Should I Have Lower Jaw Advancement Or A Chin Implant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 22 years old and am bothered by my small lower jaw. It is small with about a 1/2 inch discrepancy between my upper and lower teeth. I really dislike my profile.  I had an appointment with an orthodontist last week and he recommended getting braces and then having a lower jaw advancement. This sounds too extreme to me. I was wondering if I can just get a chin implant if I’m that unhappy with my looks. If you were me what would you do?

A: Your dilemma is a classic one and the decision is ultimately affected by a patient’s age, whether they have any masticatory functional symptoms, the magnitude of the jaw discrepancy and what they are willing to go through. From a long-term standpoint at your young age, both functionally and aesthetically, you should have the combined orthodontic and jaw advancement surgery. It is most certainly not extreme and is a routinue maxillofacial surgical procedure. A chin implant, while comparatively simple and providing an immediate aesthetic benefit, would offer no functional improvement for your bite, jaw function and TMJ health.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana