What is a chin implant surgery?
Rhinoplasty & Chin Implant
It is placement of a synthetic implant on the surface of the jaw in order to augment the chin by providing increased projection to improve individual’s profile. There are several shapes and styles of chin implants available.
How is a chin implant procedure performed?
Most surgeons place the implant through a small incision (approximately ¾ of an inch) made directly behind the crease under the chin. Although some will use an incision inside the mouth, the incidence of infection is slightly higher in these circumstances; and therefore the external incision is usually favored.
Through the external incision, a pocket is made directly over the center of the jaw bone and the implant is placed in the pocket.
The incision is then closed in layers with stitches that are buried under the skin.
How long will the chin implant last?
Although a chin implant is placed with the expectation that it will last a lifetime, it may not. The implant may shift, become infected, or become exposed.
If it shifts, it can create an asymmetry or impinge on facial nerves or the roots of the teeth. In all of the above circumstances, the implant must be removed and/or replaced.
Are there alternatives to chin implant surgery?
For individuals who wish to avoid a chin implant, a sliding genioplasty is a possibility. A sliding genioplasty involves cutting the central and lower part of the jaw bone and sliding it forward and, if needed, downward.
The recovery time following a sliding genioplasty is longer than with a chin implant procedure. The sliding genioplasty procedure avoids the potential for future changes associated with an implant, such as shifting, exposure or infection.
The sliding genioplasty also allows the advancement of the muscles attached to the anterior aspect of the chin. This can impact not only the facial profile but in some cases can also improve the neck contour.
When is it the right time to consider a chin implant?
When patients present for a chin implant, it is important to be certain that their facial growth is complete and that the upper and lower teeth are in normal positions relative to one another and relative to other facial bones.
If the perceived small chin is due to abnormalities in the relationship of the upper teeth to the lower teeth or the relationship between the teeth to other facial bones, this condition must be addressed prior to considering any type of implant or genioplasty. In these situations, it is best for patients to be evaluated by maxillofacial surgeons who can assess the patients using special measurements called cephalometric studies. These measure the relationship of the jaw to the rest of the face and help determine the best course of action.