Q: Dr. Eppley, I am seeking vertical facial lengthening. I am told and agree, that my face is short and looks clamped. My dad has a bite issue and his face also is short but not as short as mine. I was told by an orthodontist that it was a borderline deformity. I have noticed strange looks from others and have caught some laughing at me. This is affecting my quality of life. I have heard of procedures to lengthen the jaw and was wandering if this falls under facial asymmetry or if it doesn’t if you could correct this?
A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. What you have is most certainly a short lower third of the face due to the vertical height of the lower jaw. (and some jawline asymmetry) Many people that have this vertical jawline deficiency have a near 100% overbite and are over closed, thus creating that look. Since you have been clearly seen and evaluated by an orthodontist this is not the primary cause in your case.
Your vertically short lower jawline (lower facial height) can be best and only treated by a vertical facial lengthening surgery using a custom jawline implant that will lengthen the entire jawline from front to back. This is made from a 3D CT scan and is custom designed for each patient. This is aided by the use of computer imaging of pictures and computer design software, meshing the two together to create a much improved but not over corrected result. The custom jawline implant is inserted through incisions inside the mouth.
Dr. Barry Eppley