Chin Implants Are a Solution For Your Weak Jaw

Over 14,000 chin augmentations are performed every year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. So if you've ever thought you had a "weak chin" or felt the desire to have a stronger, more bold profile, you aren't alone. Chin implants are a common form of facial cosmetic surgery, and both men and women have the procedure. But there are certain factors that make someone a good candidate for this procedure, and as always, you should weigh the potential risks and benefits before having any type of elective procedure.

Why Have A Chin Implant?

The goal of having a chin implant is to balance out your facial features. Having a too small chin can cause you to look as though you have a big nose or beefy neck. There are several forms of chin implants and surgeries, but first you and your doctor need to determine if the procedure is right for you.

Ideal Candidates

To be an ideal candidate for a chin implant, you need to be in overall good health. You also shouldn't have any problems with your teeth or jaw as this could complicate the surgery. If you have any type of heart condition or are on any kind of medication, be it prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to inform your surgeon.

How It Works

Composition & Position

Most chin implants are positioned right over the bones of your jaw. Chin implants are constructed of silicone or other flexible synthetic material. The implants come in many different sizes and shapes, and your surgeon will determine what will work and look best with your facial features and bone structure. 

The Procedure

The surgery itself can be performed in a well-equipped surgeon's office or as an out-patient in a hospital. You will be given either an intravenous or twilight anesthesia before the procedure. Silicone chin implants are inserted through a small incision that the surgeon will make beneath your chin. He or she will then insert and position the implant, secure it in a tissue pocket or by attaching it to bone or tissue with small screws. The incision is then sutured shut and the procedure is done. The surgery should take 30 to 45 minutes.

Alternate Procedures

You can also have what is called a chin advancement or sliding genioplasty. This is a procedure where the surgeon actually cuts part of your existing chin bone horizontally and repositions it to make your chin either look more straight, lengthen it or shorten it. The incision for this procedure is made inside the lip and this surgery takes a bit longer.

Aftercare

After your chin implant surgery you should be able to go home the same day. Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you may have to have someone else drive you. Light activities will be advised for the rest of that day and you may experience some swelling and soreness. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication if needed, but usually only over-the-counter pain medicine is needed. You may also be prescribed some antibiotic to prevent post-surgical infections. Keeping your head elevated is also a good idea. You should be able to go back to work in a week or less, depending on your recovery response.

If the incision was made in your lip, eating soft foods for a week or so is advised. You should try to keep food from sticking to the sutures, so rinsing your mouth is important.

Possible Side Effects

Some potential side effects of chin implant surgery include a numbing sensation in your lip or mouth. This will wear off in a day. Some soreness, swelling and redness could occur for a few days. 

You also could possibly get an infection after the surgery. If antibiotics don't clear it up, another surgery may have to be performed. You could also potentially lose some feeling in your chin. 

There is also the potential for the implant to slide. This would necessitate another surgery also. You should try to avoid any impacts to your chin for at least four weeks after your surgery to allow time to heal.