Can A Jawline Reduction Be Done As Much As 1.5 cms?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in jawline reduction. I really want to shorten my jawline and chin as I think the lower half of my face is too long I have a picture of me and what I hope to achieve after surgery by using a Plastic Surgery Simulator. I have no bite issues and I ideally want 1.5 cm vertical reduction of height of my jawline and chin producing a more rounder and shorter face overall. Is 1.5cm possible? Thank you

A: Vertical chin and jawline reduction can be done but not at the amount of 1.5 cms or 15mms. There is a good reason why that can not be done…the location of the apex of the roots of the lower teeth and the inferior alveolar nerve which runs through the lower jawbone. At 1.5 cms reduction, the nerve and tooth roots would be injured. There is also the issue of what would happen to the soft tissue that is currently covering your existing height of your jawbone. With that much bone removal, there would be a resultant soft tissue sag even if that much bone reduction was possible.

One issue that is common in facial bone augmentation or reduction surgery is that patients way overestimate how much change in measurements they really need. If you actually took away that much bone vertically, you would have very little jaw left. And the amount of desired in the height of our lower face in the Plastic Surgery Simulator is no where close to 15mms. That would be closer to  5 to 8mms. This is also a safer amount to lessen the risk of any soft tissue sag afterwards.  One way you can measure how much bone you can safely remove is to get a panorex x-ray (a common dental film) that lays out the entire mandible like a map so the tooth roots and internal nerve can be seen. Then the vertical bone distance can be measured and actually determined.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana