Keep Your Chin Up! Let’s Talk About Chin Augmentation
With famous phrases like, “The eyes are the window to the soul,” and the ability of a pillowy set of lips to become a cultural phenomenon (we’re talking to you, Angelina Jolie) — there is no shortage of evidence pointing to the importance we place on prominent facial features. And while we often focus on the peepers and the puckers — what about the rest? It’s no secret that a strong or a weak chin can influence judgment on the strength of one’s character, leadership and attractiveness (Business Week said so…) so what can you do when the chin you were born with is less than indicative of the you that you want to convey?
While some fillers can temporarily mimic similar results, a chin implant is likely the most popular way for men and women to surgically balance out the features of the face. In fact, reshaping your chin via a surgical implant can not only improve your chin, but can also improve your jawline, make your neck more prominent and correct some facial asymmetry or deformities. And did we mention it can immeasurably improve your ability to FaceTime or take a decent Selfie? (Ridiculous… we know.) So what exactly does a chin implant procedure entail?
First, it entails you having an honest sit-down with your aesthetic plastic surgeon to talk about your reasons behind wanting a stronger chin in the first place, along with your expectations, the pros and cons of the procedure itself, and whether or not you’re a good candidate. Then it’s time to talk turkey.
Getting a chin implant is a surgical procedure meant to reshape the size of your chin by inserting an implant and/or reshaping the bone itself to enhance and rejuvenate the contours of your chin. In some cases, an implant (silicone or polyethylene) will be used to improve the chin features, in other cases, the chin bone may be cut and moved forward to achieve the desired result.
After determining whether you’re a good candidate, your doctor may need to take X-rays of your face and jaw/chin depending on your situation and your bite to assist in determining if a chin augmentation is an appropriate option for you. Chin implant procedures are typically done using either a local anesthetic injection to numb the area or under general anesthesia. A cut will be made on either the inside of the mouth or outside under the chin, creating a pocket in which to insert the implant in front of the chin bone and under the muscle. Once the implant is in place, it’s secured to the bone with sutures or screws, and then the opening is stitched up to heal.
Procedures that entail more than a simple implant to round out the chin may require moving the bone as well, in which case your surgeon will make a cut inside your mouth along the lower gum to provide access to the chin bone and then another cut through the jaw bone using a bone saw or chisel. The jaw bone might then be moved and wired or screwed into place to ensure the best results.
The pros are: “Hey! Check out my gorgeous chin!” a renewed sense of confidence, facial symmetry and, “Hey! Check out my gorgeous chin!” The procedure is also relatively quick to perform and offers near-permanent results. (It’s remotely possible that the body will reabsorb implants made from bone or fat tissue, in which case you’ll have to have the surgery redone.) Scarring is minimal and barely noticeable, and you should be able to resume your usual activities after 7 - 10 days.
The cons — As with any surgical procedure swelling and bruising can be expected (though both should be completely gone by 6 weeks post-surgery,) along with the possibilities of infection, abnormalities associated with implants that shift or become dislodged, and possible damage to nerves and musculature. You may also feel some numbness in the chin area for up to 3 months — so have those table napkins at-the-ready!
Having a heart-to-heart with your doctor will help you decide whether a chin implant is right for you.