,000.