By augmenting an overly small chin or reducing a disproportionately large one, chin remodelling can bring your features into better, more attractive balance.
Real beauty depends far more on a graceful balance of all your features than on the shape of any one feature alone. For example, a perfect nose can appear too large if the chin is excessively small. At the same time, an overly large chin can spoil the harmony of otherwise attractive features.
Chin remodelling, whether it takes the form of reduction or augmentation, can help bring all your features into better balance.
- Chin reduction is accomplished either by reshaping the bone with a burr to produce a smooth contour or by removing a small piece of bone and repositioning the chin. This process is referred to a reduction genioplasty.
- Chin augmentation increases the size of the chin either through the use of an implant, or by removing a section of bone, moving it forward and fixing it into position. This second technique is called sliding genioplasty, and can also be used for a vertical adjustments of facial dimensions.
- It is not uncommon for either of these procedures to be performed in conjunction with a face lift or nose reshaping.
A central consideration in deciding whether chin remodelling is appropriate is whether dental occlusion (the way your teeth meet) is correct. If it is not, orthognatic surgery supported by orthodontic preparation may be needed. This process can take as much as two years.
In most cases, however, dental occlusion is satisfactory and the appearance of the chin can be dealt with by remodelling alone.
At your consultation, Dr Briggs will take a general medical history and ask you about your goals for your procedure. He will also describe the various options available, and help you determine which will be right for you.
Both chin reduction and chin augmentation are usually performed under general anaesthesia. Typically they are done as day cases.
Both procedures may be performed either through an incision inside the mouth or one placed under the chin. If the procedure is being done at the same time as a face lift or neck lift, the incision will most likely be placed under the chin and also used as access for the neck rejuvenation.
In the case of chin augmentation, an implant may be used or the bone may be reshaped.
- When an implant is used, chin tissues are first freed from the bone. The implant is then placed, adjusted as needed and fixed to the bone with two titanium screws. The chin tissues are then reattached over the implant and your wounds are closed with absorb-able stitches.
- If the bones are to be reshaped, a horizontal wedge of bone is removed from the lower part of the chin, moved forward and fixed into its new position.
In the case of chin reduction the bone may be burred down or actually cut.
- Working from side to side, the surgeon may burr down the chin bone to a smoother, more pleasing contour.
- Alternatively, he may remove a wedge of bone just over the chin point. The chin is then re-positioned slightly back and higher up to produce a chin in better harmony with your other features.
You will need to arrange for an adult to accompany you home and stay with you through the first night. As you recover, there are several things you should know:
- If your surgery was done through incisions inside your mouth you will need to stick to a soft diet for the first week so your wounds can heal properly. Chewing can cause your suture line to break and lead to infection.
- Swelling is to be expected for the first seven to ten days. This swelling will reduce more quickly if you use a chin-neck elastic garment.
- A course of antibiotics and painkillers will be prescribed for you. It is important that you do not take aspirin as it can promote bleeding.
- Even if you have incisions (cuts) inside your mouth it is advisable to continue brushing your teeth regularly. A soft toothbrush is best for the first two weeks. You will also need to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash four times a day.
- You should plan on taking two weeks away from work to allow your bruises to clear and your chin to settle sufficiently so you are comfortable with it.
- Infection caused by a breakdown of incisions within the mouth can be problematic, particularly if there is an implant. If this happens, it is often wiser to remove the implant to promote control of the infection, then repeat the procedure three to four months later.
- The nerves that give feeling to the lower lip travel through the jawbone and emerge on either side of the chin. Very rarely, these nerves may be damaged during surgery, usually leading to temporarily numbness in the lower lip.