Chin implants, or mentoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure which uses prosthesis to augment the shape of the chin and lower jaw. Chin implants are made of various materials including silicone, acrylic, Gore-Tex and hydroxyapatite. They come in a variety of lengths, thicknesses and heights in order to extend down the length and width of the chin to enhance the profile of the patient’s face at the jawline.
A GOOD CANDIDATE for chin implants includes:
The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for chin implants:
The process of placing chin implants is an outpatient procedure which can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Mentoplasty takes less than an hour to perform depending on whether other cosmetic procedures are done at the same time. It may be necessary to augment other portions of the face, along with the chin, to create a profile that is balanced with the rest of the facial features. Chin implants are often combined with rhinoplasty, cheek implants or lip augmentation to create an overall balance of the face. Chin implants can also be done at the same time as a facelift or blepharoplasty.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision below the chin. The skin will be raised and the implant will be placed into a well-fitted pocket. The implant may be secured using sutures to hold it in place. However, some surgeons use screws to attach the implant to the bone or soft tissue. Then, the surgeon will use tissue-layered sutures to close the incision and reinforce the acceptance of the prosthesis (by the body) by building scar tissue over it.
Another technique may consist of making an incision inside the mouth to eliminate noticeable scarring. The surgeon will create a pocket in front of the jawbone and the implant is securely placed within the pocket and sutured closed. Many surgeons do not recommend this method due to the increased risk of an infection and superior displacement.
An alternative procedure to chin implants is called sliding genioplasty or chin advancement. This procedure involves horizontally cutting the chin bone and advancing it. This can result in a straighter chin that is also longer or shorter (vertically).
A non-surgical chin augmentation technique uses dermal or soft tissue fillers to augment the chin and jawline. The injected material is made of hyaluronic acid, which naturally occurs in the human body, and has minimal risks and side effects. Soft tissue fillers for chin augmentation are an easy and less expensive approach for more subtle improvements. However, the results are temporary and repeat treatments are needed to maintain the results.
The cost of chin implants is between $3000 and $5000 and includes the surgeon’s fee, facility fee and anesthesia fee. However, this cost can be increased depending on the geographic location of the facility and if other procedures are performed at the same time. Since chin implants is a cosmetic procedure, health insurance will not cover the surgery. Therefore, it will be an out-of-pocket cost.
RECOVERY after chin implants is very mild. While patients generally feel little discomfort, they are still advised to take it easy for the first few days. Mild pain can be managed with medication but is rarely needed after the first few days. An antibiotic may also be prescribed as a preventative against infections. The patient can expect some soreness in the chin region as well as tightness due to the increased volume of the implant. Bruising and some swelling can also be expected. It is recommended to keep the head elevated, during the first few days, to help minimize swelling. A compression garment may be placed around the chin to help with swelling and support the tissue during healing. Light activities can resume the day of the surgery but patients should gradually increase to normal activities during the first week.
DOWNTIME is limited after chin implants. Exercise should be avoided for 2 weeks and contact sports should be avoided for 2 to 3 months. Patients who had an incision within the mouth may need to eat a bland, soft diet for the first few days to allow the gums time to heal. Furthermore, the mouth should be rinsed with salt water after each meal to keep the sutures free of debris. Sutures inside the mouth are usually dissolvable and will be absorbed in 1 or 2 weeks. Sutures under the chin will need to be removed 4 to 7 days after surgery.
The results after chin implants can take some time to visualize due to swelling and the need for the implant to settle into the bone. When the majority of the swelling subsides, a couple weeks after surgery, patients will be better able to see their progress. However, the implant will take several months to settle into position due to the pressure it places on the overlaying soft tissue (which will begin to thin out). The implant will also apply pressure on the underlying bone and cause the implant to settle into the bone (about two or three millimeters). This settling process will reduce some of the implant projection but it will also help to hold the implant into place.
Scarring under the chin is not very noticeable and will fade over time. Scarring inside the mouth will not be visible. Chin augmentation with implants is permanent unless the patient experiences significant trauma to the chin (especially within the first few months after surgery). Undue pressure or unexpected force to the implant can alter the results.
Limitations of chin implants include:
The risks involved with chin implants can include:
While chin implants can create a stronger chin, and better contour of the jawline, the procedure must also provide an aesthetic balance for the entire facial region. Most surgeons will use chin sizers and computer imaging to help each patient find the right size implants to compliment the rest of the face. To reduce the risks, and gain optimal results, patients should choose a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon that understands facial aesthetic balance. This can easily be determined by a patient looking at the surgeon’s “before and after” facial photos to evaluate whether or not the surgeon has a good, natural sense of 3D aesthetic balance.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team through exclusive interview provided by Dr. Mark Anton of Anton Aesthetics in Newport Beach, CA.