How Much Bone Can Be Removed In A Chin Reduction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question regarding chin reduction. Could my chin be reduced in height vertically with out having my chin split into pieces? I think that is too much of a risk and to much time to recover from for me. Is there something else you can possibly do like burr it upwards from underneath as well as backwards because I have what I consider to be a pointed chin. I would like to have it rasp to the point it looks wider, flatter and shorter. Is this surgery at all available? How much is allowed to be vertically shaved off before it reaches into the too much taking off zone? I would prefer the incision inside my mouth being as though I’m a person of color but I’m willing to take that risk to have the chin exposed through the under cut to obtain the result I so desperately desire. I’ll just get my scar revised if that’s what it takes.

A: The type of chin reduction you are referring to is common and is known as a submental chin reduction. While burring is used for some minor shaping, more significant reduction is done by a saw blade cut and the edges then burred. This can make a radical reduction in vertical chin length and definitely can take a pointy chin and make it shorter, wider and flatter. With this much vertical chin reduction, the submental approach is best anyway because it allows the excess soft tissue to be removed and tightened as well to prevent a witch’s chin deformity. The amount of bone reduction that can be done is based on the location of the tooth roots and the exit of the mental nerve which is usually above the 10 to 12mm mark from the lower edge of the chin.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana