Q: I am interested in making my weak jaw look much stronger. My chin is very short and my lower face looks too small compared to the rest iof my face. The more research I do , the more I think I might have micrognathia (abnormally small jaw), and I don’t know that jaw implants would not be enough to make me look normal. I would have to make my jaw bigger through other means like surgery or appliances. All the maxillofacial surgeons I have talked to deny giving me surgery because they claim they only do surgeries for people who have bad bites/deformities etc. and not for people born with a genetically smaller face/jaw. My bite is normal and I have had orthodontics in the past. This is getting me really sad because I feel I have run out of solutions. I need to expand my lower jaw significantly before I get implants. What is a surgical or non surgical way to make the jaw significantly bigger? I am thinking about lower jaw expanders and then add your implants. Or possibly bilateral sagittal split osteotomies (BSSRO) to advance the jaw and then add your implants on top of them.
A: There is no mystery here or need to do research to figure out what you have. You have a short lower jaw…period. A short lower jaw = micrognathia. Your entire lower jaw can NOT be moved forward by orthognathic surgery or a BSSRO. You have to have a bad bite or Class II malocclusion to do so. Moving your lower jaw moves your lower teeth with it. You can do a BSSRO if you want to have a bite where you lower teeth sit in front of your upper teeth and they don’t fit or come together at all. Get the idea of ever moving your lower jaw out of your mind…..unless you want to spend 3 years in orthodontics to reverse your bite and prepare it for surgery by giving you a bad bite. Your lower jaw is so significantly short (> 15mms) that even the biggest chin implant will not provide ideal correction. This is why you need a CHIN OSTEOTOMY, most likely with a chin implant placed in front of the moved chin bone. There is no such thing as a ‘lower jaw expander’ nor are there any non-surgical treatment methods.Your only lower jaw options are jaw angle implants for the back and a chin osteotomy/implants for the front. Focus your attention on these considerations, rather than searching for something that doesn’t exist or can not be done on you. These are your only viable solutions
Dr. Barry Eppley