Facial aesthetics or appearance and pleasantness of face of a person depend on the proportions and a balance between the forehead, nose and chin. How balanced are these factors on your face?
The “Rule of thirds” applies to forehead, nose and chin—that is each should part should be approximately a third of the whole face. The chin like forehead, and nose has an important part in balancing the facial aesthetics. Hence an inappropriate size of the chin like a short chin – retrognathia or a very prominent chin either too long or too forward - prognathism can affect the appearance of a face negatively.
Chin augmentation, is a surgery that is done to build a larger chin and thereby improve the profile or look of the patient. This surgical procedure called mentoplasty. Chin augmentation is done using surgical implants. Chin augmentation or surgery for shaping of the chin is often done along with rhinoplasty or a nose job to balance the facial aesthetics.
The commonly used materials for chin implant include silicone elastomers, porous polyethylene, and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE). Of these ePTFE is most often preferred as it has good biocompatibility with human body and does not harm the body. Although ePTFE flexible soft and porous, it is very tough and durable. The implant is secured to the bone using titanium screws. Eventually bone and soft tissue grow through the implant and hold it in place.
AlloDerm is also often used as an implant. This material derived from human tissue donors. Bone either from the patient or from a donor can be used as implant as well. However it has been noted that donated bone (self or from a donor) for implant surgery has a tendency for high infection rate after surgery, even decades after the surgery is completed.
The surgery is done under general anesthesia or twilight IV (intravenous) sedation. The implant is inserted through an incision made underneath the chin or in the mouth area (the place where the lip skin and the gum meet). The surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
In some people implants may not be needed to do chin augmentation as just manipulating the jaw bone (mandibular) can cause a noticeable and better change in the appearance of the chin.
As there can be some pain after the surgery you may be prescribed pain medications. You may have swelling that may last for weeks or months, especially when screws are used to secure the implant in place. Incision scar will depend on the place where incision is made. Some patients may complain of numbness for up to 3 months. The effects of the chin augmentation become noticeable a few months after surgery and remain so for the patient’s lifetime.
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