Can A Chin Implant Be An Alternative to Mandibular Advancement?

Q: Can a chin implant be an alternative route to mandibular advancement? I went to the orthodontist today for my overbite and excessively gummy smile and was told that my options are to get the Lefort maxillary surgery (or place 2 screws on my upper jaw and have wires pull my teeth-in  sections via braces- upwards to reduce the gummy areas) and mandibular advancement.  Read about LeFort and mandibular advancement and don’t think I want to go through all the pain and side affects so I looked into chin implant and I am entertaining the idea of a chin implant and the 2 screw method to pull my teeth upwards….. any suggestions?

A: Both chin augmentation and mandiibular advancement will have similar effects on the chin…bringing it further forward. How much each approach will bring it forward is more adjustable with a chin implant as different sizes can be chosen. In mandbular advancement, the chin will only be brought forward as far as the jaw comes forward and the teeth still fit together properly.

Chin augmentation is certainly a far easier and more efficient choice if the primary motivation for the surgery is the aesthetics of the chin. But it will not obviously change one’s bite so there may be some functional chewing and temporomandibular joint tradeoffs if the lower jaw is significantly short.

Mandibular advancement is a commitment both in orthodontic preparatory time and in surgical recovery. Therefore the amount of jaw shortness and how well one is able to chew and bite comes into play as to whether this effort is worth the risks.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana