What are chin implants?
Chin implants (also known as chin augmentation, chin surgery or mentoplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that reshapes the chin by placing an implant in the chin. Chin implants come in many shapes and sizes and are made from silicon rubber or medpor, a type of biocompatible plastic.
Chin implant surgery is popular with both men and women and can be beneficial in balancing out a larger nose. A chin implant offers a permanent solution for people who want more shape in their jawline to balance out a ‘weak’ or ‘small’ chin.
Why do people get chin implant surgery?
The cosmetic procedure can help harmonize and balance your facial features. Chin implant surgery is a relatively easy procedure and can create dramatic improvement in the silhouette and profile of a person.
All of your facial features should all be proportionate to each other. If your lower jaw is set back or undersized, it can portray a weaker jaw and project a less masculine appearance. A specialist Cosmetic Surgeon can use a chin implant to create a jaw that is more aesthetically pleasing.
Would you be suitable for chin implants?
A good candidate for chin implant surgery needs to be in good health. It is also important they are not a smoker. Smoking can increase the risk of scarring and decrease the wound healing ability of the body.
Before you have chin implant surgery, your Cosmetic Surgeon will take X-rays of your chin and face. They will also discuss your expectations of the surgery; your expectations must be realistic.
People who get chin implants have a small, narrow or recessed chin. This can be characterised by:
- A chin that is proportionately short or excessively narrow
- Your chin having a ‘sunken in’ appearance
- Having no distinctive contour between your chin and neck, resulting in your chin and neck ‘blending’ together
- A small chin that doesn’t match your other facial features
- Your upper lip protruding and your chin sitting ‘way back’ towards your neck
Patients who are considering chin implant surgery report they:
- Dislike having photos taken from the side
- Feel self conscious about their appearance
- Believe their jawline makes them feel ‘weak’ or less masculine
- Have inward pointing lower lips and/or protruding upper lips
How is chin implant surgery performed?
Chin implant surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia. Your Cosmetic Surgeon has two surgical techniques to consider using. They can either insert the implant orally by making a small incision on the inside of your mouth at the intersection of the lower lip and gum. Or they can insert the chin implant externally under the chin along its natural crease line.
After the chin implant has been inserted and positioned, it will be secured onto the soft tissues of your chin with sutures or screws. The best technique to be used will be determined by your Cosmetic Doctor during your consultation.
The risks and complications of chin implant surgery are rare but may involve shifting or infection of the implant, scarring of the chin and numbness on the chin. Most patients return to work after 7-10 days. It is important to note that the final results of chin augmentation surgery are usually seen 3 to 4 months following the surgery, with some patients reporting the best results are seen 12 months after surgery.
Are there are risks or complications with chin implant surgery?
Any surgical operation brings complications of anaesthesia; your anaesthetist will outline the possible complications of having an anaesthetic.
General complications of every surgery include:
Pain. Your healthcare team will give you medication to control the pain. To reduce discomfort and prevent headaches, it’s important that you take the medication.
Blood clot in your leg (deep-vein thrombosis – DVT). This can cause pain, swelling or redness in your leg, or the veins near the surface of your leg to appear larger than normal. Your healthcare team will assess your risk. They will encourage you to get out of bed soon after the operation and may give you injections, medication, or special stockings to wear. Let the healthcare team know straightaway if you think you might have a DVT.
Blood clot in your lung (pulmonary embolus). If a blood clot moves through your bloodstream to your lungs. If you become short of breath, feel pain in your chest or upper back, or if you cough up blood, let the healthcare team know straightaway. If you are at home, call an ambulance or go immediately to your nearest Emergency department.
Specific risks and complications of chin implant surgery include:
- Chin muscles sagging in later life
- Nerve damage that can lead to permanent loss of lower lip sensation or movement
- Swelling, bruising and/or infection
- Chin implants can shift; this can lead to infection
- Reabsorption of the chin implant into the jaw bone in later life
- The risks and complications of chin implant surgery will vary from person to person. It is important to choose a highly trained and experienced Cosmetic Surgeon.
Key facts about chin implants
- Most people who choose to have chin implants think their chin looks too small. To provide facial balance and proportion, your Cosmetic Doctor may also suggest a rhinoplasty procedure.
- Because chin implant surgery can require an incision inside your mouth, it is important to tell your Cosmetic Surgeon if you smoke, or if you have any gum or dental or problems.
- If synthetic implants such as silicone are used, the results of chin implant surgery are permanent. However, removing the implant can reverse this.
- Chin implant surgery changes the size and shape of the chin, resulting in an enhanced appearance of the chin and jawline. The insertion of a chin implant can take from 30 minutes to an hour.
- A chin implant will not reduce the vertical chin height. However, if they are placed lower on the mandible (jawbone), they can increase the chin height (the distance from the lower lip border to the bottom of the chin).
Are there any alternatives to chin implant surgery?
There are surgical and non-surgical alternatives to chin implant including genioplasty (chin augmentation) and dermal fillers.
Genioplasty surgically advances the bone of the chin point forward. In some cases, bone grafts are added. If your whole jaw is set back with an overbite, you may also need to have the jaw advanced and the bite corrected. In this case, the whole jaw is the problem, not just the chin. This will require expert assessment by your Cosmetic Surgeon and an Orthodontist.
Non-surgically, chin augmentation can be achieved with injectable dermal fillers.
What is recovery like after having chin implants?
After the chin implant surgery, your chin will be supported with a dressing, chin guard or tape to secure the implant in place. You will need to wear this for 2 to 3 days. The sutures used to close the incisions will usually dissolve on their own after about three days. Your Cosmetic Surgeon may also remove it after 3 days, together with the removal of the chin support.
After your chin implant surgery, you will experience some swelling and discomfort. You may even feel like your chin is being stretched. To prevent infection and relieve any pain, you will be given antibiotics and pain relieving medication. Most patients return to work after 7-10 days.
To ensure proper healing of your new chin you will be given postoperative instructions and care that may include:
- A restricted soft diet for a few days after your surgery
- Rinsing your mouth after you eat to ensure that the sutures are kept clean
- Avoiding shaving the incision line (if you have had the external chin implant approach) for 14 days after surgery
- Sleeping with your head elevated for 2 weeks after the operation
- Refrain from performing strenuous activities for about 3 weeks.
The best way to find the best Australian Cosmetic Surgeon for chin implants
While chin implant surgery is a relatively minor cosmetic procedure, it is important to consult with several Cosmetic Surgeons. Having realistic expectations about chin implant surgery is vital. While chin implant surgery is usually effective and safe, there are risks and complications associated with it. You can find the best Australian Chin Implant Surgeons here.
Important to know
So you can make an informed decision, your elected Cosmetic Surgeon will discuss the possible risks associated with chin implant surgery. These include infection, and nerve injury. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, it's important to understand how they can be managed in the event that they occur.