Chin augmentation is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic facial surgeries and has a long history in plastic surgery. Other than rhinoplasty, in which it is often concurrently performed, it is the most frequently changed facial skeletal structure for cosmetic enhancement. While historically done with bone and cartilage, it is almost always done today by a large collection of preformed synthetic implants that offer a wide range of three-dimensional changes of horizontal projection, width and vertical length.
While chin augmentation is often perceived as a simple and straightforward procedure, both by surgeons and patients alike, there are numerous issues that must be considered for a successful result.
Chin Augmentation is a Three-Dimensional Facial Enhancement. While the historic assessment of chin deficiency, and the success of chin augmentation, has been based on the amount of horizontal augmentation, this dimensional consideration alone is inadequate. Adequate chin augmentation should take into consideration its width as well as its height or vertical length. These dimensions can be almost as important as horizontal projection when one is viewed or seeing themselves in the frontal and oblique facial views. Many of these dimensions can be changed by contemporary chin implant designs.
The Shape of the Chin Is Different in Men and Women. The shape of the face has some very gender specific differences and the chin is no exception. Men want a stronger chin that can aesthetically have more projection and width. (squareness) Conversely, a woman’s chin can be a little bit weaker (less projection) and should have more of a triangular shape, it should also not be too vertically long. The most frequent aesthetic chin augmentation ‘complication‘ is a chin augmentation result in a women that looks too big, often being too wide.
The Chin Is Connected to the Rest of the Jawline. Deficiencies in the chin almost always reflect other jawline issues since the chin is just an extension of the total mandibular bone and its growth and development. For these reason, short chins will almost always have a high jaw angle. For men this may mean that they may aesthetically benefit by the placement of jaw angle implants with their chin augmentation to really given them a much better shaped overall jawline.
The Path of Chin Implant Insertion Can Affect The Results. Chin implants can be inserted through either inside the mouth or from under the chin. While patients understandably are focused on avoiding a scar under the chin, the intraoral route is associated with a far greater risk of complications and poor implant positioning not to mention recovery…all due to disruption of the insertion of the mentalis muscle. It actually takes much greater technical skill to get a good chin augmentation result when done from the ‘scarless’ method of chin implant placement.
Not All Chin Implants Come Preformed Out Of A Box. While there is a wide variety of styles and sizes of chin implant available today, a performed implant may still not be the most ideal for some patients. If the jawline/chin has asymmetry or the amount of chin augmentation is extreme and may require an extended chin implant, a custom designed chin implant can be the much better way to go. While it does add cost, an unhappy result or revisional surgery may end up costing more later.
Dr. Barry Eppley