Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question on upper lip lifts. A little of my lower teeth is already showing when my lips are slightly apart. This is probably due to a chin reduction I had via the intraoral approach. I am concerned that the show / visibility of my lower teeth will be exacerbated if my upper lip length is reduced further. Can the upper lift length be reduced without increasing the show of the lower teeth?
A: I am not aware that a subnasal upper lip lift ever increases the show of the lower teeth. It can increase marginally upper tooth show, perhaps by a millimeter or so in some cases. The further away a structure is from the point of pull, the less movement effect it has on it. In most lip lifts any increased tooth show is only temporary at best.
But if one wants to avoid any risks of tooth show in a subnasal lip lift, either the upper or lower teeth, no more than 1/4 of the measured philtral length in millimeters should be reoved. That is how you determine the amount of skin under the base of the nose to remove in a subnasal lip lift.
Dr. Barry Eppley