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Chin Augmentation

What is chin augmentation and why would someone want it?

Chin augmentation is a procedure that improves the shape, size or projection of the chin.  It is most commonly desired by individuals whose chin does not project forward enough to balance with their other facial features.  Under-projection of the chin may be simply a result of one’s genetics, or it could appear from the aging process as facial bones gradually lose volume and the chin can fall.

What are the benefits of chin augmentation?

There can be multiple benefits to chin augmentation.  First, it can help balance the facial profile for people who have a chin that does not project adequately or to the degree desired.  Second, chin augmentation can make the face and neck appear more sculpted and refined by increasing the length of the jawbone for contrast with the neck.  This will offset the effect of fat or loose skin under the chin or in the neck.  Third, changes in chin shape can enhance the cosmetic appearance of the lower face, such as creating a “stronger” or broader chin in a male with a “weak” chin.

What types of materials are used for chin augmentation?

The chin can be augmented in three general ways.  First, a solid implant can be placed surgically, and most of these are made of silicone material, though other options are available.  Second, a non-solid filler can be injected to add chin volume or shaping as an in-office procedure.  Some of the most popular injectable fillers are composed of naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid.  Third, your own body tissue(s) can be used to augment the chin, by using fat, for example, or by shifting the chin bone itself.

Do chin implants move?

Because the chin is made of bone and only moves as a unit with the rest of the jaw bone (“mandible”), the chin implant, which is designed to rest on top of and “hug” the jaw bone, does not move around separately.  In fact, when a solid implant is placed in this way, it is often impossible to distinguish between the actual chin bone and the implant, making the implant undetectable.

How long does a chin augmentation last?

The amount of time depends on the method used for the enhancement.  In the case of a solid implant, one should expect many years of benefit since implants generally do not dissolve or degrade and may remain indefinitely.  Likewise, if the chin bone itself is surgically changed, the change would be permanent.  On the other hand, if the chin augmentation is by way of an injectable filler, the volume will gradually shrink over time.  For augmentation using your own body fat, a portion of the fat can last a long time.

How long does it take to recover from chin augmentation?

Recovery time after chin augmentation varies with the method used.  With surgery that changes the bone or places an implant on top of the bone, most of the recovery occurs over a few weeks, although reduction of residual swelling may take longer.  With filler injections, the results can be seen immediately, and the small amount of swelling that is common is generally resolved after several days.

Is it true that chin augmentation should accompany a nose job?

Because it is common for people seeking a nose job, or “rhinoplasty,” to need a large nose reduced or a hump removed, adding a chin augmentation can be complementary by making the nose look smaller and better proportioned with the face.  Of course, the benefit for each patient is determined on a case-by-case basis.

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