Do I Need Jaw Surgery For My Short Chin And High Jaw Angles?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m wondering if a jaw surgery can correct my facial features. My jaw appears to start almost directly from my ears and angle downwards instead of forwards like you see in pretty people. My face is long and narrows towards a tiny recessed chin.  Actually, the lower third of my face angles backwards. My chin is slightly bumpy with my mouth closed, and very bumpy when I stick my bottom lips out. I have no bite problems since I’ve had braces when I was a teen (spacers for crowded teeth and a hyrax to expand my upper palete, but no headgear or tooth removal) I’ve heard that orthodontics can lengthen the face and lead to a recessed chin and humped nose over time. I’m not sure if my braces caused my facial problems or if it is genetic because my dad also has similar facial features and also had braces when he was younger. Is there a jaw surgery, or perhaps multiple surgeries that can fix the angle of my jaw and also my recessed features?

A: Your pictures show a classic case of a short lower jaw with a small chin and a high jaw angle. Your chin also shows a mentalis muscle strain which is why it is bumpy. (muscle fasciculations) Since you have no occlusal disharmony (bite problems), jaw surgery (moving the entire jaw forward) can not be done. Even if your jaw was moved forward the high jaw angles would not be changed. (the chin would be corrected however) The proper treatment for you now is a combined sliding genioplasty (moving the chin bone forward) combined with vertical lengthening jaw angle implants. This combination puts the shape of the lower jaw in better balance. (chin comes forward, jaw angles drop down)

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana