Hoping to enhance a weak chin? Find out here whether chin augmentation is right for you.
Chin augmentation has skyrocketed in popularity over the past year. In 2012, a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) called chin augmentation the fastest growing plastic surgery trend among all major demographics. “Chin augmentations increased by 70% last year,” confirms Yew York City Plastic Surgeon and ASPS spokesman, Derrick Antell, M.D.
The same ASPS report revealed chin augmentation has increased among both women and men with the largest number of procedures performed on adults aged 40 and older. The number of chin implant procedures performed now surpasses that of breast augmentation, Botox and liposuction combined.
What is Chin Augmentation?
Chin augmentation is a procedure done to enhance a weak or receding chin to make it more prominent. Most implants are made of silicone and other manmade materials.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia through an incision inside the mouth along the lower gum line or outside under the chin. The button implants of the past that were placed on the tip of the chin are now used much less frequently with many surgeons instead opting for longer implants that are tapered on both sides. This type of implant enhances the entire jawline and is less likely to shift than the smaller button-type implants.
“Patients who may not be ready to take the leap to surgery sometimes prefer to start with injectable fillers,” says Dr. Antell. The fillers, although temporary, produce immediate results and some patients are so pleased with their enhanced appearance, says Antell, they later opt for surgery.
Fat grafting may also be done in place of an implant in patients who have lost soft tissue and volume around the chin due to aging. During this procedure, a patient’s own fat is taken from one area and placed in the chin. It’s important to note, however, neither fillers nor fat can correct the actual size of the chin.
In some cases, a more extensive surgery may also be necessary to move or reshape the jawbone. Once the bone is repositioned, wires or screws may be required to anchor it in place. This is usually done through an incision inside the mouth.
Why Chin Augmentation is Done
Individuals with a receding chin may opt for chin augmentation to better balance the chin and nose. The procedure may also be done to give patients a more youthful appearance by sharpening the jawline, making the nose appear smaller, correcting a sagging or double chin and making the neck appear longer.
Preparing For Chin Augmentation
It’s important for all patients considering chin augmentation to discuss the procedure thoroughly with their plastic surgeon and to communicate all expectations.
A complete facial and dental analysis is normally performed to look for any problems with the teeth and jaw. Patients with problems with their bite may require dental work to ensure optimal results are achieved.
Some surgeons offer in-office computer digital imaging, which simulates surgical changes allowing patients to select their desired results. Digital photographic images help both the patient and the surgeon develop a clear understanding of the patient’s desires and present a realistic view of what can be achieved.
But digital enhancement software is now so readily available, Antell finds that by the time patients schedule an appointment with him, many of them have already experimented with their new look on their home computer. “If patients are hesitant or want to try the look on for size, we can use injectable saline to give them an idea of how they will look following treatment,” says Antell.
What to Expect After Chin Augmentation
Antell, who has both a Doctor of Medical Dentistry and a medical degree, says, in his office, the procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia with a light sedation and takes from 30 minutes to one hour. Absorbable sutures are used, so stitches don’t have to be removed later. Some surgeons use non-absorbable sutures, which are then removed at a follow-up appointment in approximately one week.
When the incision is located on the inside of the mouth, there is no dressing. If an incision was done under the chin, the patient will usually go home with a small bandage. It is normal to see some bruising and swelling. Soreness and discomfort may also be present for a few days.
In most cases, Antell says his patients are about to return to work within one to two days. Other physicians advise patients to take as much as a week off work following chin augmentation surgery. This typically depends on the extent of the surgery and the method used by the surgeon.
It’s possible to experience some numbness in the chin for up to 3 months following chin augmentation. The change in appearance is immediate, but it may take several weeks to months for swelling to completely disappear and the final results to emerge.