Chin augmentation surgery with an implant is a good option to consider when one wants to improve submental fullness (ie. double chin), define the neck or jawline with or without a face lift, reduce the distraction of a relatively large nose, or create better facial proportion. Given that this involves a surgical procedure around the mouth, potential chin implant candidates are concerned that chin implant surgery could result in a crooked smile. A smile after all is the best, natural facelift. But can a chin implant affect the smile?
Chin implants can be placed either via an incision inside the mouth or just under the chin. The implant is made out of a synthetic material, such as silicone, and anchored to the jaw bone. Regardless of technique or implant material, chin surgery can potentially affect the muscles, nerves, and skin in the area. Normal postoperative swelling and stretching are the most common factors which can possibly affect a smile after chin implant surgery, which normally resolves with time. Generally, the external approach is less likely to impact the smile, but patients may worry about appearance of potential scar.
While the smile can be affected with chin augmentation surgery, the risk is lower with the external approach, and if affected, a normal smile usually returns with time. – Houtan Chaboki, MD
The patient example in these before and after photographs always felt her chin was too small. She underwent chin augmentation via an external approach with a silicone implant (medium size) by Dr. Chaboki, a Washington DC cosmetic surgeon. Postoperative photographs show a normal smile on different viewing angles. The external scar is very minimal, even on close inspection. Many patients already have an existing scar under the chin, which a plastic surgeon may utilize during chin augmentation. The patient now can’t stop smiling since she’s so happy with her improved appearance!
Chin augmentation surgery patients should discuss potential effects of chin implant surgery with their plastic surgeon. While a smile may be altered, this affect is normally temporary and resolves with time. Patients may also report a “tight” or “pressure” sensation in the early healing period. Normal, routine facial expressions are usually allowed early after surgery. However, more aggressive facial exercises may not be allowed for several weeks, based on each plastic surgeon’s specific care instructions. After an appropriate amount of healing and recovery time, facial exercises and massage might help improve any effect on a patient’s smile after a chin implant. As always, communicate with your plastic surgeon.
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