What Is The Best Implant For My Weak Chin?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 56 year-old man who has always had a weak chin. While I have always wanted to do something about it, I could just never get the nerve to go in and see a plastic surgeon. My girlfriend has given me the encouragement to now do and I am going to make the move to see what is possible. Could you give me some direction in what you think I need? I think the problem is more than just a short chin, my overall jaw just seems smaller. I don’t want to get a chin implant placed on the end of my jaw if it does not look right or natural. I have attached some photos of me from the front and side for your evaluation.

A: Having a weaker jaw/chin in an older male always raises questions about both bone and soft tissue management since there is some degree of sagging of the jowls and neck. While you would undoubtably be helped along the jawline with a facelift (neck-jowl lift), I am going to pass over that issue for now as dealing with the bony deficiency should always been done first. Since a lower facelift affects the posterior jawline and neck angle the most, it would have its greatest effect on the jaw angle area. Whether you would benefit by jaw angle augmentation or a total jawline procedure is unclear to me at present. (and also unlikely) Therefore for this discussion I am only going to focus on your chin deficiency and submental fullness which are your biggest facial imbalance issues.

What you need is a chin implant and neck liposuction/submentoplasty. The question is whether a preformed or off-the shelf chin implant will work or whether a custom implant is preferred. Both will make positive changes. It is just a matter of degree and how substantial that change is. You do have both horizontal, vertical, and transverse (width) chin deficiency which is common when the chin is very weak. The problem, as you have accurately pointed out, is really an overall jaw growth issue not just a simple short chin. This makes the entire lower face short in every dimension.

I have done some predictive imaging based on both off-the-shelf and custom implant approaches so you can get a feel for how the two type of chin implants differ. A custom chin implant will address all dimensional deficiences. and produce a more profound change..if one finds that look appealing.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana