Which Is Better For Chin Augmentation – An Implant Or A Sliding Genioplasty?

Q: I am considering having augmentation for my short chin. I am confused as to whether to use an implant or move the bone. Doctors seem to recommend both ways and it is not clear as to which way may be best for me. Can you help me decide?

A: Your two main choices for chin augmentation are either an implant or a sliding osteotomy. Both will work and each has its own disadvantages and advantages. An implant is simpler, has a quicker recovery and can make the chin wider as it comes forward. (if you want to change your v-shaped chin in frontal view to a more round or even a more square shape) There are even square chin implants to help create that look. The only disadvantage is that it is an implant…although I don’t really see any lifelong problem with having an implant in the chin. That is a very safe place for a facial implant and it is not likely to ever cause any problems requiring its removal. The osteotomy involves moving the chin bone instead of an implant. It is a ‘bigger’ operation, requires a plate and screws and thus there is more expense. It’s main advantage over an implant is that it is better at increasing the vertical length of the chin should that be needed. An implant can not do that very well at all. Also in big horizontal advancements (8 to 10mms or more) in a young person, moving your own chin bone forward is probably better than having a big implant on the end of the chin. An implant can deepen the labiomental sulcus whereas an osteotomy can keep it from getting deeper than where it started. This means that it may look more natural in the long run for big chin advancements.

In the end, you have to look at the anatomy of your chin deficiency and determine whether an implant or osteotomy can correct it the best and the most natural. Other important consideration are your age and the economics of the surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana