Which Materials Are Used to Construct Chin Implants?
Chin implants are designed to improve the prominence of your chin. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, and they can also be custom designed to restore proportion to your chin. If you have a weak and receding chin and wish to improve your jawline, you should consider coming in for chin augmentation. The cool thing is, you can choose the style you want, from a narrow chin to a broad square chin to one that fills in the hollow in front of your jowls. Many options exist. This will be discussed during your consultation and fitting with Dr. Compton, and you will also be able to try them on.
The chin augmentation procedure is also referred to as genioplasty and can be combined with a rhinoplasty to help balance your facial features.
Choice of Material
Many materials are used in the creation of chin implants and they will be discussed below. Dr. Compton prefers to use only solid silicone implants for cosmetic patients due to their ease of use, biocompatibility, easy intraoperative tailoring, low infection rate, and easy removal if required in the future.
- Silicone – Silicone is one of the most commonly used implant materials. It is smooth, soft, flexible, and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The tricky part about silicone implants is that they do not incorporate into the surrounding tissue, so the surgeon must be skilled enough to make sure that the pocket is precise. I take this variability out of the equation by securing the implant with titanium screws into the underlying bone. This prevents micromovements and minimizes bone resorption. If the silicone implant is not secured, it might move, buckle, or cause bone resorption when it comes into contact with the mandible. However, they can also be removed easily if needed.
- Polyethylene – Polyethylene implants are porous, hard, flexible, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They incorporate into the surrounding tissues, which can merge with the pores of the material. This ensures that they stay in place. The negative part is that it has many holes that bacteria can hide in to produce a prolonged inflammation and subacute infection. It can also be more difficult to remove them if needed.
- Polytetrafluoroethylene – This material has the dual advantage of being soft and strong at the same time. It is inserted in the form of carved blocks, premade custom implants, and trimmed sheets, and it is held to your jawbone with the help of titanium screws. Since the material is quite porous, the soft tissue and the bone growing through it hold it together in place. It is biocompatible and does not cause any injury to the patient. This is a great solution for post-traumatic or very complicated defects.
- Acellular Dermal Matrix – This is fashioned from the tissue taken from donors just after their death. The technicians remove the epidermis and treat the underlying dermal layer with antibiotics and reagents that are designed to remove the donor cells. This leaves only the intercellular matrix (components holding cells together) in place and eliminates the chance of rejection. This has the downside of resorption over time but can be good for soft-tissue augmentation.
The Surgical Procedure
The surgeon will begin by making markings on your chin to demarcate the underlying structures. You will then lie down on the operating table, and a certified anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia. Your vitals will be monitored closely throughout the procedure. Alternatively, we can do this in the office with local anesthesia and oral medications or even in-office IV sedation.
The surgeon will make a small incision where the implant needs to be placed. He will then create a space next to the bone in which to insert the implant. Once the implant is in place, it can be secured with sutures or screws, and then the incisions are closed with the help of dissolvable sutures. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, so make sure you have someone to drive you home after the surgery. There is generally little bruising or downtime. There is pain for 24 to 48 hours during which you will have narcotic pain medications to help.
Find Out More
Dr. Andrew Compton, a skilled facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, will be happy to answer your questions about chin implants and the procedure itself as part of a consultation. Arrange a consultation by contacting us today.